Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving He apologized late Thursday for tweeting a link to a documentary criticized for anti-Semitism, saying he was taking full responsibility for his decision to make content available to his nearly five million followers.

The NBA star posted an apology on his verified Instagram account hours after the Nets announced a five-game suspension for later defending his decision.

“To all Jewish families and communities that have been hurt and touched by my position, I am so sorry that I have caused you pain and I apologize,” wrote Irving. “Initially, I reacted with emotion to the fact that I was wrongly labeled anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by the hateful remarks made in the document.

“I had no intention of disregarding any Jewish cultural history relating to the Holocaust or perpetuating any hatred. I am learning from this unfortunate incident and I hope we can find an understanding between all of us, ”continued Irving.

Irving was condemned last week with incl. by Nets owner Joe Tsai and the NBA for tweeting a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews for Negroes: Wake Up Black America”, which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same title and has been condemned as anti-Semitic by civil rights organizations.

Before Irving shared his apology, his team posted Twitter statement saying that they repeatedly attempted to help Irving “understand the harmfulness and dangers of his words and actions, which began with his publishing a video containing deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred.”

The Nets said they were “terrified” on Thursday when Irving “refused to unequivocally state that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs or admitted to specific hateful material in the film” during a media session.

“It wasn’t the first time he had the opportunity – but failed – to explain,” said the team.

During a meeting with the media earlier Thursday, Irving was asked if he was apologizing when he said he had no intention of offending after he posted a link to the video on Twitter.

“I didn’t mean to do any harm,” said Irving. “I didn’t make the documentary.”

“I take full responsibility, and I will say it again, for posting something on my Instagram or Twitter that may have contained unfortunate lies,” he said.

“I take responsibility for publishing this,” continued Irving. “Some things that were questionable there, untrue.

“As I said the first time you all asked me when I was sitting on this stage. I don’t believe everything everyone publishes. It’s a document. So I take responsibility. “

When asked if he had any anti-Semitic beliefs, Irving replied, “I respect all walks of life. I cover all areas of life. I’m sitting there.

When pressed to answer yes or no to the question, he replied, “I cannot be an anti-Semite if I know where I am from.”

Responding to this response on Twitter, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League – “a non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and all kinds of hatred that undermines fairness and the fair treatment of everyone,” said Irving, “there’s a lot of work to be done.”

“The answer to the question ‘Do you have any anti-Semitic beliefs’ is always ‘NO’ without ambiguity. We took @KyrieIrving for his word when he said he took responsibility but today he did not keep that promise ”- Jonathan Greenblatt he wrote Thursday. “Kyrie clearly has a lot of work to do.”

Nets said in its statement on Thursday: “Such failure to deny anti-Semitism when given the clear opportunity is deeply disturbing, contrary to our organization’s values, and harmful to the team. Accordingly, we are of the opinion that it is currently not amenable to Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve the suspension without pay until he meets a series of objective remedies to address the detrimental effects of his behavior, with a suspension period of no less than five matches.

The Anti-Defamation League rejects Irving’s donation

The press release follows a Wednesday announcement by Irving and the Nets that both will donate $ 500,000 to anti-hatred organizations.

In an earlier joint statement by Irving, Nets and the Anti-Defamation League, the 30-year-old said he took “responsibility” for the “negative impact” of his fast on the Jewish community.

But on Thursday night, following the announcement of the suspension, Greenblatt tweeted that the ADL could not “in good conscience accept” Irving’s donation.

“(Irving) has been given many opportunities to do the right thing, apologize and condemn #antisemitism. He failed at almost every step. This suspension is well deserved, ”Greenblatt He said. “We were optimistic, but after watching the press conference fail, it is clear that Kyrie is not responsible for what she does.”

Earlier this week, NBA and Basketball Hall of Famer analyst Charles Barkley said he believes the league has “dropped the ball” on Irving and believes the player should be suspended.

On Tuesday, when asked why Irving was not fined for his actions, Nets CEO Sean Marks told reporters, “I think we have these discussions behind the scenes.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was disappointed with “Irving after the ranger did not apologize or condemn” the harmful content in the film he chose to publish. ” Silver will meet Irving next week, the commissioner said in a statement on Thursday.

“Kyrie Irving made the reckless decision to link to a video containing deeply offensive anti-Semitic material,” Silver said.

“While we appreciate the fact that he has agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he did not offer an unconditional apology and more specifically condemned the vile and harmful content in the video he chose to publish.” .

Irving was not released to the media on Monday or Tuesday after the Nets games in those days.

The joint statement stated that the donations were made to “eradicate hatred and intolerance in our communities.”

Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League said: “At a time when anti-Semitism has reached historic heights, we know that the best way to fight the oldest hatred is to both confront it and change hearts and minds.”

Kanye Westwho was criticized after anti-Semitic statements on social media and in interviews, showed his support for Irving by tweeting a photo of the guard on Thursday.

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