Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets star who was suspended for not less than 5 video games by the group for feedback made after sharing a hyperlink to an antisemitic film on social media, has issued one other apology as his potential return from suspension nears.
Whereas talking to SNY’s Ian Begley in an interview Saturday, Irving mentioned he needs to “focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community. Putting some type of threat, or assumed threat, on the Jewish community,” Irving instructed SNY.
“I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it’s been since the post was first put up. I’ve had a lot of time to think. But my focus, initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters.”
The Nets suspended Irving earlier this month, saying on the time “he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.” The 30-year-old has missed the group’s final eight video games.
Irving’s posting on Twitter of a hyperlink to a documentary containing antisemitic messages – adopted by an preliminary refusal to problem an apology – resulted in his suspension on November 3, the Nets mentioned. Irving posted an apology on Instagram hours later.
In accordance with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, citing sources, Irving might return as quickly as Sunday, when Brooklyn performs at dwelling in opposition to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nets at the moment checklist Irving as questionable to play.
Irving reiterated he isn’t “anti-Jewish” and apologized to the Jewish group.
“I don’t have hate in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone that identifies as a Jew. I’m not anti-Jewish or any of that,” Irving instructed SNY. “And it’s been difficult to sit at home with my family, with them seeing all of this and having questions. You know, the part that’s been the hardest is explaining myself, because I know who I am, and I know what I represent.”
In the previous few weeks, following many conversations, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Nets proprietor Joe Tsai and Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt all got here to the protection of Irving.
Tsai, who rapidly condemned Irving’s actions on the onset of the controversy, mentioned he met with Irving and his household final week and doesn’t imagine he’s antisemitic.
“We spent quality time to understand each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group,” Tsai mentioned on social media. “The Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education.”
Following a gathering with Irving final week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver additionally mentioned he believes Irving just isn’t antisemitic.
Irving described the conversations as a “learning journey.”
“It was a lot of hurt that needed to be healed, a lot of conversations that needed to be had. And a lot of reflection. I got a chance to do that with people from the Jewish community, people from the Black community, from the White community,” Irving mentioned.
Irving was requested why he didn’t initially apologize within the first few press conferences, to which he responded he reacted emotionally to being known as “antisemitic.”
“I felt like I was protecting my character and I reacted out of just pure defense and just hurt that I could be labeled, or I thought that I was being labeled as antisemitic or anti-Jewish, and I’ve felt like that was just so disrespectful to ask me whether or not I was antisemitic or not,” Irving mentioned.
“Now to the outside world, that may have been seen as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Which rightfully so, it should’ve been, ‘No, I’m not antisemitic. No, I’m not anti-Jewish.’ I’m a person who believes we should all have equal opportunities and that we should all shower each other with love, and that should be at the forefront,” he continued.
Irving concluded, “I simply care about folks. When harm somebody, I need to take my accountability and duty and say that ‘I’ll do higher.’ “