For days, people around the league had been asking “how are the Nets going to send a message to Kyrie Irving” after he Tweeted out a link to a movie considered anti-Semitic, filled with disinformation and much more. The Nets and Irving had been dealing with the backlash from that Tweet.
Wednesday night, Irving, the Nets, and the Anti-Defamation League released a joint statement that, in part, says both Irving and the Nets promise to donate $500,000 each “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities.” Irving also acknowledged the impact of his Tweet.
Joint statement from Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Anti-Defamation League pic.twitter.com/5szamIClsh
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 2, 2022
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in the statement. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”
“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels, we know the best way to fight the oldest hatred is to both confront it head-on and also to change hearts and minds,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, said in the statement. “With this partnership, ADL will work with the Nets and Kyrie to open dialogue and increase understanding.”
Beyond throwing money at the problem, Irving and the Nets will work together with the ADL in “an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and will comprehensively combat all forms of antisemitism and bigotry.”
Previously, Irving defended his right to Tweet out the link to the movie saying “Did I do anything illegal? Did I hurt anybody? Did I harm anybody? Am I going out and saying that I hate one specific group of people?” The day after that, GM Sean Marks said Irving would not be made available to speak to the media until things “simmer down.”
This is bigger than basketball
— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) October 29, 2022