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The National Basketball Players Association released a statement denouncing antisemitism and committing to “identifying and combating all hate speech” in the wake of Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s since-deleted promotion of an antisemitic film on social media.
The NBPA did not mention Irving, who serves as one of the organization’s seven vice presidents, specifically.
However, the statement is part of a recent spate of remarks and criticism of Irving’s promotion of the film. The NBA released a similar statement Friday:
The Nets also released a statement as well, per The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer:
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech. We believe that in these situations, our first action must be open, honest dialogue. We thank those, including the ADL, who have been supportive during this time.”
Nets governor Joe Tsai expressed his disappointment in Irving in a tweet Friday.
One day later, Irving released a statement on Twitter saying that he did not mean any “disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs.”
I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs. The “Anti-Semitic” label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.<br><br>Hélà🤞🏾♾
However, Irving spoke with reporters after the Nets’ 125-116 loss to the Indiana Pacers Saturday and defended his actions.
On Monday, a group of patrons wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts appeared courtside during the Nets’ 116-109 win over the Indiana Pacers. The Nets did not make him available to reporters postgame.
The Nets’ next game will be Tuesday at home against the Chicago Bulls at 7:30 p.m. ET.