NBA commissioner Adam Silver has finally weighed in on Kyrie Irving’s offensive social-media game.
“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said in a statement Thursday. “While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content in the film he chose to publicize.
“I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss the situation.”
The statement from Silver comes after Irving issued a joint statement with the ADL and the Nets.
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in the joint statement on Wednesday night. “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.”
The NBA star and the Nets will each donate $500,000 towards causes and organizations working to eradicate hate and intolerance, per the statement.
Irving posted a link to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his social media channels last week. A film that Rolling Stone described as “espousing ideas in line with more extreme factions of the Black Hebrew Israelites, which have a long history of misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and especially antisemitism.”
The 30-year-old point guard was at the podium after Saturday’s loss to the Pacers and defended his decision to tweet the link out to the film and did not issue a straightforward apology, which appears to be what has drawn Silver’s ire.
“It’s 2022. It’s on Amazon, a public platform,” Irving said. “Whether you want to watch it or not is up to you. There’s things being posted every day. I’m no different from the next human being, so don’t treat me any different. You guys come in here and make up this powerful influence that I have [and say] you cannot post that. Why not? Why not?”
He deleted his tweet on Sunday.
Irving did not talk to reporters after either of Brooklyn’s home games this week.
The seven-time All-Star also received backlash from the owner of the Nets. Joe Tsai released a statement of his own on Twitter Friday night.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” Tsai tweeted. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.”