Nets head coach Steve Nash said “the organization has spoken” to star guard Kyrie Irving after he posted the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his social media feeds.
The work is widely considered to be anti-semitic and Irving has not yet deleted the post from his Twitter account, even after Nets owner Joe Tsai publicly condemned Irving’s actions.
“I don’t have an update other than I know Kyrie made a statement,” Nash said ahead of tipoff against the Pacers on Saturday. “I know the organization made a statement. The organization has spoken to Kyrie about it. Clearly, I think we all represent values of inclusiveness, and equality, and condemn hate speech.
“I’m not familiar with the material that Kyrie was promoting. It’s really something that I’m not too versed on, but this is a generality: We believe in equality and I think our organization has stood for that for a long, long time and has backed that up. When you get a chance to talk to Kyrie, I’m sure he’ll be able to explain his perspective.”
Nash also said the team isn’t distracted by the latest drama surrounding Irving because they have grown numb to distractions because of the adversity they have faced in the last two seasons.
“I don’t think our group is overly affected by the situation,” he said. “We’ve had so many situations over the last two-and-a-half years, I think we’ve kind of built an immunity to some of it. I also think our guys aren’t that familiar with the material. If we get a minute to breathe we can get a deeper understanding of what actually are the details here then we will, but right now I think guys are trying to focus on the game. I think the organization has stepped up and made a strong statement on their beliefs, and you’ll be able to hear from Kyrie when it’s his turn to talk.”
It remains unclear whether or not Irving will face any discipline. Nash said Irving is “good to go” and available to play, but when asked if a suspension is on the table, he said: “I have no idea.”
Irving posted an Amazon link to the movie on both his Twitter feed and Instagram story (which deletes every 24 hours) on Thursday, and Tsai responded on Twitter late Friday night.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” he wrote. “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.
“This is bigger than basketball.”
Irving responded on Saturday.
“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.”