NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Thursday saying he plans to meet with Kyrie Irving “in the next week” to discuss the Brooklyn Nets guard’s recent social media post of a film containing antisemitic tropes.
“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material. While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitisim and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize. I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss this situation.”
Irving posted a link to “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on Twitter on Thursday and also shared a screenshot of the film’s Amazon page to his Instagram. The 2018 movie is based on a 2015 book of the same title, both of which are “stuffed with antisemitic tropes,” as Rolling Stone detailed. The original post has been taken down.
The Nets denounced Irving’s post in a statement Friday night, saying the organization has “no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech.” Like Silver, owner Joe Tsai shared his disappointment in Irving for the post.
Irving tweeted on Saturday that he “meant no disrespect to anyone's religious beliefs,” but he never specifically addressed the film he posted to his social media.
Irving has played in all four Nets games since making his original post, and the controversy surrounding his post has followed him onto the court. A group of fans sat courtside at Barclays Center wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts at Monday’s Nets home game against the Indiana Pacers.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association, an organization where Irving is a vice president, both released statements since Irving’s post denouncing antisemitism without calling him out by name. On Wednesday, Irving and the Nets announced in a statement that they would each be donating $500,000 to organizations that work to eradicate hate speech and work with the Anti-Defamation League. In that statement, Irving said he is “aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility.”
On Thursday, Irving addressed the post with the media, saying “I didn’t mean to cause any harm. I’m not the one who made the documentary.”