On Thursday, Kyrie Irving shared a movie and book, considered antisemitic, on his social media accounts. This caused him to draw criticism.
The Brooklyn Nets management conveyed their disdain for the guard’s behavior. The incident follows the case of Kanye West’s anti-Semitic comments on national television, the rapper and businessman, leading him to receive intense criticism. As a result, the rapper lost his relationships with well-known companies like Adidas, Skechers, Gap, and other global and regional brands.
Net’s owner, Joe Tsai, denounced Irving’s actions. Further, he guaranteed the public that they would handle the case appropriately. He added that since the basketball sta’s following reaches millions, any promotion he makes impacts millions of people.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. 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,” said Tsai on Twitter.
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What Irving said in the Tweet
Kyrie tweeted a link to an Amazon page on Thursday, which the basketball player’s followers saw. The page displayed “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” a film adapted from a book that Rolling Stone claimed contained “antisemitic tropes” in 2015.
“A description for the film states that it “uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel,” while a similar one for the book reads, “Since the European and Arab slave traders stepped foot into Africa, blacks have been told lies about their heritage.” Both suggest Hebrews to Negroes espouse 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,” wrote Rolling Stone.
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech. However, we believe that in these situations, our first action must be open, honest dialogue. We thank those, including the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), who have been supportive during this time,” said the Brooklyn Nets team.
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No offense meant
Irving refused to back down and insisted that he did not mean anyone any offense. Further, Irving claimed he respected all religions as he lived among different people. Irving needs to take down his initial tweet, though.
“The ‘Anti-Semitic’ label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in every day. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions,” he tweeted.
The basketball player has already received a warning from the Nets before. Due to the point guard’s refusal to receive Covid-19 vaccinations last season, the team benched him. In addition, Irving’s recent violation may have impacted his ability to play on the court, but that is yet to be determined.
Photo Credit: Sarah Stier
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