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Kyrie Irving apologizes and claims not to be anti-Semitic

The Brooklyn Nets player said on Saturday that he wanted to apologize for promoting a film with anti-Semitic ideas on social media.

In an exclusive interview with SportsNet New York (SNY) published on Saturday, Kyrie Irving, for the first time, directly commented on the case that led to him being accused of anti-Semitism. On October 27, Irving – already known to have relayed conspiracy theories – had published on his Instagram and Twitter accounts the poster of “Hebrews to Negroes : Wake Up Black Americaand links to the Amazon site allowing you to rent or buy this film containing, among other things, a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler and denying the reality of the Holocaust. “I really just want to focus on the harm I’ve done or the impact I’ve caused within the Jewish community, by posting some sort of threats or supposed threats, against the Jewish community“, he explained. “I just want to sincerely apologize for everything I have done since this post was published.».

The former Cleveland player was sanctioned by the Nets who suspended him for at least five games, without receiving salary, and ended up apologizing after finally remaining eight games without playing. The equipment supplier Nike had also suspended its relationship with the NBA star by canceling the release of a shoe in his name scheduled for November. The player explained that he felt a form of disrespect towards him in the face of accusations of anti-Semitism and that he then reacted defensively.

«I know I could have handled it all much better“, he acknowledged in this interview. “I should have answered the questions and moved on“, he explained. “I’m not an anti-Semite, never have been.“, he said again. “I have no hatred in my heart against Jews or anyone who identifies as a Jew. I am not anti-Jews“, he added again. The Nets asked the player to contact the Jewish community to better understand the scope of the messages he posted on social networks. Irving called these discussions moving and important, saying he learned a lot. “It was not easy, some (discussions) were painful (…) but it gave me a better perspective“, explained the player.

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