Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving #11 handles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks in game two of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on June 7, 2021 in New York City.
Steven Ryan | Getty Images
After Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving promoted an anti-Semitic film and book on social media on Thursday, his team and team owner Joe Tsai released statements on Friday condemning his actions.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to be supporting a film based on a book filled with anti-Semitic disinformation,” Tsai wrote on Twitter. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands that this is hurtful to all of us and as a man of faith it is wrong to encourage hatred based on race, ethnicity or religion.”
Irving posted a tweet on Thursday linking to an Amazon page for the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which Rolling Stone earlier reported was “crammed with anti-Semitic tropes.” The film was released in 2018 and is based on a 2015 book of the same name.
The Nets condemned Irving’s actions in a statement Friday.
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemns and does not tolerate the promotion of any form of hate speech,” the team said in the statement. “We believe that our first action in these situations must be an open, honest dialogue. We thank those, including the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), who have supported us during this time.”
In a tweet on Saturday, Irving said he “didn’t mean any disrespect for anyone’s religious beliefs.”
“The label ‘anti-Semitism’ that is being applied to me is unjustified and does not reflect the reality or truth in which I live every day,” he wrote. “I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.”
He didn’t remove his original tweet.
Irving’s post on Thursday follows a spate of anti-Semitic comments made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, in recent weeks. Adidas, Gap, Foot Locker and other organizations have since severed ties with Ye, costing him his billionaire status.
The Anti-Defamation League, StopAntisemistism and the International Legal Forum welcomed Adidas’ move on Tuesday.
Irving was previously benched by the Nets in 2021 for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19. It’s unclear if his social media post will affect his ability to play.
The Nets play the Indiana Pacers Saturday night.