Kyrie Irving will make a donation to anti-hate organizations and said he opposes hatred and oppression, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t think it’s enough.
The Brooklyn Nets star has been under fire after posting a link on social media to a movie and book that contain antisemitic tropes. He was called out by Nets owner Joe Tsai and took down the post, but in a news conference, he doubled down, saying that he was “not going to stand down on anything that I believe in.”
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association issued statements condemning hate speech but did not mention Irving by name until Thursday.
“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said in a statement. “While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism 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 and the Nets had said Wednesday that they would each donate $500,000 to anti-hate organizations.
Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League released a joint statement announcing the donations Wednesday night.
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in the statement. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”
The Nets are scheduled to practice Thursday in advance of Friday night’s game against the Washington Wizards in Washington. It’s not known if Irving will address the media.