- Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has defended Kyrie Irving against recent criticism for sharing an anti-Semitic film on Twitter.
- Tsai said he and his wife recently spent “quality time” with the basketball star.
- “It’s clear to me that Kyrie has no belief in hatred towards Jewish people or any other group,” Tsai said.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai said he recently spent “quality time” with Kyrie Irving and defended the basketball star from criticism over Irving’s promotion of an anti-Semitic film.
“Clara and I met Kyrie and her family yesterday,” Tsai said on Twitter.
“We’ve spent some quality time understanding each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie has no belief in hating Jewish people or any other group,” Tsai said.
In October, Irving shared a tweet related to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on Amazon Prime.
The documentary has been criticized for propagating anti-Semitism, including a false claim that Jews worship Satan, Rolling Stone reported.
At the time, Tsai denounced Irving’s message, say on twitter: “I’m disappointed that Kyrie seems to support a film based on a book full of anti-Semitic misinformation.”
Tsai continued, “I want to sit down and make sure he understands that this hurts us all, and as a man of faith, it’s wrong to promote hatred based on race, ethnicity or ethnicity. religion. It’s more important than basketball.”
The Nets then announced that the team and Irving would each donate $500,000 to anti-hate groups after promoting the documentary.
But a few days later, at a press conference, Irving declined to answer whether he held anti-Semitic beliefs.
“I don’t know how the label becomes justified…I respect all walks of life and embrace all walks of life. This is where I sit…I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I’m from come,” Irving told reporters. .
Irving said he took responsibility for sharing the film on Twitter, but was not the one who created it.
“When I tell myself I’m not going to retire, it has nothing to do with rejecting another race or group of people, I’m just proud of my heritage and what we’ve been through. “, Irving said. “The fact that this pinned me against the Jewish community, and I’m here to answer questions about whether I’m sorry or not, about something that I didn’t create, that’s something that I shared and I tell everyone that I’m taking responsibility, so that’s where I’m sitting.”
In response, the Nets suspended the star for five games for his failure to disavow anti-Semitism.
The Athletic reported that the Nets also outlined six steps Irving must take to return, including attending awareness training, meeting with the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish leaders, and making donations.
Irving also had to meet with Tsai and other Nets executives to “demonstrate the lessons learned and that the seriousness of the damage done in the situation is understood,” according to The Athletic.
At an event Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said after speaking to Irving that he did not believe Irving was anti-Semitic. Last week, Silver released his own statement expressing his dismay at Irving’s lack of apology.
“Personally, based on what he told me directly, I have no doubt that he is not anti-Semitic, but I think there is a process that he now has to go through,” Silver said. according to Sopan Deb of the New York Times. “I think he understands that, and incidentally, it’s now with the Nets, who are working out the details.”
Representatives for the Brooklyn Nets did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.