NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving mentioned Saturday that he believes in all religions, two days after he appeared to point out assist to an antisemitic movie.
The NBA, in the meantime, waded into the matter by condemning hate speech in a press release, however didn’t point out Irving by title or make any direct reference to his newest controversial storyline.
“I’m an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anybody’s spiritual beliefs,” learn a tweet posted to Irving’s account. “The ‘Anti-Semitic’ label that’s being pushed on me just isn’t justified and doesn’t replicate the truth or fact I reside in on a regular basis. I embrace and need to be taught from all walks of life and religions.”
Nets proprietor Joe Tsai mentioned Friday he’s disillusioned that Irving seems to assist a movie “based on a book full of antisemitic disinformation.” The Nets’ star guard posted a hyperlink for the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on Twitter on Thursday. The synopsis on Amazon mentioned the movie “uncovers the true identification of the Kids of Israel.”
Irving was taking part in within the Nets’ sport Saturday in opposition to Indiana.
“The group has spoken to Kyrie about it,” mentioned Nets coach Steve Nash, who didn’t reveal specifics of what that meant.
Tsai and the Nets reacted rapidly to the newest hassle stirred up by Irving, who had beforehand supported the thought of the Earth being flat and final month on social media shared an previous clip from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
“I need to sit down and ensure he understands that is hurtful to all of us, and as a person of religion, it’s mistaken to advertise hate primarily based on race, ethnicity or faith,” Tsai wrote on Twitter relating to Irving.
The NBA on Saturday mentioned “hate speech of any form is unacceptable.”
“We imagine all of us have a job to play in guaranteeing such phrases or concepts, together with antisemitic ones, are challenged and refuted and we are going to proceed working with all members of the NBA neighborhood to make sure that everybody understands the affect of their phrases and actions,” the league mentioned.
It was not clear if that meant the league has spoken to Irving, or plans to talk to him on the matter.
Irving was unavailable for many of the Nets’ residence video games final season as a result of he refused to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, as was mandated in New York Metropolis. The Nets then declined to provide him a contract extension this summer season, which means Irving might be in his remaining season with the staff.
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemn and haven’t any tolerance for the promotion of any type of hate speech,” the staff mentioned in a press release. “We imagine that in these conditions, our first motion should be open, sincere dialogue. We thank these, together with the ADL, who’ve been supportive throughout this time.”
Nash was requested Saturday if he felt if the newest Irving storyline was a distraction to the staff.
“I don’t assume our group is overly affected by the state of affairs,” Nash mentioned. “We’ve had so many conditions over the past 2-1/2 years that I feel we’ve type of constructed an immunity to a few of it. I additionally assume our guys aren’t that conversant in the fabric.”
AP Basketball Author Tim Reynolds contributed to this story.
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