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The Brooklyn Nets, guard Kyrie Irving and the Anti-Defamation League are teaming up to contribute $500,000 toward charitable causes, as a reaction to Irving’s recent controversies that have been deemed antisemitic.
Multiple organizations and figures within the NBA have come out to oppose Irving’s advertising of a film titled Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America which contains charged language against Jewish people.
In a statement relayed by ESPN NBA reporter Tim Bontemps, Irving is coming out to take “full responsibility” and donate money “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities.”
Though Irving never met with the ADL, according to New York Daily News, his father Drederick, and stepmother, Shetellia, did meet with the Jewish non-governmental organization.
Irving Sends A Positive Message
The statement read:
“The events of the past week have sparked many emotions within the Nets organization, our Brooklyn community, and the nation. The public discourse that followed has brought greater awareness to the challenges we face as a society when it comes to combating hate and hate speech. We are ready to take on this challenge and we recognize that this is a unique moment to make a lasting impact.
“To promote education within our community, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets will each donate $500,000 toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities. The Nets and Kyrie Irving will work with ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), a nonprofit organization devoted to fighting antisemitism and all types of hate that undermine justice and fair treatment for every individual. This is an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and will comprehensively combat all forms of antisemitism and bigotry.”
Kyrie added his own response to the current antisemitism narrative, speaking on his growth and understanding through the process.
“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.”
Nets owner Joe Tsai spoke out against Irving’s tweet on the film on Oct. 28.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” Tsai tweeted. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.”
General manager Sean Marks spoke on the team’s work with the ADL to find a resolve in the Kyrie ordeal.
“Some internal some external discussions,” Marks said during a press conference on Tuesday. “You know, I know from the highest levels, we’re involved with the ADL, and getting their advice and just, hopefully, they can advise us. We can bring something to the table that all parties can be at least understandable to one another here and understand that there is no tolerance and no room for any hate speech, any antisemitic remarks whatsoever. Whether it’s in this organization or any organization for that matter.”
After facing backlash, Irving deleted the tweet containing a link to the film’s listing and has spoken at length with the media regarding the controversy.
During an interview Sunday, Irving told ESPN reporter Nick Friedell to stop characterizing his social media platform as “hateful.” Irving was also criticized for sharing a post featuring Alex Jones from a segment on occults in America, filmed years ago.