Brooklyn Nets baller Kyrie Irving is still facing the backlash from posting a poster for an antisemitic film on his social media and offering up a word salad of an explanation that some supported and others condemned.
When asked to explain his action, Irving initially refused, dismissing the pain it caused Jewish people, specifically those of European ancestry.
After being disciplined with a five-game suspension by his team, Kyrie Irving eventually released an apology.
“While doing research on YHWH, I posted a documentary that contained some false antisemitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish race/religion, and I take full accountability and [responsibility] for my actions,” wrote Kyrie Irving on Instagram.
He added, “To all Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize. I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled antisemitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the documentary.”
Despite his apology, a $500,000 donation, and a five-game suspension, Nike has announced they are pausing (not dissolving) their relationship with Irving, the Baltimore Sun reports.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech, and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” a statement from the company said. “To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8 [Irving’s next signature sneaker]. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
Ironically, Nike has not terminated their deal with Amazon, the distribution platform that distributed and streamed the film and continues to host the controversial documentary.
Fans of Kyrie Irving have been trending all morning and are calling for a boycott of the NBA.