NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he’s disappointed Kyrie Irving didn’t apologize for promoting antisemitic film


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he’s disappointed that Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving hasn’t apologized for tweeting about a film that includes antisemitic disinformation, or denounced the “vile and harmful content” in the film.

On Thursday, Silver, who is Jewish himself, called Irving’s decision to post a link to the film that contained anti-Jewish tropes “reckless.” While the NBA’s top boss said the league appreciated that Irving agreed to work with the Nets and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, he was not satisfied with Irving’s response. 

“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,” he said in a statement. “I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss this situation.” 

On Wednesday, Irving and the Nets announced they would each donate $500,000 to anti-hate groups. Irving also said he was “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.”

He faced reporters on Thursday and further tried to explain himself. 

“Just because I posted the documentary, it does not mean I’m antisemitic, and it doesn’t mean I’m automatically standing with everyone that is believing in that,” he said. 

Irving posted a link for the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on Oct. 27. The film is filled with conspiracy theories about Jewish people, including false claims that they dominated the slave trade.  

The following day, Nets owner Joe Tsai said he was “disappointed” that Irving appeared to support a film “based on a book full of antisemitic disinformation.” 

Irving took days to condemn the film, and the NBA’s initial statement was considered not strong enough by some, including “NBA on TNT” co-host Charles Barkley, who slammed Silver and the league for not suspending Irving. 

“You’re not going to take my $40 million and insult my religion,” Barkley said, referring to Irving’s reported salary. “I think the NBA, they have made a mistake.” 

On the same day, Nets head coach Steve Nash and the team announced they had “parted ways.”

Kanye “Ye” West, who is under fire for his own antisemitic comments, tweeted a black and white photo of Irving on Thursday, after regaining access to the platform following a suspension. He previously praised Irving in an Instagram post, saying, “There’s some real ones still here.” 


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