The star’s guard tweeted a link Thursday to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name. Rolling Stone described the book and the movie as “stuffed with antisemitic metaphors”.
At a charged post-game press conference following the Nets’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, Irving defended his decision to post a link to the documentary.
“In terms of backlash, we’re in 2022, and history isn’t supposed to hide from anyone, and I’m not a divisive person when it comes to religion, I embrace all walks of life,” he said.
“So the claims of anti-Semitism and who are God’s original chosen people and we get into these religious conversations and it’s big no, no, I don’t live my life that way.”
Several organizations condemned Irving’s tweet, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets, and Nets owner Joe Tsai.
“I am disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a movie based on a book that is full of anti-Semitic misinformation,” Nets owner Joe Tsai chirp Friday night.
“I want to sit down and make sure he understands that this hurts all of us, and as a clergyman, it is wrong to promote hate on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion.”
Tsai added, “This is bigger than basketball.”
Irving said at the press conference that he “respects Ma Ju [Tsai] He said, “But he claimed he did not tweet something malicious.
“Did I do anything illegal? Did I hurt anyone, did I hurt anyone? Did I go out and say I hate a certain group of people?”
“It’s a public platform on Amazon, whether you want to watch it or not is up to you,” Irving said. “There are things posted every day. I am no different from the next human, so don’t treat me any different.”
CNN has asked Amazon for comment, but has not received a response at press time.
At the same time, Irving acknowledged his “unique position” to influence his community, but said “what I post does not mean that I endorse everything that is said or done or campaign for anything.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, at a tweet On Friday, Irving’s social media post was described as “disturbing”.
The book and film promote trade in anti-Semitic themes, including those promoted by the dangerous sects of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. Irving should clarify now.”
The Nets also spoke out against the star guard’s tweet.
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemns and does not tolerate the promotion of any form of hate speech,” the team said in a statement to CNN.
We believe that in these situations, our first action should be open and honest dialogue. We thank those, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who have been supportive during this time.”
The NBA issued a statement saying “Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable and goes against the NBA’s values of equality, inclusion and respect.
“We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring that such words or ideas, including anti-Semitic words or ideas, are challenged and refuted, and we will continue to work with all members of the NBA community to ensure that everyone understands the impact of their words and actions.”
Meanwhile, Rolling Stone said the film and book contained ideas aligned with some “extremist factions” within the Israeli black Hebrew movement that expressed anti-Semitic and other discriminatory sentiments.
During the press conference, Irving was also asked about his decision to share a video created by far-right talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was recently ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in compensation to Sandy Hook’s families for his lies about the massacre.
Irving made it clear that he did not agree with Jones’ false claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was orchestrated but stood with Jones’s September post “On America’s Secret Forest Societies,” which Irving believes is “true.”