Kyrie Irving may return to court after apology for anti-Semitic comments

  • Kyrie Irving suspended for ‘failure to renounce anti-Semitism’ after controversial comments.
  • After eight games on the bench, the Brooklyn Nets star apologized in an interview with SportsNet New York.
  • Irving’s status has been changed to “Questionable,” the team told Insider, indicating he could return to the court.

After being kicked by his team earlier this month for “failure to renounce anti-Semitism,” Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving may return to the NBA court after a televised apology in which he said he is not anti-Semitic and that he “does not condone any hate speech or prejudice.”

“I’m not anti-Semitic,” Irving said in an interview with SportsNet New York on Saturday. “I have no hatred in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone who identifies as Jewish. I’m not anti-Jewish or anything…But I think the difficult aspect is just processing all of that and understanding the power of my voice, the influence that I have.”

A Brooklyn Nets representative confirmed to Insider that Irving’s status is listed as “Questionable” for tomorrow’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, indicating he could return to the court. The designation is generally used for returning injured players whose status has not been confirmed.

“Kyrie undertook his trip and had conversations with several members of the Jewish community,” the Nets said in a statement to Insider. “We are pleased that he is moving forward with the process in a meaningful way.”

In the week before Irving was suspended for at least five games on Nov. 3, the 30-year-old NBA player shared a link on his Twitter and Instagram accounts to a documentary titled “Jews to Negroes: Awakening Black America,” without a caption. or own comment to add context to the post.

The film argues that some people of color, including Black Americans, are the true descendants of the biblical Israelites and presents anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes about Jews being greedy and controlling the media.

The Brooklyn Nets reported Irving’s sharing of the tape but did not immediately suspend him. Irving was asked to apologize for sharing the video, but did not do so directly in a press conference, instead saying “I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from.” The New York Times reported that he was suspended hours after he refused to apologize.

The day after his suspension was announced, Nike parted ways with the NBA star, ending an eight-year partnership with the athlete that reportedly earned him $11 million a year.

In his interview Saturday, Irving dismissed his previous refusals to apologize and said he was acting defensively when confronted about his Twitter post.

“I reacted without you know, just pure defense and I was just hurt that I could be labeled or I thought I was labeled as anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish and I felt it was so disrespectful to be asked whether or not I was anti-Semitic or not,” Irving told SportsNet New York. “Now to the outside world it might have been taken as a simple yes or no. You know, which rightly should have been a no, I’m not anti-Semitic… And I take responsibility and I want to apologize for it coming out completely the wrong way.”

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