As Nets guard Kyrie Irving prepares to return to the court Sunday against the Grizzlies after being suspended by the team for sharing an anti-Semitic video on social media, the Brooklyn star sat down for an exclusive interview with SNY’s Ian Begley for to discuss the discharge and its course. to return to court.
In the interview, Begley asked Irving if he was anti-Semitic.
“No, I’m not anti-Semitic. I’ve never been. I have no hatred in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone who identifies as Jewish. I’m not anti-Jewish or anything like that. “It’s been hard sitting at home with my family watching all of this and having questions, and the part that hasn’t been hard is explaining myself because I know who I am and what I stand for,” Irving said.
When asked about his intent behind sharing the video, Irving expanded on his reasoning behind tweeting the anti-Semitic film on social media.
“Well number one, I meant no harm,” Irving said. “I didn’t want to be put in a position where I was against any community. As I said during the press conference after one of the games, I just went to look up my name Kyrie, which also translates to “Yahweh” in Hebrew, and I wanted to share the connection with all those who are also on the same journey and seek their inheritance as I am.
“The unfortunate aspect in this documentary is the anti-Semitic remarks regarding the generalization of the Jewish people. I think that was unfair and that was not the aspect of the post I wanted to focus on. The original post was supposed to be for all those who are looking for more information, more history and are able to interpret it in a way that they see it as progressive and learn something from it,” Irving said.
“Again, it’s just a post. There’s no context I put into it. I was just watching a video to learn more about my heritage through a deeper dive into who I am. “Unfortunately in the process I hurt some people and I’m sorry for that,” Irving continued.
Begley also questioned Irving about his half-apology, in which he did not specifically say he was anti-Semitic. During that press conference earlier this month, he said he took responsibility for posting the material, but did not explicitly apologize. When asked if he was anti-Semitic, he said “I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from.”
Irving told Begley, “I felt like I was protecting my character and I reacted out of pure self-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 if I was or not anti-Semitic or not.”
He continued, “Now to the outside world, that might have been seen as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Which, rightly, should have been, “No, I’m not anti-Semitic. No, I’m not anti-Jewish.’ I’m a person who believes that we should all have equal opportunities and that we should shower each other with love, and that should be at the forefront.”
Irving had to satisfy “a series of objective remedies that addressed the harmful effects of his conduct.” He last played for the Nets on Nov. 1 and has missed eight games.
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