NBA: Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn Nets pledge $1 million after anti-Semitism criticism

Fans at Brooklyn Nets game wear 'Fight Anti-Semitism' T-shirts.
Some fans wore ‘Fight Anti-Semitism’ T-shirts during the Brooklyn Nets’ home game on Monday

Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving have pledged to donate $1m (£880,000) to fight ‘hate and intolerance’ after he was criticized for share a link to a movie with anti-Semitic tropes.

Some fans wore “Fight Anti-Semitism” Jerseys on the court at the Nets’ game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday.

Irving said that not everything in the film reflected “his morals and principles”.

The seven-time NBA All-Star added: “I stand against all forms of hate and oppression and stand strong against communities that are marginalized and affected every day.

“I know the negative impact my post has had on the Jewish community and I take responsibility.

“I do not believe that everything said in the documentary was true or reflected my morals and principles.

“I am a person who learns from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So, from my family and I, we mean no harm to any group, race or religion of people, and I wish it only a beacon of truth and light.”

The club and Warden Irving will work with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a non-profit organization that fights all forms of anti-Semitism and prejudice, to develop community education.

They will each donate $500,000 (£440,000) to causes and organizations “working to eradicate hatred and intolerance”.

Last week, Nets owner Joe Chai said he was “disappointed” that Irving drew attention to a film he said was “full of anti-Semitic misinformation,” while the NBA also issued a statement condemning all forms of hate speech.

Irving responded by saying that he embraces “all religions” and that “the label ‘anti-Semitic’ is being pressed” upon him unjustifiably.

“The events of the past week have stirred many emotions in the Nets organization, our Brooklyn community and the nation,” the statement said.

“The ensuing public debate has brought greater awareness to the challenges we face as a society in combating hate and speech.

“We are ready to rise to this challenge to action and recognize that this is a unique time to make a lasting impact.”

In the NBA on Wednesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Milwaukee Bucks they tied a franchise record for their best start after a loss Detroit Pistons for the second time in three nights, 116-91.

Donovan Mitchell scored nine straight points in the final three minutes of regulation and finished with 25 total to lead the way. Cleveland Cavaliers in another overtime win over the Boston Celtics114-113.

The Cavaliers’ Darius Garland returned from a five-game absence caused by an eye injury to add a team-leading 29 points and 12 assists.

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