Kyrie Irving ‘Deeply Sorry’ to Jewish Community for Causing ‘Pain’ by Spotlighting Antisemitic Film

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After a week of backlash and getting suspended by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Kyrie Irving has apologized for promoting an antisemitic film on Twitter.

The NBA superstar, 30, released a statement to social media early Friday morning, addressed to all “Jewish families and communities” that were hurt by his actions.

“I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” Irving wrote. “I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the documentary.”

On Oct. 27, Kyrie tweeted a link promoting a 2018 movie based on the 2014 book Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America. The film was originally written as a book by Ronald Dalton in 2014, and includes several antisemitic tropes and stereotypes, according to Rolling Stone. It features extreme views of Black Hebrew Israelites, who argue that Black people are the only true descendants of ancient Israelites.

RELATED: Kyrie Irving Takes Responsibility for Promoting Antisemitic Film, but Stops Short of Apologizing

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the Radical Hebrew Israelites “perpetuate the antisemitic belief that ‘so-called’ Jews have stolen their identity and ‘birthright,’ ” while the Anti-Defamation League notes that the movement includes organizations that “operate semi-independently,” and not all are antisemitic.

“I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against anti-semitism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the documentary I agreed with and disagreed with,” Irving explained. “I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all.”

RELATED: Brooklyn Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving for ‘No Less Than 5 Games’ After Antisemitic Post

Irving elaborated, adding that he’s “no different than any other human being” and is a “seeker of truth and knowledge.” Earlier in his statement, he shared that he takes “full accountability and responsibly for my actions,” a sentiment he previously shared this week in a statement released in conjunction with the nets organization. “I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this.”

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh

Irving has previously joined the Nets organization in pledging $1 million total to organizations in an effort to “eradicate hate and intolerance.”

On Thursday, though, the Nets announced that Kyrie will be suspended at least five games without pay, after the team claims it made multiple attempts over the week to help the point guard “understand the harm and danger of his words and actions.”

The organization shared that Kyrie “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs” during a Thursday media call, and because of that, felt he was “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”

“We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games,” the Nets wrote.

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The backlash from Irving’s tweet also saw NBA legends and fans alike expressing their disapproval, with some wearing “fight antisemitism” shirts as they sat courtside at a Nets game on Monday night.

Irving has since deleted his tweet.

Charles Barkley said on on Inside the NBA that he thought Irving “should have been suspended.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday that he will be meeting with Irving later this week.

“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said. “While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, 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.”