Kyrie Irving met with the Dallas media for the first time as a member of the Mavericks Tuesday, and he as asked about his social media.
Someone noticed Irving took down his apology note that came after his suspension by the Brooklyn Nets for posting a link to a movie on Amazon that spread antisemitic disinformation. He was suspended eight games before returning to the team.
Irving explained why it was taken off his page.
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“Yeah, I delete a lot of things on my Instagram,” he said. “I’ve had things that have happened before in my life, probably not as drastic as that moment, which led to a lot of confusion. And uncertainly I felt like in what I meant and what I stand for. I just sit up at these mics and explain to the world who I am, and I know who I am. So I delete things all the time, and it’s no disrespect to anyone within the community. Just living my life.”
Despite taking it down, Irving says that he continues to stand by what he said in the apology. He also took a jab at the media for not doing enough research to see that he has Jewish members of his family.
“I stand by who I am and why I apologized,” he explained. “I did it because I care about my family. And I have Jewish members of my family who care for me deeply. Did the media know that beforehand when they called me that word antisemitic? No. Did they know anything about my family? No. Everything was assumed, everything was put out before I had anything to say. And I reacted instead of responding emotionally and truly. I didn’t need to be defensive or go at anybody. So I stand by my apology and I stand by my people everywhere. All walks of life. All races, all religions.”
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Irving’s apology was posted in early November, when he took “full accountability” for his actions.
“While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibly for my actions,” Irving wrote.” 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.
“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize. 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.
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“I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism (sic) 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. 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. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.”
During his suspension, Irving sat down with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, and the latter came away with the impression that the All-Star guard was not antisemitic.
“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group,” Silver told The New York Times.
“Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”
Irving’s time with the Nets over the past four seasons has been nothing short of tumultuous. Prior to this situation, his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 led to him missing a substantial amount of home games last season due to New York City restrictions. He ended up just playing 29 games in the regular season.
He also missed time during the 2020-21 campaign due to the civil unrest in the country.
Now with the Mavericks, Irving is looking forward to the new opportunity, saying he will “just focus on what I can control.”
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Irving is an All-Star starter this year after averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game for Brooklyn over 40 games.
He will play his first game with Dallas Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers on the road.