HomeSportsNBA: Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn Nets pledge $1m after criticism over anti-Semitism

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

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

The Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving have pledged to donate $1m (£880,000) to combat “hate and intolerance” after he was criticised for sharing a link about a film featuring anti-Semitic tropes.

In a joint statement, Irving, 30, said he “meant no harm” but stopped short of apologising for the social media post.

Some fans wore ‘Fight Anti-Semitism’ T-shirts courtside at the Nets’ game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday.

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

The seven-time NBA All-Star added: “I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day.

“I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility.

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

“I am a human being learning 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 meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”

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

Each will donate $500,000 (£440,000) towards causes and organisations “that work to eradicate hate and intolerance”.

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

Irving responded saying he embraces “all religions” and that “the ‘anti-Semitic’ label was being pushed” onto him unjustifiably.

“The events of the past week have sparked many emotions within the Nets organisation, our Brooklyn community and the nation,” the statement said.

“The public discourse that followed has brought greater awareness to the challenges we face as a society when it comes to combating hate and speech.

“We are ready to take on this action challenge and we recognize that this is a unique moment to make a lasting impact.”

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

Donovan Mitchell scored nine straight points in the final three minutes of regulation time and finished with 25 overall to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to another overtime victory over the Boston Celtics, 114-113.

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.

Source: BBC

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