Kyrie Irving says he 'deletes a lot of things' after taking down apology for sharing antisemitic video
Kyrie Irving is officially no longer a member of the Brooklyn Nets, and he might have rethought some things on his way out.
You might remember how the newest member of the Dallas Mavericks ignited the biggest controversy of the NBA season when he posted and repeatedly defended a documentary riddled with antisemitic falsehoods and conspiracy theories, such as a false quote from Adolf Hitler, whose name was misspelled.
That saga ended with Irving receiving a suspension from the Nets that eventually lasted eight games and, among other things, issuing an apology to the Jewish community for circulating a documentary that "contained some false, anti-Semitic statements."
Well, The Athletic's Sam Amick noted in a podcast published Tuesday that Irving recently deleted said apology. Yahoo Sports' Ben Rohrbach also noted the apology had been deleted as far back as Jan. 20.
Irving addressed the deleted post during his introductory news conference with the Mavericks later Tuesday:
"I delete a lot of things on my Instagram. 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 uncertainty about what I meant and what I stand for. I had to sit up in front of these mikes and explain to the world who I am and I know who I am. I delete things all the time and it's no disrespect to anyone in the community. Just living my life."
When asked if he stood by the message of the since-deleted apology, Irving said he did and complained that people called him antisemitic even though he has Jewish people in his family:
"I stand by who I am and why I apologized. 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 before they called me that word antisemitic? No. Did they know anything about my family? No. Everything was put out before I had anything to say. I reacted instead of responding emotionally maturely. I didn't mean to be defensive or go at anybody. I stand by my apology and I stand by my people."
Regarding Irving's claims of Jewish family members, it's worth noting the documentary he apologized for sharing featured an extreme view of the Black Hebrew Israelite ideology, which claims Black people to be the true descendants of ancient Israelites and modern Jews to have stolen their heritage from them. That's not to say the mentioned Irving family members aren't Jewish or what Irving was saying here, but it's important context.
For posterity, here's the full deleted apology:
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. 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. I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism 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.
That apology came around the time the Nets issued a list of requirements for Irving to return, such as completing sensitivity training and meeting with Jewish leaders in the Brooklyn community. The All-Star guard was also asked to make a verbal apology through the media, but never did so.
As Irving returned, it was reported that Irving's requirements evolved as he took ownership of the process, drawing praise from the National Basketball Players Association, of which he is a vice president. Irving's reputation hit an all-time low in the aftermath of his defending the documentary, but recovered enough in the months after that several teams were apparently interested in acquiring him once his trade demand from the Nets was made public.