Kyrie Irving‘s Twitter post of an Amazon Prime video that promoted antisemitism led to furious reaction from the basketball world and the world in general.
The resulting firestorm, exacerbated by his refusal to apologize until after being suspended on Thursday, has been a major story over the past week. It doesn’t seem likely that it’s going to change anytime soon.
ESPN’s Michael Wilbon is furious with what Irving has done, saying the following on ESPN’s NBA countdown:
“There’s always something with him,” Wilbon said on “NBA Countdown.” What he is, is a raging egomaniac who’s dangerous. … The league and the Nets ought to be embarrassed to have this hanging around.”
On ESPN’s “PTI” on Thursday, after Irving proclaimed himself as a “beacon of light,” Wilbon said:
“Kyrie Irving a guiding light? He’s just a dangerous egomaniac”
Kyrie Irving apology
Michael Wilbon made some of his comments after Kyrie Irving issued an apology.
Although Irving eventually apologized late Thursday, which many hoped he would, people are angry at him because he didn’t do it soon enough. That viewpoint is certainly justified as he could have cleared this up over a week ago.
The Nets, when suspending him earlier Thursday after Irving’s “beacon of light” proclamation, noted his reluctance to take any chance to apologize.
“Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate,” the Nets said in a statement.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify.”
After the suspension and after the Anti-Defamation League refused his $500,00 donationIrving released the following apology:
“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 unfairly 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-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.
“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.”
Does this apology warrant the type of reaction that people like Michael Wilbon are still saying?
It will be interesting to see if Irving learns from this situation.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai wasn’t happy with the situation. Tsai will have the final say on when and if Irving will return to play for the Nets. Irving is serving a minimum of a five-game suspension, which starts on Friday night.