The Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving will each donate $500,000 “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities,” they announced in a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday.
“The Nets and Kyrie Irving will work with ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), a nonprofit organization devoted to fighting antisemitism and all types of hate that undermine justice and fair treatment for every individual,” the joint statement said. “This is an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and will comprehensively combat all forms of antisemitism and bigotry.”
The statement came in the wake of a social media post from Irving last week that promoted a film that features antisemitic tropes. Irving’s post has since been condemned by Nets owner Joe Tsai, and the NBA responded by issuing a statement decrying hate speech.
As part of Wednesday’s joint statement, Irving said he opposes “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,” Irving said in the joint statement. “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.”
Irving hadn’t spoken since Saturday, when he defended his post, saying he didn’t believe he did anything wrong in promoting the film. He didn’t talk to reporters after either of the Nets’ games since.
“There is no room for antisemitism, racism, false narratives or misguided attempts to create animosity and hate,” said Sam Zussman, the CEO of BSE Global, parent company of the Nets and Barclays Center. “Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to ensure education in these areas. We are putting our prior statements into practice because actions speak louder than words.”