“We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its consequences. on everyone,” Nike said.
The rebuke from Nike came a day after the Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving. for at least five games without pay, saying he was “currently unsuitable for communication with in organization after he shared anti-Semitic film From Jews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America. on social media. The Nets said Irving would be suspended “until he meets the requirements.” series of objective measures to eliminate harmful effects of his behavior”.
“We were alarmed today when we had the opportunity in a media session that Kyrie refused to unequivocally state that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs or to acknowledge specific hateful material in movie,” the Nets said. in Thursday’s announcement following Irving’s appearance on news conference. “That was not the one first once he had the opportunity – but failed – clarify”.
Jonathan Greenblatt, Executive Director of The Anti-Defamation League described news conference as a “debacle”, adding that the ADL could not “in good conscienceaccept the $500,000 that Irving agreed to donate to the fight against hate. causes the day before.
Irving had for days refused to acknowledge or apologize for anti-Semitism before writing on Instagram late Thursday night what he’sposted documentary containing some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives and language it wasn’t true and offensive to the Jewish race/religion.”
He said that took “full accountability and responsibly for my actions”, adding: “To all the Jewish families and communities that have suffered and suffered from my post, I am very sorry that caused you’re hurt and I’m sorry.” He said he “reacted first out of emotions due to the unfair label of an anti-Semite, instead of focusing on healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who suffered from hateful remarks made in documentary”.
Irving has history of controversy. He spoke candidly about his rejection of the coronavirus vaccine and New York’s mandate to vaccinate. Spat led Nets to oust Irving for more than two months last season. Irving said at the time that it was “not a political affair” but “about my life and what I choose to do”.
The Nets consumed by Irving’s controversial game behavior and mired in so low start broke up this season with coach Steve Nash.
Irving’s suspension from the Nets and aftermath with Nike comes after Adidas cut ties with Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, after he repeatedly made antisemitic comments on social media. Experts have warned of increasingly brazen anti-Semitism at a time when incidents of persecution, vandalism and violence against Jews were in their highest levels in decades.
Ben Golliver contributed to this report.