Prior to the Brooklyn Nets’ decision to suspend Kyrie Irving, Irving donated $500,000 to “eradicate hate and intolerance” through organizations, including the ADL.
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving was been suspended by the team following his decision to post a link to a documentary about Black Israelites. The documentary, Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, has been criticized for containing anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracies. The Nets weren’t satisfied with Irving’s apology, and felt that he didn’t understand the consequences of his actions. Following the half-a-million-dollar donation Irving gave, he will be suspended from playing for as many as five games.
“We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games,” the statement said.
The film highlighted “the true identity of the Children of Israel” and “what Islam, Judaism, and Christianity has covered up for centuries in regards to the true biblical identity of the so-called ‘Negro’ in this movie packed with tons of research.”
The film also alleges that Arab slave traders and white people have lied to blacks about their “true” history as the real Israelites in order to keep black people enslaved. And its source material is a book filled with antisemitic tropes.
However, during a press conference on Thursday, Irving dug himself an even deeper hole when he refused to adequately answer if he holds antisemitic beliefs.
Kyrie Irving added, “I cannot be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from,” which is a belief that stems from Black Israelites’ ideology, with many believing they are the true people of Israel. Irving’s faith alone isn’t the problem, however, his perceived attacks on Jewish people by posting the link to the documentary, along with his decision to not disavow the film’s Holocaust denial are what made the Nets decide to suspend Irving.