WATCH: Kyrie Irving Apologizes for Sharing Antisemitic Post, Says He is Not Anti-Jewish


NEW YORK (VINnews) — Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving conducted an interview on the SNY channel, in which he apologized for sharing antisemitic material on social media, and opened up about his feelings surrounding the entire controversy.

“I don’t have hate in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone that identifies as a Jew. I’m not anti-Jewish or any of that,” Irving told SNY. “And it’s been difficult to sit at home with my family, with them seeing all of this and having questions. You know, the part that’s been the hardest is explaining myself, because I know who I am and I know what I represent.”

He continued: “But I think the difficult aspect is just processing all of this, understanding the power of my voice, the influence I have. I’m no one’s idol, but I am a human being that wants to make impact and change. I’m sorry not only to the Jewish community, but to my family members and my relatives, because they know I stand for something bigger. I’m grateful now that I get to explain myself.”

Irving added, “I really want to focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community. Putting some type of threat, or assumed threat, on the Jewish community.”

“I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it’s been since the post was first put up. I’ve had a lot of time to think. But my focus, initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters,” he continued.

When asked about his decision to not fully apologize in the initial news conferences, Irving referenced his upbringing in West Orange, N.J., which he described as “a melting pot for a lot of different religious backgrounds, races and cultures.”

“I felt like I was protecting my character and I reacted out of just pure defense and just hurt that I could be labeled, or I thought that I was being labeled as antisemitic or anti-Jewish, and I’ve felt like that was just so disrespectful to ask me whether or not I was antisemitic or not,” he explained.

“Now to the outside world, that may have been seen as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Which rightfully so, it should’ve been, ‘No, I’m not antisemitic. No, I’m not anti-Jewish.’ I’m a person who believes we should all have equal opportunities and that we should all shower each other with love, and that should be at the forefront,” added Irving.

“But it wasn’t in that initial conversation, and I take my accountability and I want to apologize for that, because it came off the wrong way completely. What I was really getting at was, ‘How can I be antisemitic, if I know where I come from?’ That statement itself was just referring back to my childhood and all the relatives and friends that I have made and that I will continue to get to know on a deeper level. They’re Jewish – some of them are Jewish, some of them are not Jewish. I felt like that didn’t matter, and because I felt like that didn’t matter in the moment, it came off the wrong way.”

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