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.”
I think his apology actually makes a certain amount of sense, and sounds sincere.
I know it may sound gullible to accept an apology made after all the pressure that’s being put on him to retract his words, but here is why I think it’s very likely sincere:
All groups, including our own, have some members that occasionally say unkind words about other groups that they feel intimidated by.
We’ve all seen this.
Often, this is because the person who says it thinks he is just defending himself against a threat, and he doesn’t begin to imagine that the others are being really hurt, and that that group as a whole definitely does not deserve it.
But when you’re scared, all you can think of is that you must defend yourself from danger.
Although people in our group may not realize it, when you grow up in the inner city, and nobody wants to give you a job because of your background & skin color, it’s easy to unthinkingly absorb (at least in a subtle way) wrong and dangerous idea that Jews own all the record labels, are more powerful than your group, and see them as a threat, as messed up as that idea really is. That doesn’t excuse people having hatred against Jews, but it could be that some people, who don’t always really think before they talk, don’t always mean things as deeply as their words seem to indicate, and should be given a chance to clarify to themselves and others what they really believe.
I say let’s be big enough to accept that this is what happened here, (to a man whose skill at sports make his words more powerful than he may intend), and let’s mend fences, just like we would want him to accept our apology if we or our kids had said something nasty about his group. We can say stupid things, and I certainly believe even those of us who unfortunately say unkind things are just focused on protected themselves from antisemites and danger, and do not have real hate in their hearts.
The Torah teaches us that all mankind is created in the image of Hashem & dear to Hashem, Chaviv Adam … But we often forget Pirkei Avos when we feel threatened.
Of course, if he or others insist on saying the things that Kanye West said, which were clearly a real anti-Semitic position, we shouldn’t be fools & think he didn’t really mean to be hateful. ( Sports figures & celebrities are often expected to talk tough, like they own the world, but Kanye West clearly is way past that excuse.)
So if Mr. Irving sticks to this line, why should we be the ones to insist on not repairing things?
Let’s help there be less hate in the world whenever possible, not more.
Thanks for listening.
I think that his apology is probably real because it was explained to him that black hebrewites killed jews in jersey city. I believe he does not want his words to harm anyone and it was probably explained to him that there is a real world out there besides Instegram and twitter.
Oh please spare the crocodile tears should’ve apologized BEFORE SUSPENSION just another racist hypy
Nauseating. He is financially up a creek because all his endorsements and contracts are cancelled.
Just excuses excuses. If he really believes in equality to all , what would prompt him to utter such an anti-semitic line?
I believe he is means it.
its funny how people that always complained that they were hated, are the ones hating the most. this guy and many other people need to be put in their place big time
I guess those sponsors really pushed hard on farrakhan junior . Did he hire ezra friedlander yet?
i do not know if he is sincere or not- still he is better than eliza shapiro and the systematically anti semitic nyt who never apologized for far worse
Too little too late. Look at what you’ve done.
Production on the new season has already begun and it’s set to premiere next year. But Savetsky publicized her decision to leave on Wednesday, citing “a torrent of antisemitic attacks” as the reason for her abrupt exit.
“I will not be continuing on the Real Housewives of NYC,” she wrote on Instagram. “As a proud orthodox Jewish woman, I thought participating in this series would be a great chance to represent people like me and share my experience. Unfortunately, from the time of my announcement in the cast, I was on the receiving end of a torrent of antisemitic attacks.”
She continued, “As this continued, I realized that this path was no longer right for me and my family. I’m looking forward to my next chapter. Stay tuned — and thank you for your support!”
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Bravo explained that “after thoughtful consideration and discussion with Lizzy, we have reached the mutual conclusion that Lizzy will not be a cast member on RHONY.”