NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he is not satisfied with player Kyrie Irving’s response to criticism for appearing to promote a “deeply offensive antisemitic” film.
Silver released a statement on Thursday saying that he was disappointed in the Brooklyn Nets guard and that he planned to meet with him to discuss the matter in the next week.
Irving had announced Wednesday that he and the Nets will each donate $500,000 toward organizations that work to “eradicate hate and intolerance,” according to a joint statement published with the Anti-Defamation League.
“While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” Silver’s statement said.
Irving was widely criticized for tweeting a link to the film last week. He notably did not explicitly apologize in Wednesday’s joint statement. Instead, he said he meant no harm and that he didn’t believe everything said in the film.
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” he said. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility.”
On Thursday, Irving was asked directly by reporters if he was sorry he posted the link to the film, to which he responded: “I take my responsibility for posting that.”
“Some things that were questionable in there, untrue... like I said the first time you guys asked me when I was sitting on that stage, I don’t believe everything that everybody posts. It’s a documentary,” he said according to clips of the exchange posted on Twitter. “I take my responsibility.”
When asked if he harbored any antisemitic beliefs himself, Irving replied, “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.”
The Nets guard repeated that line when asked by a reporter to explain what he meant.