Brooklyn Nets Owner Gives Statement After 'Healing' Conversations With Kyrie Irving

Joe Tsai had previously publicly criticized the star guard for appearing to promote a film with antisemitic material.

Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai shared that he has had productive conversations with Kyrie Irving, who was suspended from the team after he tweeted a link to a film with antisemitic messages last month.

Tsai tweeted on Friday that he and his wife, Clara Tsai, met with the star guard and his family to discuss the matter the day prior.

“We spent quality time to understand each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group,” he said. “The Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education.”

Tsai had publicly criticized Irving last month after the guard shared a link to the film, titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” on Oct. 27.

The team owner tweeted that he was “disappointed” in Irving’s apparent support for the film, and that he intended on having a conversation with him about how hurtful his actions were.

Irving has faced wide backlash over the post.

Last week, he announced in a joint statement with the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League that they would each donate $500,000 toward organizations working to eradicate hate.

But Irving faced further backlash for not explicitly apologizing in that statement. He was also criticized for not offering a clear apology when later asked by reporters if he was sorry.

The guard then eventually posted an apology on social media on the night of Nov. 3, hours after the Nets suspended him for at least five games without pay.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday that he has since had a “direct and candid conversation” with Irving.

“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group,” Silver said.

“Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content,” he added in a later conversation with the Times.

Sean Marks, the Nets general manager, told the Times last week that the Brooklyn team planned to have “some remedial steps and measures” put in place for Irving in order to bring him back.

Nike announced last week that it had suspended its relationship with Irving over the controversy surrounding the film.

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