For the second media session in under a week, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving refused to offer an apology for a social media post promoting a documentary that featured antisemitic tropes and beliefs.
He did so after NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Thursday morning, saying he was “disappointed” that Irving “has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.” Silver said he will be meeting with Irving next week to discuss the situation.
As far as Irving’s comments on Thursday, the guard said repeatedly that he took “responsibility” for the now deleted post, but stopped short of an apology when asked about one multiple times.
“I take my responsibility for posting that,” Irving said in his first public comments since a contentious news conference Saturday night. “Some things that were questionable in there, untrue. Like I said in 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. So I take my responsibility.”
In typical Irving fashion, however, he was highly contradictory. At one point, when asked if he was surprised that his post hurt people, he responded by saying: “Yeah I think I can ask a better question: Where were you when I was a kid finding out that 300 million of my ancestors were buried in America?”
Later on in the interview he said: “I’m not here to compare anyone’s atrocities.”
Irving did say that he didn’t mean to cause any harm, but that he also shouldn’t be held responsible as he didn’t make the documentary. When asked if he has any antisemitic beliefs, Irving didn’t directly answer the question.
“Again, I’m going to repeat. I don’t know how the label becomes justified because you guys ask me the same questions over and over again,” Irving said. “But this is not going to turn into a spin-around cycle — questions upon questions.
“I told you guys how I felt. I respect all walks of life and embrace all walks of life. That’s where I sit. … I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.”
On Wednesday, the Nets and Kyrie Irving said will each donate $500,000 “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities.”