After receiving heavy criticism from fans and NBA legends for promoting an anti-Semitic film on social media, Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving has taken full responsibility and announced to donate $500,000 to fight 'hate and intolerance'.
The 30-year-old promoted an anti-Semitic film "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" on Twitter and initially stood his grounds during a postgame conference on Saturday.
However, Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving on Wednesday announced a donation of $500,000 each to "causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities," in a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League.
In the statement, the seven-time NBA All-Star said, "I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day. I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility."
Irving accepted the responsibility for the controversy but did not deliver a clear apology as he said, "I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light."
Fans and former NBA stars criticized Kyrie Irving
During Nets' game against the Pacers on Monday night, a group of Jewish fans were spotted sitting at the courtside wearing 'FIGHT ANTISEMITISM' shirts and held a protest without chants and banners against Kyrie Irving.
On the other side, NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley condemned Irving's controversial tweet during TNT's Tip-Off show on Tuesday night. While Shaq said that Kyrie 'doesn't care what's going on', Chuck asked NBA commissioner Adam Silver to fine and suspend the Nets point guard.