LeBron James is speaking out about his former teammate Kyrie Irving’s recent antisemitic statements
Irving was suspended from the Brooklyn nets due to comments he made in a tweet about the documentary “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America!”, which has been criticized for its blatantly antisemitic content.
James, who played alongside Irving on the Cleveland Cavaliers, spoke to reporters about Irving’s remarks at a post-game press conference on Friday, reported CNN.
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“I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people. He has since, over the last — today, or was it yesterday — he apologized. But he caused some harm,” said James.
“It doesn’t matter what colour your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in — if you are promoting or soliciting, or saying harmful things to any community that harm people, then I don’t respect it,” James added. “I don’t condone it.”
The Nets suspended Irving on Thursday after he refused to back down after his initial tweet, linking to the film, was hit with backlash. Hours later, however, he issued an apology via Instagram.
“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” Irving wrote. “I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled antisemitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the documentary.”
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He added: “I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all.”
Despite Irving’s apology, Nike suspended its relationship with Irving.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a statement. “To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”