Nets GM Sean Marks Wants More Steps After Kyrie Irving’s Apology
Following his team-issued suspension Thursday, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving issued an apology for promoting an antisemitic film on social media. Nets General Manager Sean Marks said Friday that he expects more, however, and will require Irving to meet with Jewish leaders and the team before he can step back on the floor.
The most recent controversy surrounding Irving first began last week, when the Nets guard praised “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” a film with antisemitic themes and messages. In subsequent interviews and press conferences, Irving repeatedly evaded questions about his beliefs and refused to apologize, only doing so after he was suspended indefinitely by the team Thursday.
“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 on Instagram. “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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““There is going to be some remedial steps and measures that have been put in place for him to, obviously, seek some counseling designated by the team,” Marks said. “We’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back.”
Attempts earlier this week within the organization seemed to involve an effort to discuss the matter with Irving and come to an understanding. Both he and the organization pledged to donate $500,000 each to anti-hate causes. Marks said that this approach “obviously did not work.”
On the floor, the Nets were struggling before Irving’s suspension and haven’t recovered since, losing seven of their last eight games. Teammate and fellow star player Kevin Durant did not support or condemn Irving when asked to comment on his behavior.
“I ain’t here to judge nobody or talk down on the life or how they feel, their views or anything,” Durant said. “I just didn’t like anything that went on. I felt like it was all unnecessary. I felt like we could have just kept playing basketball and kept quiet as an organization. I just don’t like none of it.”
After receiving criticism for his original comments, Durant later clarified that he condemns hate speech and anti-semitism.
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