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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Kyrie Irving addresses his support of antisemitic movie

Kyrie Irving in a jersey

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving on Saturday addressed his support of a movie that contains antisemitic messages, pleading ignorance.

On Thursday, Irving tweeted a link to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America.”

Rolling Stone wrote an article outlining all the different ways the movie, which is based on a book, espouses false and damaging narratives about Jews. The book and film accuses Jews of being responsible for the black slave trade, among other lies.

A day after Irving promoted the documentary that shares antisemitic views, Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai called out the point guard via Twitter.

“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion,” Tsai wrote on Twitter.

Irving responded via Twitter Saturday to all the negative attention he was receiving.

“I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs. The ‘Anti-Semitic’ label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions,” Irving wrote.

The book/movie Irving promoted falls in line with the rise of extreme Black Hebrew Israelite thinking, which was also represented with some of the views Kanye West recently espoused. This line of thinking, such as views that Jewish people control banking or the media, is the same type of thinking that led Jews to be scapegoated by the Nazi Germany regime. This type of thinking can lead to hate crimes, and in extreme cases, it can result in horrible extermination efforts as seen in the Holocaust.

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