NBA: Kyrie Irving apologizes, reportedly could join Nets on Sunday
Kyrie Irving made yet another apology for his social media posts that promoted a movie featuring anti-Semitic themes and, according to a report by ESPN, could suit up for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday when they host the Memphis Grizzlies.
Irving was suspended by the Nets on Nov. 3 due to his conduct on social media and has missed Brooklyn’s last eight games. He is listed as questionable for the meeting with Memphis.
“I’m not anti-Semitic,” Irving said in an interview with SportsNet New York. “I never have been. I don’t have hate in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone that identifies as a Jew. I’m not anti-Jewish or any of that.
“The part that hasn’t been hard is explaining myself because I know who I am, I know what I represent. But I think the difficult aspect is just processing all this, understanding the power of my voice, the influence I have. I am no one’s idol, but I am a human being that wants to make impact and change.”
In the wake of the criticism stemming from the social media posts, Irving said he has had “very impactful” conversations that made him realize how others had been affected by his actions.
“I just really want to focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community,” Irving told SNY. “Putting some type of threat, or assumed threat, on the Jewish community, I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions for the time that it’s been since the post was first put up.”
Nike Inc suspended its relationship with Irving in the aftermath and canceled the release of its next Irving-branded shoe.
The interview on Saturday marked the most direct apology the seven-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star has offered since he was handed his suspension on Nov. 3.
Prior to his suspension, Irving, 30, averaged 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 45.3 percent from the field through eight games, all of which were starts. The Nets went 5-3 without him in the lineup, relying on Edmond Sumner to take on more of a workload in the backcourt.
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