NBA's Kyrie Irving joins Nets, ADL in $1M pledge to fight hate after antisemitic movie

Irving did not apologize for linking to the movie "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" that he shared four days prior which lists the Holocaust among falsehoods

 Oct 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) argues a call in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. (photo credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS)
Oct 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) argues a call in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center.
(photo credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS)

NBA star Kyrie Irving, The Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a joint statement Wednesday evening and pledged to donate $1 million to combat "hate and intolerance." The statement came as a response to Irving's support of a movie that did just that by promoting antisemitic tropes.

Late last month, Irving promoted Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a 2015 book, which later became a 2018 film, that purports to demonstrate how black people are the true Israelites and that their identity has been stolen.

“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said Wednesday evening in a statement.

“I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility," 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.”

 Oct 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) steps over Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield (24) after fighting for a loose ball in the second quarter at Barclays Center. (credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS) Oct 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) steps over Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield (24) after fighting for a loose ball in the second quarter at Barclays Center. (credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS)

“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day."

Kyrie Irving

Notably, Irving did not apologize for retweeting the film link that he shared four days prior to removing the link Sunday, which also includes a fabricated quote from Adolf Hitler, lists the Holocaust among falsehoods perpetuated by Jews and claims that Jews control the media.

Kyrie Irving surrounded by controversy  

Irving has a history of holding views that are unsubstantiated conspiracy theories or are otherwise scientifically incorrect, including retweeting conspiracist Alex Jones.

The statement also acknowledges recent rise of antisemitism and suggests communication is how to combat it. 

“At a time when antisemitism had reached historic levels, we know the best way to fight the oldest hatred is to confront it head-on and also to change hearts and minds,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “With this partnership, ADL will work with the Nets and Kyrie to open dialogue and increase understanding.”

Irving has embroiled the Nets' organization in controversy since his support of the movie first surfaced. He played in three games since showing support for the movie, including Saturday, after which he held a press conference defending himself.

Sam Halpern and Reuters contributed to this report.