NEW YORK (AFP) — Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will make a $500,000 donation to groups working to eradicate hate after admitting that a film slammed as anti-Semitic which he boosted on social media had a “negative impact” on the Jewish community.
Irving ignited a firestorm of controversy last week after posting a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on social media.
The film, based on a 2015 book of the same name, has been widely lambasted for containing a range of anti-Semitic tropes.
Nets owner Joe Tsai criticized Irving’s boosting of the film.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-Semitic disinformation,” Tsai said.
However, Irving had steadfastly refused to apologize for his post, insisting accusations of “anti-Semitism” were unfair.
“The ‘anti-Semitic’ label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in every day,” Irving said on Saturday.
“I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.”
In a press conference on Sunday, Irving denied his posting a link to the film constituted “promoting” its views.
But after a wave of condemnation from former players and anti-racism campaigners, Irving softened his position on Wednesday.
A joint statement released by Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League revealed that Irving and Brooklyn would each give $500,000 to anti-hate groups following the controversy.
Irving, meanwhile, admitted that his post had been ill-judged.
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said.