The Anti-Defamation League refused to accept a $500,000 donation from NBA star Kyrie Irving as an apology for posting a link to a documentary, "Hebrews to Negros: Wake Up Black America," the ADL labeled "antisemitic."
"Although we will not accept any funds from him, if Kyrie is open to direct dialogue to repair the harm that he has caused and to engage in a process of healing and learning in a sincere manner, [the ADL] is open to engaging with him," ADL CEO Johnathan Greenblatt posted on Twitter Friday. "Time and action will tell."
Irving posted a link to the "Hebrews to Negros" documentary on his Instagram account earlier in the week, a film the ADL said in its own post on Twitter, "raises alarm bells from its promotion of Holocaust denial, to amplifying antisemitic conspiracy theories."
The documentary "uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel by proving the true ethnicity of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Sons of Ham, Shem and Japheth. Find out what Islam, Judaism, and Christianity has covered up for centuries in regard to the true biblical identity of the so-called 'Negro' in this movie packed with tons of research," according to its Amazon listing.
Irving's team, the Brooklyn Nets, suspended the star player for five games without pay Wednesday for not directly saying he is not antisemitic.
"Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team," the team said in a statement Wednesday announcing the suspension. "We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period is served of no less than five games."
According to CNN, those measures included a $500,000 donation from Irving to anti-hate organizations.
In his own Instagram post Friday, Irving apologized for his post regarding the documentary.
"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 said in the post. "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."
He said he was sorry for posting about the film without knowing the "context" of the beliefs expressed in it.
"I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate," he said. "I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all."
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