NBA star embroiled in anti-Semitism row
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been criticized by the team’s owner after appearing to promote a movie on social media which has been branded anti-Semitic.
Irving tweeted a link to ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America’ to his 4.5 million Twitter followers on Thursday.
The Amazon synopsis of the film describes it as “uncover[ing] the true identity of the Children of Israel by proving the true ethnicity of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Sons of Ham, Shem & Japheth.”
“Find out what Islam, Judaism and Christianity has covered up for centuries in regards to the true biblical identity of the so-called ‘Negro’ in this movie packed with tons of research,” it adds.
The movie and a book of the same name have been described by the likes of Rolling Stone as “venomously anti-Semitic,” which noted claims that “many Jews and European Scottish/York Freemasons have claimed that they worship Satan or Lucifer.”
The book also discusses the slave trade and claims that “anti-Black racism can be traced back to key Jewish texts.”
Irving’s apparent promotion of the movie drew scorn from Nets owner Joe Tsai in a tweet of his own.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” wrote Tsai.
“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... This is bigger than basketball.”
In a statement to the New York Post, the Nets said they “strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech.”
“We believe that in these situations, our first action must be open, honest dialogue. We thank those, including the ADL [Anti-Defamation League], who have been supportive during this time,” the statement added.
Irving, 30, has rarely strayed from controversy in recent years. Last month, he shared a 2002 clip featuring conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his Instagram account.
Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has also made headlines, and led to him missing large parts of last season due to coronavirus protocols in New York City before he was able to return to the team.