Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving made his comeback on Sunday at the Barclays Center game against the Memphis Grizzlies after an eigh-game suspension for supporting an allegedly anti-Semitic documentary called Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America.
Hours before the Nets vs. Grizzlies game, at least 100 Black Hebrew Israelites gathered outside the Barclays Center to support Irving’s return.
Kyrie Irving has a lot of support outside of Barclays Center today
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) November 20, 2022
Gathered under the name Israel United in Christ, the group handed out brochures before the game with bold letters reading, “We are not antisemitic; we are Semitic!”
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) November 20, 2022
Before his return, Irving was required to complete a list of steps before returning to the team. The Athletic reporter Shams Charania tweeted the list of requirements the All-Star had to complete, which included an apology.
Sources: Nets have delivered Kyrie Irving six items he must complete to return to team:
– Apologize/condemn movie
– $500K donation to anti-hate causes
– Sensitivity training
– Antisemitic training
– Meet with ADL, Jewish leaders
– Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 6, 2022
“I just want to offer my deep apologies to all those who are impacted over these last few weeks, specifically my Jewish relatives, my Black relatives, all races and cultures,” Irving said, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I feel like we all felt the impact. And I don’t stand for anything close to hate speech, or anti-Semitism, or anything that is anti-going against the human race.”
He added, “I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all this. And as I look back and reflect, when I had the opportunity to offer my deep regrets to anyone that felt threatened or felt hurt by what I posted. That wasn’t my intent at all. I meant no harm to any person, any group of people.”
By scoring 14 points and five rebounds, Irving led the Nets to defeat the Grizzlies with a 127-115 score.