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The Brooklyn Nets suspend Kyrie Irving for at least 5 games for an antisemitic post

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving speaks before the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 19, 2022, in New York. The Nets are suspending Irving for at least five games without pay, saying they were dismayed by his failure to "unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs."
Frank Franklin II
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AP
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving speaks before the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 19, 2022, in New York. The Nets are suspending Irving for at least five games without pay, saying they were dismayed by his failure to "unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs."

Updated November 4, 2022 at 9:09 AM ET

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been suspended for at least five games for "publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate," the organization said Thursday.

Irving is "currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets," as it has made several attempts in the last few days to help Irving understand the harmful impacts of his words and actions through a joint committee, the Nets said.

The suspension, without pay, is for a minimum of five games and will be lifted once he "satisfies a series of objective remedial measures ..." the team said.

Earlier in the day, when asked at a press conference if he has antisemitic beliefs, Irving said, "I told you guys how I felt. I respect all walks of life and embrace all walks of life. That's where I sit. I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from."

In its statement, the Nets said it was disappointed that when given the opportunity, Irving did not "unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs."

Irving, who has long espoused controversial opinions and conspiracy theories, issued an apology via Instagram a few hours after the team's announcement.

"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," he wrote. "I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary."

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Ayana Archie