NBA star Kyrie Irving left the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) with egg on its face after the group agreed to partner with Irving and his team, the Brooklyn Nets, to lead a donation of a million dollars to Jewish organizations after Irving’s promotion of an anti-defamation program. Semitic documentary. Then on Thursday, Irving said he actually had nothing to apologize for.
Now, the ADL is pushing back, with CEO Jonathan Greenblatt commit to not taking money from Irving, but saying he is nonetheless willing to “engage in a healing and learning process” with the unapologetically anti-Semitic.
“While we will not accept any funds from him, if Kyrie is open to direct dialogue to repair the damage he has caused and to engage in a process of healing and learning in a sincere way, [ADL] he’s open to engaging with him,” Greenblatt said. “Time and action will tell.”
Irving ignited a media firestorm last week by promoting a book and movie that denies the Holocaust happened and portrays Jews as an ominous bogeyman. Irving issued a statement admitting responsibility for the “negative impact” of his post, but finally doubled down this week, saying during a press conference Thursday, “I can’t be anti-Semitic.”
The brouhaha over Irving’s anti-Semitic beliefs is a blow to one of America’s oldest and most respected Jewish institutions. The ADL, under the leadership of former Obama administration official Greenblatt, has been plagued by accusations that it provides cover for Democrats while only putting pressure on conservative voices it sees as promoting anti-Semitic views. In recent years, the ADL has accused a litany of conservative groups of promoting anti-Semitism and ignoring similar cases on the left, prompting some in the Jewish community to call it an “echo chamber of democratic politics of the left”. The ADL has also made proposals to the anti-Semitic Black Lives Matter movement despite its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, as well as the far-left anti-Israel group J Street.
“This is another unfortunate misstep for an ADL that appears to have put partisanship and even fundraising ahead of the fight against anti-Semitism.” Rabbi Yaakov Menkenmanaging director of the Coalition for Jewish Valuesthe largest rabbinic public policy group in the United States, said al Washington Free Beacon. “After curating a false narrative that linked anti-Semitism to white supremacy above all else, he rushed to get a donation from Irving instead of the real consequences that, as ESPN sportscasters have pointed out, the NBA would have immediately charged someone who endorses bigotry against any other minority group. The ADL bought into a double standard because Irving doesn’t fit the narrative they painted. One can only hope they learn from this shame.”
The Nets suspended Irving indefinitely as a result of his refusal to apologize for spreading Jew hatred.
The star player first received criticism when he promoted a fake movie Hebrews to Blacks: Awaken Black America, which promotes a host of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and tropes. The Brooklyn Nets condemned Irving’s social media posts, and in a joint statement with the ADL, Irving said he opposes “all forms of hate and oppression and positions.”[s] strong with marginalized and affected communities every day.”
The statement was issued as the Nets and Irving pledged to donate $500,000 each to organizations like the ADL that fight hate and anti-Semitism.
“In light of the events of the past week, we commend the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving for listening to the concerns of everyone who spoke out against anti-Semitism and using this as an opportunity to learn and do better,” he said the ADL he tweeted Wednesday.
That goodwill, however, crumbled on Thursday, when Irving stood his ground during a strange news conference in which he “refused to say he was sorry, refused to say he didn’t have anti-Semitic beliefs, refused to to say that the Holocaust happened. and presented himself as a victim of the whole saga,” according to the New York Post.
Irving, during that press conference, stated: “I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from.”
The episode forced Greenblatt’s ADL to take a U-turn on the issue. The ADL leader said Friday that his organization will no longer accept any funds from Irving or the Nets, but is open to further engagement.
“While we will not accept any funds from him, if Kyrie is open to direct dialogue to repair the damage he has caused and to engage in a process of healing and learning in a sincere way, ADL is open to engaging with him. Time and action will tell,” Greenblatt he tweeted.
Greenblatt also said he supports the NBA team’s decision to suspend Irving indefinitely, writing in a tweet that the player “has been given ample opportunity to do the right thing, apologize and condemning anti-Semitism. It has failed almost every step of the way. The suspension is well deserved.”
An ADL spokesman directed the free lighthouse in Greenblatt’s tweets when asked about the episode.
Charles Jacobs, president of the Jewish Leadership Project, an advocacy group, told the free lighthouse that the episode should serve as a wake-up call to the ADL.
“The ADL, the Jewish community’s most powerful advocacy agency, has been downplaying or ignoring Jew-hatred from politically incorrect sources (left-wing anti-Zionists, Islamist preachers, and black supremacists) for decades, but they will accuse those of right-wing anti-Zionists. -Semitism even when, sometimes, there isn’t any,” Jacobs said. “They have abandoned their mission and become little more than another left-wing political organization, thereby losing credibility within the Jewish community suffering from the rise of Jew-hatred that was built under the his vigilance”.
Irving explicitly apologized Thursday night after the suspension, saying he was “deeply sorry” for promoting false anti-Semitic narratives. The Nets, however, said the late apology is not enough to end the suspension and that Irving will not play until he takes concrete steps to address his anti-Semitic views.
“Such a failure to deny anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply troubling, goes against the values of our organization and constitutes conduct that is detrimental to the team,” the Nets said in a statement. a statement issued on Thursday. “Consequently, we are of the opinion that [Irving] is currently ineligible to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he completes a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct.”
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