Kyrie Irving defends deleting apology for promoting anti-Semitic film

Kyrie Irving famously issued an apology as part of his net punishment for promoting an anti-Semitic movie on his social media platforms. Mea Culpa is no more, posted on her Instagram account on November 4.

Irving, who was introduced as a member of the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday after the trade out of Brooklyn, confirmed that he stepped down, though he noted that the action itself was not out of character.

“I delete a lot of things on my Instagram,” he told reporters after his first workout with the Mavs. “I’ve had things happen before in my life that maybe weren’t as drastic as this moment, that caused a lot of confusion and uncertainty about what I meant and what I stood for.

“I had to sit in front of these mics and tell the world who I am and who I know I am. I delete things all the time and that’s no disrespect to anyone in the community. Just living my life.”

Irving’s initial posting last October about a movie link that was rife with anti-Semitic tropes and misinformation — and his refusal to apologize and consistently double down in testy press conferences — drew criticism from many in the NBA world and beyond. Severely reprimanded by the people. He lost a sponsorship deal with Nike and was called to sit in with commissioner Adam Silver and Nets owner Joe Tsai.

The waiver was part of a multi-step process Irving had to complete for the Nets before returning from a team-issued suspension. The checklist also called for a $500,000 donation to sensitivity training and anti-hate causes — which the Anti-Defamation League promptly returned.

Irving appears to have removed the post in early December, though he said he still stands behind at least some aspects of it.

kyrie irving dallas mavericks practice
Kyrie Irving participated in his first practice as part of the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

“I stand by who I am and why I apologized,” he said Tuesday. “I did it because I care about my family and I have Jewish family members who care about me a lot. Did the media know before they called me anti-Semitic? No, Did they know anything about my family? No, it was all revealed before I could say anything. I reacted instead of reacting emotionally. I meant to be defensive or at someone. There was no going. I stand by my apology and I stand by my people.”

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