NEW YORK: The eight-game ban on Kyrie Irving is gone.
The Brooklyn Nets guard took the court first against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night. His first action following his November 3 suspension for “harmful impact of his actions” was in connection with social media posts about a book and movie that promoted anti-Semitic views.
“My deep apologies to all those who are impacted over the last few weeks,” Irving said again to reporters prior to the game.
“I don’t stand for anything close to hate speech, or antisemitism, or anything that is anti-going against the human race,” Irving said. “I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us. And 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 of this.”
“… I meant no harm to any person, any group of people. And yeah, this is a big moment for me because I’m able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong. The influence that I have within my community is very strong. And I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them.”
“That’s why I’m here apologizing. Because I felt it was necessary in my heart to extend the olive branch, the invitation, to let everyone know, not just in the Jewish community, but all races in our world, that I’m here to listen and I’m here to stand with you against any issues that may be plaguing your community. This fight is much bigger than me, and I’m not alone in this.”
“Kyrie took ownership of his journey and had conversations with several members of the Jewish community. We are pleased that he is going about the process in a meaningful way,” the team said.
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