[UPDATE: After the Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving on Thursday for a , pending his completion of "a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct," Irving . On Friday morning, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that, while the ADL would not accept Irving's previously announced donation and "there is a lot more to do to undo this damage," the apology is an "encouraging step" and the organization is open to engaging with him. Nets general manager at shootaround in D.C.]
The NBA released a statement from commissioner Adam Silver on Thursday addressing the joint statement that Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League had released the previous night. In it, Silver expresses disappointment that Irving has not apologized for publicizing a film full of antisemitic conspiracy theories. Shortly after the press release was published, in his first public comments since a . And shortly after that non-apology, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that Irving had broken his promise to take responsibility.
Greenblatt shared a video of Irving, after Thursday's practice, refusing to give a yes-or-no answer when asked if he has any antisemitic beliefs. (Irving first lamented that the question was being asked and said he respects and embraces "all walks of life," then said twice that he "cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.") Along with the video, Greenblatt tweeted that the answer to the question "is always 'NO' without equivocation." He added that the Anti-Defamation League took Irving at his word "when he said he took responsibility, but today he did not make good on that promise. He clearly has a lot of work to do."
In a follow-up tweet, Greenblatt expressed support for Silver: "We are glad NBA commissioner Adam Silver will meet with Kyrie and demand an unqualified apology. Silver's statement echoes the very issues we plan to address with Kyrie, but they are even more urgent in light of Kyrie's statements today."
Silver's statement, in full:
"Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material. While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize. I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss this situation."
Irving posted about the film, entitled "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America," last Thursday. A week later,. The film -- and the book that it is based on -- asserts that "The Jews have established five major falsehoods which work to conceal their nature and protect their status and power." One of the purported falsehoods: "That 6 million people were killed in a holocaust during WWII." (Irving said Thursday that "the Holocaust in itself is an event that means something to a large group of people that suffered something that could have been avoided," adding that he didn't believe "some of the criticism of the Jewish faith and the community" in the film.)
In the joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League, Irving and the Nets organization pledged to donate $500,000 each "toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities." They also both pledged to work with the Anti-Defamation League in "an an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and will comprehensively combat all forms of antisemitism and bigotry."
The prepared statement also included this quote attributed to Irving:
"I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day," said Kyrie Irving. "I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light."
Irving called himself a "beacon of light" again on Thursday afternoon. When asked if he had personally met with the Anti-Defamation League, however, he said, "I was informed that they wanted to have a meeting, and we handled it." The New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy reported Wednesday that Irving had sent his father and stepmother/agent to meet with Anti-Defamation League leadership, rather than going himself.
Asked if he expects Irving to be in the lineup -- or potentially suspended -- when the Nets visit the Washington Wizards on Friday, interim coach Jacque Vaughn said: "I'm not going to touch that. I'm not sure the parameters of what was said, what's been out there. I was at practice today, and the group out here that practiced, I expect 'em to play."