When Kyrie Irving shared an antisemitic documentary on his social media platforms earlier in the season, he initially refused to apologize. After several media sessions in which he did not back down, he was eventually suspended by the Brooklyn Nets. At that point, he relented and shared on Instagram. He served his suspension, returned to the Nets, and with time, the ordeal fell out of the spotlight.
But Irving made news last week when he asked the Nets to trade him following a breakdown in contract extension talks. He was ultimately dealt to the Dallas Mavericks, and in the process, The Athletic's Sam Amick noticed something peculiar: Irving's apology post was no longer up on Instagram. It is not clear when Irving deleted the post, but as of this writing, it is not available on his Instagram page.
Irving addressed the media Tuesday when he was introduced as a member of the Mavericks, and he was asked about deleting the post. "I delete a lot of things on my Instagram," Irving said. "I've had things that have happened before in my life, probably not as drastic as that moment, which led to a lot of confusion and uncertainty I felt like about what I meant and what I stand for. I had to sit up with these mics and explain to the world who I am, and I know who I am. I delete things all the time, and it's no disrespect to anyone within the community. Just living my life."
When Irving was asked if he stood by the apology, he said that he stands by "who I am and why I apologized." He did not tell reporters when he deleted the post or why, specifically, he chose to do so aside from explaining that he deletes posts frequently. He then went on to criticize the media for the way it covered the incident.
"I did it because I care about my family, and I have Jewish members of my family that care about me deeply. Did the media know that beforehand when they called me that word, antisemitic? No. Did they know anything about my family? No. Everything was assumed, everything was put out before I had anything to say, and I reacted instead of responding emotionally maturely. I didn't mean to be defensive or go at anybody, so I stand by my apology and I stand by my people, everywhere, all walks of life, all races, all religions, same thing."