Kyrie Irving will return to the court for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday when they play the Memphis Grizzlies. announced Sunday. Irving missed Brooklyn’s last eight games after being suspended for sharing a link to an anti-Semitic documentary on his social media. On Saturday, Irving gave an interview to Ian Begley of SNY in which he apologized for what had happened.
“I really want to focus on the pain I caused or the impact I had on the Jewish community by creating some kind of threat or perceived threat to the Jewish community,” Irving.. “I just want to offer a deep apology for all my actions in the time that has passed since the post was first published. I had plenty of time to think, but my initial focus, if I could do it again, would be to heal and restore many of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives and brothers and sisters. My path is very unique. I grew up in a big melting pot full of people of different races, cultures and religions, so a lot of this talk about anti-Semitism, or anti-blackness, or anti-whiteness, or any anti- that goes against a certain group of people, in my house we used to talk about it.”
On Sunday, Irving addressed the media for the first time and echoed the sentiment, offering a “deep apology” to those affected by his actions. Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report On Sunday, it was reported that Irving had met all of the prerequisites originally set by the Nets for his return. These preconditions reportedly we:
- Apologize and condemn the documentary.
- Make a $500,000 donation to fight hate.
- Do sensitivity training.
- Get anti-Semitic training.
- Meet with Jewish and Anti-Defamation League leaders.
- Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding.
During his media appearance on Sunday, Irving said he felt the way the list was published was “inappropriate” because “it was published in a way that somehow cornered me like I was guilty of something.” The NBPA worked with Irving and the Nets throughout his suspension to ensure players’ rights were not violated.
Now, Irving’s suspension, which was originally set for at least five games, has ended after eight. He will return to the 7-9 Nets, whose championship ambitions are becoming less realistic every day. Irving’s suspension may be over, but the clouds that incident created still hang over the Nets this season.