Kyrie Irving says he meant “no disrespect” by a tweet he sent that linked to a movie featuring antisemitic themes which forced Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai to tweet a public apology.
Irving on Thursday night tweeted a link to an obscure movie from 2018 based on an even more obscure book written in 2015, both of which traffic in antisemitic themes. Nets owner Joe Tsai released a statement Friday night distancing himself and the team from Irving’s Tweet, which linked to the Amazon page for a movie called “Hebrews To Negro: Wake Up Black America.”
In a trailer on Amazon, the movie bills itself as “the most highly anticipated Biblical documentary of all time.” The website for the film links to a podcast by the same name and features lots of words unnecessarily in all caps, Bible verses quoted absent context and other clues that it might be frequented by cats who read a ton of books without barcodes.
The Nets, meanwhile, have been OK with Kyrie Irving skipping three-fourths of a season because he thought being asked to get a Covid-19 shot was an extreme human rights violation. The team was fine with him allegedly disrespecting the team’s head coach, a Hall of Famer, at his own house in front of teammates, but finally drew a line at Irving’s tweet.
If Irving’s tweet appeared random, consider that it came from the same guy who picked flat-earthism as a hill to die on and the argument that rules requiring people to be vaccinated against a deadly virus was among “the greatest human rights violations in history,” thereby ranking a shot that didn’t make my two-year-old cry in the same stratosphere with chattel slavery and the holocaust.
It’s hard to put anything Irving says into meaningful context but we can’t ignore that his tweet came at the end of a week in which Kanye West’s fashion empire and personal fortune got Hulk smashed after he made, then repeatedly defended antisemitic remarks of his own. It also came on the same day that racists decided to mark Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter by testing content moderation boundaries, flooding the site with antisemitic posts and reportedly pushing use of the n-word up 500% in 12 hours.