An American basketball star apologized after being suspended from her club for sharing anti-Semitic material on social media.
Kyrie Irving, 30, has been criticized for not apologizing earlier for retweeting a link to a documentary featuring anti-Semitic tropes.
His apology came just hours after he was suspended unpaid for at least five games by his club, the Brooklyn Nets.
In an Instagram post, Irving said he was “deeply sorry” and took full responsibility “for my actions,” but insisted that he still agreed with some of the points made in the film.
He shared a link to the 2018 film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, which civil society groups have condemned as anti-Semitic.
In his apology, Irving accepted that the film “contained some anti-Semitic false statements, narratives and language that were false and offensive to the Jewish race / religion.”
Before sharing his apology, his club said he was dismayed at his repeated failure at a press conference Thursday to “say unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic convictions”, adding that “he is currently ineligible to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”
Earlier Adam Silver, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, said he was “disappointed” that Irving had not offered an “unskilled apology.”
Kanye West, the rapper who has been criticized for making anti-Semitic comments on social media and in interviews, showed his support for Irving by tweeting a photo of the guard on Thursday.
In his Instagram post, Irving said, “I want to clear up any confusion about where I find myself fighting anti-Semitism by apologizing for posting the documentary with no context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the documentary I agreed with and with which I disagreed.
“I had no intention of disrespecting Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuating hatred.”
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Irving added: “To all the Jewish families and communities who have been hurt and affected by my office, I am deeply sorry I caused you pain and I apologize.”
On Wednesday, Irving and the club announced they would each donate $ 500,000 (£ 446,223) to hate causes.
It is the second consecutive season that the Nets have sidelined Irving.
Last year he refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, making him ineligible to play home games.