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Brooklyn Nets owner blasts Kyrie Irving for apparent support of antisemitic film

Jason Burgos
Brooklyn nets, kyrie irving
Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai is not happy with his star guard Kyrie Irving, again.

Irving has a well-established history as what might be described as “free thinking.” One of his most popular beliefs is the fact that the planet is flat instead of round. And of course, he had doubts about the various COVID-19 vaccines, and it is why he missed a majority of the team’s games last season after he refused to meet vaccine mandates to play in Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center.

Well, on Thursday he added to that unique history when he took time to show support for a documentary film based on a controversial 2015 book. Before the team’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Irving sent out a tweet that seemed to back the Ronald Dalton, Jr. film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America.

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The tweet is problematic because the film pushes several antisemitic tropes and supports ideas shared by extreme factions of the Black Hebrew Israelites. The group has a long history of homophobia, xenophobia, and, of course, antisemitism.

That support of the controversial film got the seven-time All-Star in hot water with his boss Joe Tsai yesterday.

Brooklyn Nets owner on Kyrie Irving: ‘I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful’

Brooklyn nets, kyrie irving
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In a tweet of his own on Friday night, Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai blasted his star and admitted disappointment in his decision to throw his support behind a film that promotes “hurtful” notions.

“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity, or religion.”

– Joe Tsai response to Irving tweet

The topic of antisemitism has jumped to the forefront of the sports world recently after comments made by hip-hop superstar Kanye West. A performer who has several links to the sports world, and saw many of those ties cut after his recent controversial social media posts on Jewish Americans.

The Nets are off to a slow start, after losing their third straight game on Friday and falling to 1-4 on the season.