Kyrie Irving will return to the floor for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday when they face the Memphis Grizzlies, the team announced Sunday. Irving has missed Brooklyn’s last eight games after being suspended for sharing a link to an antisemitic documentary on his social media platforms. On Saturday, Irving sat down for an interview with SNY’s Ian Begley in which he apologized for what happened.
“I really want to focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community, putting some type of threat or assumed threat on the Jewish community,” Irving. “I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it’s been since the post was first put up. I’ve had a lot of time to think, but my focus initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters. My journey is very unique. I grew up in a big melting pot full of different races, cultures and religions of people, so a lot of these conversations about antisemitism or anti-Blackness or anti-whiteness or any anti- that goes against a specific group of people, within my household, we used to talk about it.”
On Sunday, Irving addressed the media for the first time and echoed the sentiment, offering “deep apologies” to those affected by his actions. Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported Sunday that Irving had completed all of the prerequisites initially laid out by the Nets for his return. Those prerequisites reportedly were:
- Apologize and condemn the documentary.
- Make a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes.
- Take sensitivity training.
- Take anti-semitism training.
- Meet with Jewish leaders and leaders from the Anti-Defamation League.
- Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding.
During his media availability Sunday, Irving said that he considered the way that the list was released to be “inappropriate” because “it was released in the way that it somehow pinned me in the corner as if I was guilty of something.” The NBPA worked with Irving and the Nets throughout his suspension to ensure that the rights of no players would be violated.
Now Irving’s suspension, which was initially set at a minimum of five games, has ended after eight. He will return to a 7-9 Nets team whose championship ambitions are growing less realistic by the day. Irving’s suspension may be over, but the cloud this incident created is still very much hanging over this Nets season.