LeBron James, 37, doesn’t condone the controversial actions of Kyrie Irving, who was recently suspended from playing with his basketball team, the Brooklyn Nets, after he shared a link to the 2018 documentary, From Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America!, which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name and has received a lot of criticism for its antisemitism. The Los Angeles Lakers player called the situation “unfortunate” and revealed he thinks the sharing of the link by the 30-year-old fellow athlete “caused some harm to a lot of people,” in a new interview. “I believe that what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people,” LeBron said to reporters after losing a basketball game to the Utah Jazz on Friday, according to CNN.
“And he has since, over the last – I think it was today, or yesterday – he apologized. But he caused some harm and I think it’s unfortunate. But I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
LeBron’s comments come after Kyrie made headlines on Thursday for his suspension. He then publicly apologized for sharing the link and explained that he reacted out of “emotion” instead of considering his “Jewish brothers and sisters” in the process. “To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” he wrote in an Instagram post, which can be seen below. “I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.”
“I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with,” he continued. “I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.”
In addition to Kyrie getting suspended from the Nets, his partnership with Nike was suspended due to his actions. “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the sneaker company said in a statement. “To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”