MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” responded on Friday to Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving’s apology for promoting an antisemitic film, condemning the NBA and Nike for their continued relationships with the point guard.
Both Nike and the NBA “believe in social justice, just not for Jews,” said host Joe Scarborough of the situation.
Irving last week tweeted a link to the documentary “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which peddles conspiracy theories about Jews and uses antisemitic tropes and language.
The basketball star and self-styled independent thinker posted an apology on Thursday following backlash over the tweet, saying that he agrees with some of the documentary but empathizes with the pain caused by his post.
“While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibly for my actions,” wrote Irving in his statement.
“YHWH” is God’s name as it appears in the Hebrew Bible.
He continued: “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.”
Scarborough responded the morning after Irving’s statement, saying it “wasn’t an apology” because of the 11-year NBA player’s refusal to fully condemn the documentary.
“I mean, it’s really sick, this guy can’t just say he’s sorry because — you know why he can’t say he’s sorry? Because he’s not sorry, which raises the question, is it really worth it for Brooklyn or any organization to carry this stuff?” said Scarborough.
“Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist added that “even that qualified apology comes all because he started to impact his bottom line because the suspension is without pay, it will be at least five games, maybe longer.”
The Nets suspended Irving for his comments on Thursday, saying that the organization was “dismayed” that the former Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers star did not “unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs.”
“Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team,” the team wrote.
The “Morning Joe” co-hosts called on Nike to end its partnership with Irving, claiming that the company is hypocritical in its support for “social justice” but failure to advocate for Jews.
“There are instances where somehow antisemitism falls into a different category than other hate tropes, if you will,” said guest Donnie Deutch.
“But Nike, the light is on you now. Shame on you if you stay with him.”