LeBron James37, does not condone the controversial actions of Kyrie Irvingwho was recently suspended for playing with his basketball team, the Brooklyn Netsafter sharing 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 received much criticism for its antisemitism. The Los Angeles Lakers player called the situation “unfortunate” and revealed that he thinks the 30-year-old fellow athlete’s sharing of the link “caused some damage to a lot of people,” in a new interview. “I believe that what Kyrie did caused some damage to a lot of people,” LeBron told reporters after watching a basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Friday, according to CNN.
“And he has since – I think it was today or yesterday – apologized. But he caused some damage and I think that’s a shame. But I’m not in a 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 are in. If you promote or recruit harmful things to any community that harm people, then I don’t respect that. I don’t approve of that.”
LeBron’s comments come after Kyrie made headlines for his suspension on Thursday. He then publicly apologized for sharing the link, explaining that he reacted out of “emotion” instead of considering his “Jewish brothers and sisters” in the process. “To all Jewish families and communities hurt and affected by my post, I am very sorry for causing you pain, and I apologize,” he wrote in an Instagram post, which can be seen below. “I initially reacted out of emotion at being unfairly labeled as Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by the hateful comments made in the documentary.”
“I want to clear up any confusion about where I stand on fighting antisemitism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation that set out the specific beliefs in the documentary that I agreed and disagreed with didn’t,” he continued. “I had no intention of disparaging any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuating any hatred. I learn from this unfortunate event and hope that we can find understanding between us all. I am no different from any other person. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I am.”
In addition to Kyrie being 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 anti-Semitism,” the sneaker company said in a statement. “To that end, we have made the decision to immediately suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving and will no longer be launching the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”