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    What to Know About Kyrie Irving’s Antisemitic Movie Post and the Fallout

    Irving, the Nets guard, has faced backlash since he promoted an antisemitic film on social media last month.Nets guard Kyrie Irving is facing backlash for posting a link on Twitter to an antisemitic film last month.For a week, he declined to apologize or say that he held no antisemitic beliefs, prompting the Nets on Nov. 3 to suspend him indefinitely. He has since apologized, but the fallout continues: On Nov. 4, Nike condemned hate and antisemitism, and suspended its relationship with Irving immediately.Irving, a seven-time N.B.A. All-Star, has been with the Nets since 2019. He won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, but over the past few years he has often been discussed more for his off-court views. In a 2018 interview with The New York Times, he suggested that the Earth might be flat, and over the past year he had refused to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.Here is what you need to know.Here’s what you need to know:What did Irving post on Twitter?When did the backlash start?How did Irving respond?Why did the Nets suspend Irving?What did Irving say in his apology?Why did Nike cut ties with Irving after he apologized?Will Irving play for the Nets again?What did Irving post on Twitter?On Oct. 27, Irving tweeted a link to “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” a 2018 film driven by antisemitic tropes about Jewish people lying about their origins. Among its false and outlandish claims is the assertion that the Holocaust never happened.Irving also made an Instagram post with a screenshot of the film’s rental page on Amazon, which he had linked to on Twitter. Neither post included a caption or comment from Irving.The Instagram post was part of a story, a format that expires after 24 hours; the tweet was deleted Oct. 30.In a letter dated Nov. 4, the Anti-Defamation League and the Nets called on Amazon to take down or add explanatory context to the film and a related book, writing that they were “designed to inflame hatred and, now that it was popularized by Mr. Irving, will lead directly to the harm of Jews.”When did the backlash start?On Oct. 28, Rolling Stone magazine reported on some of the film’s antisemitic messages. Many other news media outlets began reporting on the article and Irving’s tweet.That night, the Nets’ owner Joe Tsai posted about the situation on Twitter, adding that it was “bigger than basketball”:“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.”On Oct. 29, the N.B.A. released a statement condemning hate speech, but it did not name Irving. On Nov. 1, the N.B.A. players’ union, the National Basketball Players Association, issued a statement condemning antisemitism, but like the N.B.A., it did not name Irving, who is one of the union’s vice presidents.Antisemitism in AmericaAntisemitism is one of the longest-standing forms of prejudice, and those who monitor it say it is now on the rise across the country.Perilous Times: With instances of hate speech on social media and reported incidents on the rise, this fall has become increasingly worrisome for American Jews.Kanye West: The rapper and designer, who now goes by Ye has been widely condemned for recent antisemitic comments. The fallout across industries has been swift.Kyrie Irving: The Nets suspended the basketball player after he defended his support of an antisemitic movie. His behavior appalled and frightened many of his Jewish fans.Midterms: No major contest this year has been shaped by concerns of antisemitism more prominently than the Pennsylvania governor’s race.How did Irving respond?Irving addressed his posts publicly for the first time Oct. 29, after the Nets lost to the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. During a contentious news conference, Irving doubled down on his support of the film and an antigovernment conspiracy theory promoted by the Infowars host Alex Jones.“History is not supposed to be hidden from anybody,” Irving said. He added: “I’m not going to stand down on anything I believe in. I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me.”Irving accused an ESPN reporter of trying to “dehumanize” him as he and the reporter argued about whether Irving had “promoted” the film by posting about it.The Nets played the Pacers again Oct. 31 at Barclays Center and faced the Bulls in Chicago on Nov. 1, but the team did not make Irving available to reporters after either game. General Manager Sean Marks said the team did not “want to cause more fuss right now, more interaction with people.” (The Nets, who have struggled on the court, also fired their head coach, Steve Nash, on Nov. 1, but Marks said the move was not related to Irving’s situation.)On Nov. 2, Irving announced with the Anti-Defamation League that he would donate $500,000 to anti-hate causes. The Nets said they would do the same.“I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility,” Irving said in a statement. “I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles.”Why did the Nets suspend Irving?Irving last played for the Nets in a Nov. 1 game against the Chicago Bulls. He scored just 4 points in 33 minutes.Dustin Satloff/Getty ImagesBy Nov. 3, Irving had not apologized, and he had not been clear about what content he disagreed with in the film. N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver said he would meet with Irving soon.“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said in a statement. He added: “I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.”About 30 minutes after Silver’s statement, Irving spoke to reporters at a Nets practice: “I didn’t mean to cause any harm. I’m not the one that made the documentary.”When asked what specific points in the film he did not agree with, Irving responded vaguely. “Some of the criticism of the Jewish faith and the community, for sure,” he said. “Some points made in there that were unfortunate.”When Irving was asked if he had any antisemitic beliefs, he said he respected all walks of life. “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from,” Irving said when he was asked to answer the question with a “yes” or “no.”Within hours, the Nets suspended him for at least five games, saying he was “unfit to be associated” with the team. “We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify,” the Nets said in a statement.“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.”Marks, the general manager, said Irving would need to meet with Jewish leaders, go through counseling and meet with the team, among other measures, before he would be allowed to return.What did Irving say in his apology?Hours after he was suspended Nov. 3, Irving apologized in an Instagram post, saying he “had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate.”“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.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.”Why did Nike cut ties with Irving after he apologized?Nike condemned antisemitism on Nov. 4 and suspended its relationship with Irving “effective immediately.” The company had produced his signature sneakers since 2014.Omar Rawlings/Getty ImagesIrving’s apology seemed to come too late for Nike, which suspended its relationship with him “effective immediately” on Nov. 4 and announced it would not launch his next signature sneaker, the Kyrie 8.“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the company said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”Nike had produced Irving’s popular signature sneaker line since 2014; his contract expires in October 2023. One marketing expert said brands have become more conscious about their values in recent years.Will Irving play for the Nets again?The Nets said his suspension would last at least five games, meaning he cannot return until at least Nov. 13, when the Nets face the Lakers in Los Angeles.Marks, the general manager, said Irving’s apology was a “step in the right direction” but “certainly not enough.” It’s not clear if Irving will agree to meet with Jewish leaders or fulfill other mandates from the team. He has not spoken publicly since his apology.Some fans may not be ready to welcome him back, if that time comes. More than one million Jews live in New York City, and roughly 60 percent are in Brooklyn, where the Nets play at Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue.Ben Berke, a Nets fan who lives in Astoria, Queens, told The Times that Irving’s apology was an “improvement.”“But I don’t want him on the team anymore,” he said.Marks said Nov. 4 that the Nets had not considered dropping Irving from the team.Reporting was contributed by More

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    England’s Bukayo Saka Urges Facebook and Twitter to Crack Down on Abuse

    After facing a torrent of racist abuse online, Bukayo Saka said he didn’t want anyone to deal with such “hateful and hurtful messages.”After Bukayo Saka missed a penalty kick for England’s national team on Sunday in the final of the European soccer championship, he and several teammates were overwhelmed by a wave of racist abuse.On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, people posted monkey emojis and racist epithets to insult Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, all Black players who missed their penalty kicks in the shootout against rival Italy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and others swiftly denounced the ugly eruption of racist commentary, especially against a team that had come to symbolize England’s racial diversity.On Thursday, Saka, 19, spoke out for the first time since Sunday’s final. In a statement on Twitter, he condemned the online bigotry he and his fellow players have faced. After saying how disappointed and sorry he was with the loss, Saka took aim at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, urging them to do more to crack down on the abuse.“To the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received this week,” Saka wrote. “I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.”Saka’s comments added to growing calls for the platforms to take action against hate speech.On Wednesday, Mr. Johnson said he had warned representatives from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat that they would face fines under Britain’s planned online safety legislation if they failed to remove hate speech and racism from their platforms.England’s Football Association also released a statement, saying that “social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making the platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.”Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it was removing comments and accounts that had directed abuse at England’s team and was providing information to law enforcement authorities. Four people have been arrested over online racist attacks aimed at England’s players, the British police said on Thursday.Twitter said it had removed more than 1,000 tweets and permanently suspended “a number of accounts” for violating its rules.Facebook and Twitter have long had trouble grappling with hate speech on their platforms. Last year, during the Black Lives Matter movement and just months before the presidential election, civil rights groups called on advertisers to boycott Facebook if it did not do more to tackle toxic speech and misinformation on its site.The issue became especially heated last year ahead of the presidential election, when President Donald J. Trump spread falsehoods about voting and made veiled threats against lawmakers. In January, after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, Twitter and Facebook barred Mr. Trump from their platforms for speech that they said had the potential of inciting more violence. More