AceShowbiz - Kyrie Irving has been at the center of NBA controversy due to his recent anti-Semitic post. After being suspended and going through a checklist of items to return to the floor, the seven-time NBA All-Star opened up about being "harshly" criticized on social media.
In his first interview since making return to his team the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, November 20, the professional basketball player was asked about criticism he received after tweeting a link to the "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" documentary late October. Many found the movie promotes anti-Semitism.
"I would like to be on a platform where I could openly share how I feel," Kyrie responded. The 30-year-old athlete continued that he wants to share his opinion "without being harshly criticized or being labeled or dealing with outside perceptions that have nothing to do with me."
Elsewhere during the interview, Kyrie was asked about the Hebrew Israelites who marched in support of him in an attempt to get Kyrie to disavow the group. In response, he said, "I think that's a conversation for another day. Just here to focus on the game."
Kyrie was also asked by a man about "players around the league" who "specifically didn't like the way your suspension was handled." The unnamed man added, "I'm just curious, have you ever thought about filing a grievance or exploring those avenues at all?"
Kyrie replied, "I got to leave it to my legal team and leave it to the warriors I have around me. I have some strong people, men and women around me that are going to do everything possible to make sure that I'm protected and my family is protected and we protect one another." He then stressed, "So I'm sure some things will be done in the future. There's no timetable on that right now."
Kyrie was suspended indefinitely on November 3. He was then cleared from his suspension after issuing an apology over his anti-Semitic controversy. "I meant no harm to any person, any group of people," he stated after his suspension ended. "I don't stand for anything close to hate speech, or anti-Semitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race."
"I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all of this," he continued. "This is a big moment for me because I'm able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong."
"The influence that I have within my community is very strong. And I want to be responsible for that," the athlete remarked. "In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them."
Prior to being cleared from his suspension, Kyrie earned praises on social media after making a hefty $65,000 donation to Shanquella Robinson's family. Shanquella's family is seeking justice following her tragic death.