An American basketball star has apologized after being suspended by his club for sharing anti-Semitic material on social media.
Kyrie Irving, 30, has been criticized for failing to apologize early for retweeting a link to a documentary featuring anti-Semitic tropes.
His apology comes hours after he was suspended by his club, the Brooklyn Nets, for at least five games.
In an Instagram post, Owen said he was “deeply sorry” and took full responsibility for “my actions,” but insisted he still agreed with some points in the film.
He shared a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Blacks: Awakening Black America,” which civil society groups denounced as anti-Semitic.
In his apology, Irving admitted that the film “contains some false anti-Semitic speech, narrative and language that are untrue and offensive to Jewish race/religion”.
Before he shared his apology, his club said they were frustrated by his repeated failure to “make it clear that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs” during his press conference on Thursday, adding that he was “not fit to be with Brooklyn at this time.” Nets contact”.
Earlier, National Basketball Association president Adam Silver said he was “disappointed” Irving failed to offer an “unreserved apology.”
Rapper Kanye West, who has been criticized for making anti-Semitic remarks on social media and in interviews, tweeted a photo of the defender on Thursday to show his support for Irving.
Irving said in his Instagram post: “I want to clear up any confusion I have about my stance against anti-Semitism, the facts I have for posting the documentary without context and outlining my specific beliefs about the documentary I agree and disagree with. Apologize for explaining.
“I have no intention of disrespecting any Jewish cultural history of the Holocaust or perpetuating any hatred.”
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Owen added: “To all the Jewish families and communities hurt and impacted by my post, I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused you, and I sincerely apologize.”
On Wednesday, Owen and the club announced they would be donating $500,000 (£446,223) each to anti-hate causes.
This is the second straight season the Nets have missed Irving.
Last year, he refused the COVID-19 vaccine, making him ineligible for home games.