VIDEO: Fans Wearing ‘Fight Antisemitism’ Shirts Heckle Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving
AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving found himself the target of hecklers wearing “fight antisemitism” shirts during Monday’s game at New York’s Barclays Center.

About eight fans wearing the shirts were sitting in the front row, court-side, during the Nets’ game against the Indiana Pacers Monday night.

The fans reportedly hissed, chirped, and heckled Irving, according to the New York Post.

Instead of confronting them, though, Irving reportedly walked over to them and said he was “grateful for you guys.”

The heckling incident came on the heels of two recent incidents where Irving was accused of posting antisemitic messages to his social media accounts.

In one case, the player took a drubbing for posting a video featuring controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. In another, he posted about a video by a group called the “Black Israelites.”

Irving later deleted the second video mentioned above but also stood up for his right to post whatever he wants to post on social media.

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash added that the situation is an opportunity to “grow and understand new perspectives.”

“I just hope that we all go through this together,” Nash said ahead of Monday’s game, according to ESPN. “There’s always an opportunity for us to grow and understand new perspectives. I think the organization is trying to take that stance where we can communicate through this. And try to all come out in a better position and both more understanding and more empathy for every side of this debate and situation.”

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a break in the action during the fourth quarter of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays...

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a break in the action during the fourth quarter of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center on October 31, 2022, in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Nash added that it “certainly helps” that Irving deleted the post about the Black Israelites but did not say if there was going to be any discipline over the tweet.

But Nets owner Joe Tsai did make a public statement about that tweet. Tsai took to his Twitter account, saying, “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.”

Irving later explained that he meant no disrespect to Jews with the deleted tweet.

“I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs,” Irving posted to Twitter. “The ‘Anti-Semitic’ label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.”

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