Kyrie Irving is coming back.
The Brooklyn Nets guard has been cleared to play for Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, marking the first time in eight games since he was suspended by the team for “harmful impact of his conduct,” which related to a post on his social media page that promoted an antisemitic film.
Irving apologized in an interview with SNY’s Ian Begley on Saturday for the “hurt” he caused the Jewish community, adding, “I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it’s been since the post was first put up.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think. But my focus, initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters.”
Irving had initially failed to apologize after meeting with reporters on two separate occasions since posting the link, which ultimately ended with his suspension.
Irving met with reporters on Sunday morning and reiterated his apology.
“I don’t stand for anything close to hate speech, or antisemitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race,” he said. “…I meant no harm to any person, any group of people. And yeah, 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. I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them.”
The Nets had listed an outline of several steps Irving had to complete before returning to team, which sparked outcry from some around the league, particularly LeBron James, who thought the terms of the punishment were too harsh.
The Nets seem to believe Irving has fulfilled those requirements and has done enough to warrant his return.
“Kyrie took ownership of his journey and had conversations with several members of the Jewish community,” the Nets said in a statement. “We are pleased that he is going about the process in a meaningful way.”