Nets owner Joe Tsai said on Twitter on Friday that he met with Kyrie Irving and his family and does not believe that the point guard is antisemitic.
Tsai said the meeting took place on Thursday with his wife, Clara Wu Tsai, in attendance.
“Clara and I met with Kyrie and his family yesterday,” Tsai tweeted. “We spent quality time to understand each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group.”
The Nets suspended Irving for at least five games without pay on Nov. 3 after he linked to an antisemitic film on his Instagram and Twitter accounts on Oct. 27.
Irving initially didn’t apologize for linking to the film but issued an apology on his Instagram account hours after the Nets suspended him.
General manager Sean Marks said during a news conference on Nov. 4 that Irving’s apology was a positive step but that he would need to do more to rejoin the team.
The Nets laid out a multi-point plan for Irving to complete before returning, which includes sensitivity and antisemitic awareness training, meeting with local Jewish leaders and Tsai, and making a $500,000 donation to anti-hate organizations.
Irving met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday. Silver told attendees at the Sports Business Journal dealmakers conference in Washington on Thursday that he does not believe Irving is antisemitic.
Silver added that Irving has “a process that he’s going to now need to go through.”
“The Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education,” Tsai tweeted Friday.
The fifth game of Irving’s suspension is Saturday afternoon, when the Nets play in Los Angeles against the Clippers. They will play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
During his media availability Friday morning at the Nets’ practice facility, coach Jacque Vaughn repeatedly was asked if Irving could rejoin the team on its four-game West Coast trip. Vaughn said there was “no update” on Irving’s status.
On Friday, the National Basketball Players Association tweeted: “We have been working closely with Kyrie, the Nets organization and the NBA to develop a plan moving forward through forgiveness, understanding and healing.”
After Tsai’s initial tweet, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that he is “very encouraged by the progress that’s been made” and thanked all involved “for their openness and willingness to work toward a positive outcome.”