Nets, Anti-Defamation League ask Amazon to remove movie that sparked Kyrie Irving fiasco

Much of the scrutiny over Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving tweeting out a link to an antisemitic documentary on Amazon has been directed at the now-suspended player, but more than a few people have questions for the retail and streaming giant and how it's allowing its platform to be used.

That group now includes the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League, who sent a joint letter to Amazon founder and executive Jeff Bezos requesting the film and the book it's based on either be removed from the platform or have a content warning attached.

The film, released in 2018, contains a litany of antisemitic conspiracy theories and falsehoods, including a fabricated quote from Adolf Hitler, whose name is misspelled. The book also claims the fact that six million Jews died in the Holocaust to be a lie spread by "the Jewish controlled media in America."

Rolling Stone laid out the documentary's claims in greater detail, but the bottom line is it basically argues the Jewish people secretly control the world and are responsible for much of the oppression of Black people, whom it claims to be the true descendants of ancient Israelites. That claim is the basis of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, whose extremist sects have been notorious for antisemitism.

The documentary remains available on Prime Video as of Friday, costing $11.99 to rent and a whopping $49.99 to purchase.

Amazon has so far remained quiet about its role in the Irving situation, though the Nets and ADL might now be forcing its hand.

Kyrie Irving suspended, has $500K donation rejected by ADL

As far as Irving the player is concerned, the matter came to a head on Thursday, one week after he first tweeted a link to the highly problematic video.

After days of refusing to denounce the video or apologize, the Nets released a statement alongside the ADL on Wednesday that quoted him acknowledging "negative" impact on the Jewish people and pledging a $500,000 personal donation, which the Nets would match. Many noted the statement contained no actual apology from Irving, though, leading to a harsh statement from NBA commissioner Adam Silver and a disastrous meeting with reporters on Thursday.

Asked if he had antisemitic beliefs, yes or no, Irving did not say no and instead alluded to the Black Hebrew Israelites' claims. Hours later, the Nets suspended him and the ADL announced it was rejecting his donation.

Irving finally apologized later that night, which Nets general manager Sean Marks said was "a good first step" to returning to the team.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)
The Kyrie Irving circus has so far mostly ignored the role of Amazon in platforming an antisemitic documentary. Not anymore. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

In a subsequent report from ESPN, it was revealed the ADL never actually had any communication with Irving himself before the Nets' statement was released, and that the point guard had also not returned any texts from Nets owner Joseph Tsai while the billionaire was desperately working to put out the fire engulfing his team.

Clearly, the ADL doesn't seem interested in working with Irving anymore, but it is still willing to partner with the Nets to ensure the antisemitic movie at the center of all this is deplatformed.

Jeff Bezos may be trying to enter world of sports ownership soon

One reason the ADL could have a little more leverage than you'd think is a recent report that Bezos is interested in purchasing the NFL's Washington Commanders, whose owner Dan Snyder recently announced he would explore selling the club.

There are already plenty of skeletons in Bezos' closet, but you would imagine one of the richest men in the world would not want any hint of tolerance for antisemitism around him as he tries to enter one of the world's most exclusive (and lucrative) clubs.