The White House will condemn anyone who fuels antisemitism, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday when asked about Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s handling of the backlash over a controversial tweet.
“Anyone, anyone that is fueling hate, fueling antisemitism, we will condemn. We will condemn that type of vulgar, that type of language, because it is incredibly dangerous,” Jean-Pierre said. The press secretary did not comment on Irving directly.
She added she has not spoken to President Biden specifically about the NBA player.
The Brooklyn Nets suspended him for at least five games on Thursday because they were disappointed by the basketball player’s failure to not say he has any antisemitic beliefs.
Irving initially denied that he is antisemitic and doubled down on his support of a film he tweeted that’s considered antisemitic. But on Thursday, he said he takes “full responsibility” for the “negative impact” of the tweet.
“We will continue to condemn antisemitism, we will continue to condemn hate, hate speech, racism,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday aboard Air Force One.
“It doesn’t matter if its someone with a large platform,” she added.
Jean-Pierre also noted that the FBI in New Jersey identified the source of a threat against synagogues after the bureau warned of a broad threat this week.
“We know this time is painful for Jewish communities across America as we witness an ugly increase in antisemitism,” Jean-Pierre said. “The president is deeply concerned about hate-fueled violence and… he’s taken significant steps to address antisemitic violence in America.”
When asked if the country is going backwards in terms of the uptick in antisemitism, she said that Biden is an optimist.
She also pointed to work from the Biden administration to secure funding for security of synagogues and other institutions and actions to take on hate-fueled violence.
Source: The Hill