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Utah Jazz player apologizes for controversial retweet

Posted at 7:25 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 21:25:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah Jazz rookie is apologizing for a retweet he sent that upset many in Utah’s Jewish community.

Thursday, Justin Wright-Foreman retweeted a tweet that read, “Nick Cannon said nothing wrong. Everyone just sensitive and hates the truth.”

The message was referencing comments made my comedian Nick Cannon.

Cannon has faced criticism for comments he made during a podcast that many believed were antisemitic.

In that podcast interview, Cannon said Blacks are “true Hebrews.” He added, “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people.”

Wright-Foreman’s retweet seemed to indicate support for Cannon’s comments.

“The comments were pretty vile in my opinion. It was upsetting, it was quite hurtful,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel of Chabad of Utah. “There are so many powerful conversations being had about racial justice and about different communities finding a voice that they felt they never had for so many years. It’s sad that in some peoples’ minds, those conversations can’t be had without putting down other minorities.”

Zippel immediately voiced his displeasure with the retweet. His sentiments were echoed by others in the community.

“When people are saying things or doing things, they need to stop and realize first and think first before they retweet,” said Jeanetta Williams, the president of the NAACP, Salt Lake. “Think first before they say or make a statement about anything, because words matter and words do hurt.”

Friday, Wright-Foreman responded to the outcry.

“I would like to apologize for my retweet,” Wright-Foreman said while on a Zoom call with reporters. “I wasn’t educated enough on the topic and therefore, I want to say I apologize. I did not mean to offend anybody. Those are not my beliefs and values and I just want to once again say, I apologize.

Rabbi Zippel is grateful for the apology.

“I don’t think Justin should lose his livelihood or should lose his dream he has been chasing because of these comments. I think it’s a great opportunity for education,” Rabbi Zippel said. “We cannot be responding to hate with hate. We can’t be responding to negativity with more negativity. It’s an opportunity to come together, educate, have important conversations and make the world a better place for all our communities.”

The retweet inspired a talk and a chance to learn. These conversations are ways Rabbi Zippel believes people can overcome their differences.

“I’d welcome an opportunity to sit down with Justin and hear about his experiences and what he’d like to know and what he might not know about the Jewish community.” Rabbi Zippel said. “I think that, at the end of the day, that is the only way society can heal.”