Return to Transcripts main page

At This Hour

Kyrie Irving, Nets Donate $1M After Star's Post On Antisemitic Film; Moscow: 107 Ukrainian POWs Exchanged For 107 Russian POWs; Study: Synthetic Mushrooms Can Help Ease Depression. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 03, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is now taking responsibility for his tweet promoting an antisemitic film. He and the Nets announcing that they'll each put $500,000 "toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate." Irving also issued a joint statement with the nets and the Anti-Defamation League on this. In part Irving saying in his piece, I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day. Also saying I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility.


Joining me now is Jonathan Greenblatt. He's the CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. Jonathan, thank you for coming back on. Sadly, we just had this conversation about another key figure in American culture and sports, and music, and here we are, again. How did this come about? What happened since Friday?

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO & NATIONAL DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Well, basically, Kyrie Irving is one of the most well-known superstars in the NBA posted a link on his Twitter account to a film that was hosted -- that is currently hosted on Amazon that is filled with antisemitic stereotypes, very harmful tropes, claims that Jewish people invented the Holocaust, that they were singularly responsible for the slave trade, a lot of the kind of fictions and lies that we've talked about on your show before, Kate, that lead to real-world harm. We discovered this on Friday. We spoke out strongly.

Then over the course of several days, I had conversations with Nets ownership and management, with the NBA front office with the Players Association, and with Kyrie's camp. We finally reached a positive place, I think, last night, but I need to say the impact of Kyrie his words are real. And when he doubled down on Saturday night, and sort of was defensive and incredibly unhelpful, I was alarmed as the head of the ADL because we are dealing today with elevated levels of antisemitism. There is a high degree of concern among Jewish people across the country. So when again, another player sort of in the firmament of our popular culture engages in anti-Jewish hate, there's no excuse for it. BOLDUAN: There isn't. I've read part of Kyrie Irving's statement. What you don't see in there is a direct apology or I'm sorry, do you think he is?

GREENBLATT: Well, I can't speak for what's in his head or in his heart. But what I can tell you is the following. Number one, it was important that he did make a statement and he certainly did last night. And, Kate, you know, again, we've talked on your show people like will be, Goldberg, Nick Cannon, Meyers Leonard, and so many, and Kanye West who is still spewing antisemitic sludge and poison.


GREENBLATT: But what we now have is something substantive and real coming out of this. Kyrie and the Nets have made a million-dollar commitment to funding antisemitism education. The Nets are going to support our campaign Shine a Light in December to raise the tension around antisemitism. But maybe most importantly, Kate, we're going to be hosting a series of community conversations on black Jewish relations in Brooklyn with the help of the Nets, and I hope Kyrie will be involved.

BOLDUAN: Yes, I think it's essential that he is. Earlier this week, Jonathan --

GREENBLATT: It must be.

BOLDUAN: It has been --

GREENBLATT: He needs to engage the community. Yes.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. I want to bring up. Earlier this week, NBA great Charles Barkley, he spoke up. This is of course before last night's statement and the joint statement with you guys. Barkley condemned what Irving was pushing out there. Barkley also was pointing the finger at the NBA. Let me play this for you.




BARKLEY: I think he should have been suspended. I think Adams should have suspended him. First of all, Adam is Jewish. You can't take my $40 million and insult my religion. You got to insult me. You have the right. But I have the right to say no, you're not going to take my $40 million and insult my religion. I think the NBA, they've made a mistake.


BOLDUAN: And the reason I play that, Jonathan, is because last time we spoke, you were applauding Adidas for cutting ties with Kanye West over his slurs. Kyrie Irving hasn't really faced punishment. Talk to me -- talk me through that because people are looking at this and saying, why is it different with Kyrie and Kanye?

GREENBLATT: Well, a few things. So, number one, I just want to salute Sir Charles, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O'Neil, who are three former players with a great deal of wisdom who all I think said the right thing. I think Joe Tsai, Net's owner on Friday night said the right thing.


GREENBLATT: Yes, I mean, I wish perhaps the NBA had taken action faster. But I got to say I believe in -- I don't believe in cancel culture, I believe in council culture.


GREENBLATT: I really do. And so the opportunity now to engage with Kyrie, to sit down on the ground with the Orthodox Jewish community, the black community, and think about how we come together, that could be far more lasting and material than a -- than a simple apology. So, I want to move the ball forward. I want to bring our communities together. I think we have a chance to do that. But actions speak louder than words.


So, we're going to see what happens in the days and weeks and months ahead. I will -- I will work with Kyrie and with the Nets. But if he goes sideways, ADL will be the very first organization to speak out without hesitation.

BOLDUAN: And what you have said, I think it's important for everyone to remember to really eradicate hate. It can't be just about punishment. It has to be about education and community and winning hearts and minds. As a kind of like highfalutin as that sounds, that's how we really eradicate hate in a real sense.

GREENBLATT: You are totally right. I mean, we know that ignorance can contribute to antisemitism. We know that sometimes mal-intent can contribute to prejudice. But ultimately, as you said, we're not going to penalize our way past prejudice. We have to push through these hard times and bring people together. Education, dialogue, that's how we get to the kind of understanding that really the world that's no place for hate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, the tough work. Jonathan, thank you. So --

GREENBLATT: As always, thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

A psychedelic drug could be the newest treatment in the fight against depression. The details on what could be an important new study is next.



BOLDUAN: A prisoner swap just announced, Russia's Defense Ministry reporting that 107 Russian prisoners of war were handed over in an exchange for 107 Ukrainian POWs this morning. The Russian military is also claiming though, to have repelled attacks by Ukraine inside the contested Kherson region. Let's get to CNN's Selma Abdelaziz. She's live in Kyiv tracking all of this for us. Salma, what's going on here?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Kherson is extremely important, Kate. And I just want to start with some context before we get into the details here. There's a battle heating up for that region, Ukrainian troops are getting ready. This is the next step in their counter-offensive. But for Russia -- for President Putin, he's not going to back down easily.

Kherson is strategically important to the Kremlin. It connects occupied Crimea to the rest of those Russian-occupied territories, all the way up to the Russian land border. And then, of course, there's the symbolism here. President Putin simply cannot afford to lose more land to this Ukrainian counter-offensive. So this is going to be a really tough battle.

We have information today that according to a Russian-backed official from Kherson, it is most likely "that Russian troops would pull out of the city itself, not the region, but the city itself." There's also a social media video that shows the Russian flag coming down off of the main building in that city. But again, take all of this with a grain of salt, President Putin again, not going to let go of that city easily.

I also just want to quickly mention those critical infrastructure strikes that we've seen going on for weeks continuing overnight, as well across Ukraine. Yesterday, Kate, I visited a hospital just to see what's at stake. I know we have some videos to show you. Doctors told me you know when the water cuts off, that means we have to stop dialysis treatment for patients. So that's what you're looking at across the country, a frontline preparing for yet another battle and across the country, more and more suffering as Russia targets innocents, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, Salma, thank you so much. I really appreciate the update.

Coming up next for us. The Astros pitchers made baseball history last night on the game's biggest stage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bouncing ball to third, pick by Bregman throw across pitch line. The Astros have the World Series no-hitter.



[11:52:50] BOLDUAN: A new study that may mean big things for people suffering with depression, the research out today shows that taking synthetic psychedelic mushrooms can ease symptoms of the disease. CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now with a look at this. Elizabeth, what does the study show?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, this is such an intriguing study because this is a study of people who had severe depression who had tried antidepressants and all the conventional treatments, and it just wasn't working. So, in addition to getting therapy, they took these patients -- these study participants, about 233 of them, and what they found is that when they were given this drug called psilocybin, it's a chemical version of the psychedelic mushrooms, when they were given a dose of it, their depression symptoms really did go down when they were given the highest dose. And it worked quite quickly, much more quickly than antidepressants. But here's sort of the other side of this. After 12 weeks, that response was not sustained. So there seems to be an issue with how long this last.

And in addition, 77 percent of the study participants had side effects like headaches, and nausea, and dizziness. So it's important to note this could maybe, in the future, be a possibility for folks where other kinds of therapies don't work to treat their depression. But the study authors noted that there was a concern about some of the folks who took these drugs, a number of them thought about suicide. In addition, a number of them ended up going back on their antidepressants. So, this isn't perfect. It's not -- maybe magic mushrooms, but it's not a magic cure, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Interesting -- very interesting. Thank you, Elizabeth. Really appreciate it.

So, if you want a shot at winning a million -- billion rather plus dollars, you are in luck, kind of -- sort of, not really. Let's be honest. After last night's Powerball drawing didn't produce a winner, the jackpot is now worth an estimated $1.5 billion. It's one of the largest prize pools in U.S. lottery history. And despite the history in the making, obviously, the reality remains our chances of Powerball glory this time and every time, remain slim to none.


So, the World Series is officially all tied up at two games apiece. The Astros, they really use some pitching magic to pull out the win last night. And in doing so, they made baseball history.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bouncing ball to third, pick by Bregman throw across pitch line. The Astros have the World Series no-hitter.


BOLDUAN: What fun. The final out capped off only the second no-hitter in World Series history. Game five begins in Philadelphia at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Thank you so much for being here, everyone AT THIS HOUR. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after this break.