(JTA) — Former NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire called for an end to anti-Semitism among African-Americans.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Stoudemire said he wanted to “address the situation that happened in Monsey, with the brother that had the attacks on the Jewish people. Anti-Semitic attacks.”
His video statement continues: “One thing we gotta realize is that African Americans are also Semitic people, being that they are from the lost tribes of Israel, so therefore if you have any anti-Semitic comments, you are actually showing your ignorance because you are speaking against yourself. Secondly, for you to attack someone who’s trying to keep the ordinance of God, who’s trying to keep the commandments, trying to really reach a high level of righteousness, for you to attack someone in that manner shows another level of ignorance. So therefore, it’s unacceptable to have anti-Semitic slurs or any hate crime, especially if you are a man of God.”
Stoudemire identifies with the Hebrew Israelites, African-Americans who believe they are connected to the biblical Israelites, and observes Jewish holidays. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in September that he is in the process of an Orthodox conversion to Judaism.
He called on Jews to “stay strong in your faith, in your belief, and Israelites, do not allow this to be something that hinder your belief. Stay strong, teach peace and love, and continue to grow as a people.”
Stoudemire played for the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns among other teams in a 16-year NBA career. He also played for the professional Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem.
In October he signed a deal to play for the Fujian Sturgeons in the Chinese Basketball Association after failing to mount an NBA comeback.