Kyrie Irving

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

What was the Accusation?

Boston Celtics’ star point guard, Kyrie Irving, apologized on October 2, 2018 for statements he made last year supporting the flat earth conspiracy theory.  Irving argued during a podcast with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson: “This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat. It’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us. What I’ve been taught is that the earth is round. But if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that, can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets?…Everything that they send, or that they want to say they’re sending, doesn’t come back. There is no concrete information except for the information that they’re giving us. They’re particularly putting you in the direction of what to believe and what not to believe. The truth is right there, you just got to go searching for it.” In a recent apology at a Forbes Under 30 Summit, Irving backtracked by mostly apologizing for a voicing the argument rather than really denying that he still believes it.  He emphasized the “power of voice” and apologized particularly to science teachers who had been complaining to him that they have to re-teach their whole curriculum because one of students’ role models promoted the flat-earth theory.  The apology came amidst some raised eyebrows from the general public about Irving’s state of mind, but not much real outrage that accompanies other types of questionable behavior from public figures.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Minimization, Defeasibility, Mortification



“Even if you believe in that, don’t come out and say that stuff. That’s for intimate conversations because perception and how you’re received, it changes. I’m actually a smart-ass individual.”

“At the time I didn’t realize the effect. I was definitely at that time, ‘I’m a big conspiracy theorist. You can’t tell me anything.’ I’m sorry about all that. For all the science teachers, everybody coming up to me like, ‘You know I have to reteach my whole curriculum!’ I’m sorry. I apologize. I apologize”

“At the time, I was huge into conspiracies. Everybody’s been there, like, ‘Yo, what’s going on with our world? You click a YouTube link and it’s like how deep does the rabbit hole go? You start telling all your friends, ‘Did you see that? Watch this video.'”

“At the time I was innocent in it, but you realize the effect of the power of voice. And even if you believe in that, don’t come out and say that stuff. That’s for intimate conversations because perception, how you’re received, it just changes. Like, no I’m actually a smart ass individual. … At the time, I just didn’t realize the effect. And I was definitely at that time of I’m a big conspiracy theorist, you can’t tell me anything.”


Kyrie Irving apologizes for saying Earth is flat: ‘Didn’t realize the effect’ (2018, October 2). ESPN. Retrieved from:

Winfield, K. (2018, October 1). Kyrie Irving apologizes to science teachers for spreading flat earth theories. SB Nation. Retrieved from: