Kyrie Irving posted what he called a "long overdue" open letter to ex-girlfriend Kehlani on Instagram Friday night. In the lengthy message, Irving spoke highly of Kehlani’s character and shot down the long-standing rumor that she cheated on him. Kyrie also demanded that people stop being disruptive during her performances. That last remark is most likely about hecklers, like the one from June of last year, who have shouted out his name during her shows. 

While on the red carpet at the 2018 MTV Movie + TV Awards, Irving discussed why he chose to defend Kehlani. "She’s an incredible person, and I don’t ever want to see anyone do anything harmful in her way. I heard from her and other people that people are coming to her shows, and doing just really obnoxious things," he said. "I don’t ever want to see anyone go through that, especially a female like that, and you know, she’s incredibly special. I want the focus to be on her, her career, and that’s it."

Even though they saw each other on the day he posted that message, Irving reiterated that they aren’t dating. He maintains that she’s just an "incredibly close friend."

When asked about the importance of having men advocate for women, Irving emphasized a desire to be a voice for equality across the board. "I think inclusion shouldn’t necessarily just be an idea, it should be a lifestyle no matter what," Kyrie said. "Sexuality, gender, race, it should all be equality at the end of the day. It’s part of my responsibility to really be one of those generational leaders who can be an advocate for that. I’m for love, peace, and harmony. I really want to see the world be a better place, and if I could do anything to change that, then I’m gonna do it."