Nike is suspending its relationship with Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. The rebuke from Nike comes a day after the Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving for at least five games without pay, saying he was “currently unfit to be associated” with the organization after he shared an antisemitic film on social media.
Nike and Kyrie Irving
Irving posted a documentary that contained false anti-Semitic statements which he has refused to apologize for. Late Thusday night, he wrote an Instagram post acknowledging the offensive language contained in the documentary. He extended an apology to the Jewish race.
At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the company said in a statement. “To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8.
We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.
Source: Nike for CNN
Nike is Kyrie Irving’s official sponsor since his NBA draft in 2011. Nike created his first signature shoe, the Kyrie 1, in 2014. Kyrie has since gone on to create more signature shoes with Nike, such as the Kyrie 2 and Kyrie 3. Nike has also created a special edition of the Kyrie 3, called the Kyrie 3 “Mamba Mentality”. This edition is in honor of Irving’s late mentor, Kobe Bryant.
Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving
The Nets initially suspended Irving Thursday. This was after he initially doubled down on his decision to share the content on his Twitter account. When asked Friday if there was any consideration of releasing Irving from the team, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters, “No, not at this particular time”. The Nets suspended Irving until he satisfied a series of objective remedial measures that addressed the harmful impact of his conduct.
“There is going to be some remedial steps and measures that have been put in place for him to obviously seek some counseling … from dealing with some anti-hate and some Jewish leaders within our community”.
“He’s going to have to sit down with them, he’s going to have to sit down with the organization after this, and we’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back.”
Irving has a history of controversy. He was outspoken about his refusal to get a coronavirus vaccine and about New York City’s vaccine mandate. The tiff led the Brooklyn Nets to banish Irving for more than two months last season. Irving said at the time that it was “not a political thing here” but “about my life and what I’m choosing to do.”
In other news, Nike has released official images of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Chicago / Lost & Found.