Nike has suspended their relationship with Kyrie Irving indefinitely amid the controversy of his social media posts containing antisemitic material. Nike also stated that they will no longer be releasing the Kyrie 8. The Kyrie 8 was set to be the next in line of Kyrie Irving’s signature shoe line and was supposed to be releasing next week prior to the suspension.
Nike’s released statement was brief and clear, announcing “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism. 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.”
The suspension comes in the wake of the minimum five game suspension from the Brooklyn Nets. According to owner Joe Tsai, he and the organization made multiple attempts to reach Kyrie for an apology but did not get the desired results. Kyrie did release some statements, but Tsai, the organization, and a large portion of the public have deemed them inadequate and insincere.
Many current NBA players have not made their opinions heard despite past players voicing their displeasure. LeBron James was the first to release a statement last night. LeBron condemned Kyrie’s actions, saying what he loves him, but what he did was “harmful” and “I don’t respect it.”
It is unclear how strained the relationship between Kyrie Irving and Nike is, or how long the suspension will be. Kyrie’s contract with Nike officially expires October 1, 2023.
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