Nike Ends Partnership With Kyrie Irving After Antisemitism Controversy
Nike has cut ties with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving after suspending their relationship in early November.
Irving tweeted on Monday a GIF with the phrase “There’s nothing more priceless than being free.”
Irving has been at the center of controversy since he tweeted a link to an antisemitic documentary in October. He initially refused to issue an apology and was served an NBA suspension that the organization said would last a minimum of five games. Irving ultimately missed eight games.
Irving’s tweet prompted Nike to cancel the launch of the Kyrie 8 shoe. According to Irving’s Twitter, the shoe was meant to launch on November 11.
On October 29, Irving took to Twitter to say “The ‘Anti-Semitic’ label that is being pushed on me is not justified,” but still he did not apologize. Irving ultimately apologized in a since-deleted Instagram post after news of his suspension broke.
Irving received widespread backlash for his actions.
Nets owner Joe Tsai called Irving’s tweet “hurtful” and “wrong.” He later added, “This is bigger than basketball.”
The National Basketball Players Association released a statement on November 1 condemning antisemitism without naming Irving specifically.
“Anti-Semitism has no place in our society,” the statement read.
Irving has been embroiled in controversy before. He missed much of last season after failing to comply with NBA coronavirus vaccination requirements. He has also made statements about his doubts that the Earth is round.
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