Shortly after the Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving for at least five games, Nike has now also suspended its partnership with the Point Guard. Another response to Irving’s promotion of an antisemitic on social media last week, the sportswear brand no longer plans to launch the Nike Kyrie 8 signature shoe.
Speaking to CNBC’s Sara Eisen, a spokesperson for Nike confirmed the move to distance itself from Kyrie Irving. “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.”
Nike’s partnership with the Brooklyn Nets star started in 2014 and has been in question in recent months after reports noted that Nike was unlikely to extend the signature shoe deal. The reports outline that Nike was not looking to take its partnership with Kyrie Irving beyond 2023 due to “uncertainties surrounding his NBA future.”
Following the suspension issued by the Nets, Irving denounced antisemitism in a media session and issued an apology to the Jewish community on Instagram. Irving faced backlash for promoting the film Negroes: Wake Up Black America which centers around extreme factions of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a problematic group with alarming outlooks on misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and antisemitism.
Breaking: Nike suspends Kyrie relationship. Postpones launch of Kyrie 8. (Kyrie is in the top 5 best sellers for Nike, but nowhere near Jordan, Lebron etc) pic.twitter.com/ssrmkGnoBA
— Sara Eisen (@SaraEisen) November 5, 2022
Kyrie Irving is asked if he has any anti-Semitic beliefs: pic.twitter.com/hHI8FFqMbs
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 3, 2022
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