NBA

Nike cuts ties with Kyrie Irving 1 month after suspending relationship with Nets star

Nike cuts ties with Kyrie Irving 1 month after suspending relationship with Nets star

Nike has split up Kyrie Irving a month after the company suspended its relationship with the Nets basis, a Nike spokesman said The Athletic Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • the company she called off her relationship with Irving on Nov. 4 and said he would no longer release Irving’s Kyrie 8 sneakers after Irving endorsed a movie with anti-Semitic views.
  • During a television interview with CNBC on November 10, Nike co-founder Phil Knight said about Nike’s relationship with Irving: “I doubt we’d come back, but I don’t know for sure.”
  • Irving was suspended for at least five games and eventually missed eight, returning to play against the Grizzlies on November 20.

background history

Irving shared a link to the documentary on various social media platforms on October 27 Nets initially condemned the posts in a statement.

Irving met with the media on October 29 and November 3 and failed to apologize unequivocally to post the content and totally condemn the movie. He also endorsed the “New World Order” views of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and questioned the backlash he received for sharing the link to the film.

In response, the N.B.A and the National Basketball Players Association made several public comments warning against hate speech. Adam Silver, NBA commissioner met with Irving on his way back.

The Nets said in a separate statement when Irving was suspended that the organization “made repeated attempts to work with (him) to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, beginning with the publicity for a film that contained deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred.”

On November 4, Nike announced that it was suspending its relationship with Irving, effective immediately. The company said, in part: “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of anti-Semitism. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”

What does this mean for Irving going forward?

Irving is now a sneakerhead free agent. It seems like a confusing set of events for a player who is still among the N.B.Ais the best and that he once had his own popular shoe line. But it’s also not surprising after everything that’s happened to Irving since last fall, from him playing in just 29 games because he didn’t want to comply with a New York City vaccination mandate to being suspended for eight matches for tweeting a link to an anti-Semitic movie and then refuses to show remorse for it.

At another time, with another NBA star of his caliber, sneaker companies could be in a bidding war for his services, but it will be interesting to see which company, if any, will want to sign Irving now . The economics of the shoe industry are changing and Irving is bringing controversy with it, so it remains to be seen what the future holds for Irving from that business perspective. — Vorkunov

What they are saying

Irving tweeted the following shortly after The Athletic broke the news of the split from Nike:

Mandatory reading

(Photo: Vincent Carchietta / USA Today)





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