Nike Just Suspended Its Relationship With Kyrie Irving

The controversy surrounding his anti-Semitism continues

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on November 01, 2022.
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

If you thought that his resolution to stay unvaccinated was going to be the most harmful decision Kyrie Irving made to his career, the second half of 2022 would like a word with you. In the last few weeks, Irving has been criticized in and around the league for linking to an anti-Semitic film on social media — a decision that’s frustrated his team and left many of his fans depressed or angered.

Now, the other shoe has dropped, in both the figurative and literal sense. On Friday, Nike announced that it was suspending its ties with Irving over his comments. As the Associated Press reported, the sneaker company addressed its decision in a statement: “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.”

That launch was scheduled to occur later this month. As the AP notes, Irving has had a deal with Nike since 2011, and has had a signature line in place since 2014.

As of this writing, Irving’s existing line of shoes can still be purchased via Nike. It’s unclear as of yet what effect this will have — if any — on the sneakers already produced as part of Nike’s deal with Irving.

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