The repercussions keep coming for NBA star Kyrie Irving after posting about an antisemitic film on Twitter. On Friday, Nike announced that they will be suspending their relationship with the Brooklyn Nets point guard ahead of the launch of his Kyrie 8 signature shoes.
Nike Has Decided To Suspend Their Relationship With Kyrie Irving Ahead Of The Kyrie 8 Launch
In a statement to USA Today Sports, Nike explained their decision. “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism. We’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately.”
A similar statement was released to PEOPLE stating, “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.”
This decision came just one day after the Brooklyn Nets announced that they are suspending Irving “for at least five games without pay.” Earlier in the week, Irving, along with the Nets organization, pledged a combining $1 million donation to organizations in an effort to “eradicate hate and intolerance” after Irving failed to take a clear stance against antisemitism when he was asked by the media if he felt remorse for tweeting a link that promoted a 2018 movie based on the 2014 book “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” Irving responded to the media that some things in the film “were questionable.”
Kyrie Irving And Nike Had Issues In The Past
Irving and Nike’s relationship began to diminish before his latest scandal. In July 2021, Irving said he had “nothing to do with the design or marketing” of the Kyrie 8 shoes. He also described leaked photos of the shoes “trash” and said, “Nike plans to release it without my okay regardless of what I say, so I apologize in advance to all my sneakerheads and true supporters of the KAI11 brand.”
Irving later issued a statement about the shoes that read, “When you’re building something great, there sometimes comes a point when you need to recalibrate and refocus to ensure everyone involved is aligned. This is where the KAI11 brand and Nike are. It was unfair to put the blame on Nike or any one person. With that being said, we are diligently working, restructuring, and reimaging things together to make sure we get it right.”
Kyrie Irving Issued An Apology On Instagram
After the NBA star was suspended for at least five games, he issued a statement on Instagram apologizing to the Jewish community. His statement, accompanied by a blackout photo began, “While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibly for my actions. I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this.”
Irving‘s statement continued explaining that he never meant to cause anyone any pain from his post and that he didn’t mean to disrespect anyone. “To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize. I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary,” he wrote.
“I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti-semiticism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with. I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.”