Nike ends shoe deal with NBA player Kyrie Irving

Nike has ended its eight-year business relationship with professional basketball star Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets player who was recently embroiled in controversy after posting a… Link to an anti-Semitic film on social media.

Nike’s move comes after a month The athletic apparel giant suspended its relationship With Irving on a tweet shared in October. In a one-line statement to CBS News on Monday, Nike said, “Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete.”

Irving’s agent, Shetelia Riley Irving, told CBS MoneyWatch that “both Nike and Kyrie mutually decided to part ways.”

Sportico reported that Irving’s shoe deal with Nike was one of the most lucrative deals in the NBA, earning him approximately $11 million a year. Irving signed his first Nike shoe deal in 2014 and was about to release a new model, the Kyrie 8s, last month.

“We wish Nike nothing but the best in their future endeavors,” Riley Irving said in a statement Monday.

Nike parted ways with Irving’s official on Monday, but the first signs were that the relationship was deteriorating.

Nike founder Phil Knight told CNBC last month, “Kyrie stepped over the line. It’s that simple.” “He made some statements that we can’t abide by, and so we ended the relationship. And I was fine with that.”

A day after the separation was announced, Nike slashed the price of Irving’s specialty shoes, offering discounts of up to 50% on some models.

Irving posted a tweet on Monday suggesting he was relieved to be released from the Nike deal, which was set to expire in October 2023.

He posted, “To anyone who has spent their hard earned money on anything I have released, I consider you family and we are always connected.” “It’s time to show how powerful we are as a community.”

The controversy began on October 27 when Irving posted a link to the film “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” ​​on Twitter. summary on amazon Said that the 2018 film “reveals the true identity of the children of Israel.” But the film mentions conspiracy theories about the Jewish people, including false claims that Jews dominated the slave trade.

The next day, Nets owner Joe Tsai wrote on twitter that he was “disappointed” that Irving appeared to be endorsing a film “based on a book full of anti-Semitic propaganda.” NBA commissioner Adam Silver also condemned Irving’s tweet.

After the post, the team suspended Irving for five games. This marked the second consecutive season the Nets sent Irving away from the team. Last year, the Nets exonerated Irving after he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, making him ineligible to play home games.

In a post on his Instagram account following his latest suspension, Irving apologized for tweeting about the documentary.

“To all the Jewish families and communities who were hurt and affected by my post, I am deeply sorry you have been hurt, and I apologise,” he wrote. “I initially reacted out of emotion instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by the hateful comments made in the documentary.”

Celebrities and Jewish organizations have called out Amazon and Barnes & Noble for remove the film from its platformBut Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon said last week The e-commerce company has no plans to take it back.

Despite ending the relationship with Irving, Nike has signed several contracts with NBA players. The company has shoe deals with some of the biggest names in the league, including Paul George, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LeBron James.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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