Nike suspends Kyrie relationship; shoe launch off
- Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.
WASHINGTON — Nike has suspended its relationship with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving in the wake of the controversy surrounding his social-media post about a book and movie containing antisemitic ideas, the company announced Friday night.
Nike also said it will no longer launch Irving’s new shoe, the Kyrie 8.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a prepared statement. “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
Irving was suspended by the Nets on Thursday night for at least five games without pay after failing to formally apologize for his post and failing to clarify whether he held antisemitic beliefs.
Irving apologized in an Instagram post later that night, writing in part: “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.”
Irving, 30, has had a lucrative signature series with Nike since 2014.
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