The suspension of Nike's relationship with the Brooklyn Nets' Irving comes after the basketball star was seen to be promoting the film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, which is considered to be antisemitic in nature, in a tweet. The tweet was subsequently deleted.
A spokesperson for the global sports brand told Retail Dive: “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.”
Nike isn't the only one to take exception to Irving's remarks - the Brooklyn Nets banned him from at least five games after he defended his decision to post the contentious tweet. The team's statement said Irving was "currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets." The NBA All-Star has since issued an apology, but whether it will be enough to save his partnership with Nike is unclear. As for his career, the NBA and the Nets are in discussions as to when he will be able to resume his position on the court.