Nike parts ways with Kyrie Irving as controversy swirls over Brooklyn Nets star’s apparent endorsement of antisemitic film

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Nike has suspended its relationship with Kyrie Irving and scrapped its plans to release its next signature shoe, the latest chapter in the ongoing fallout as the Brooklyn Nets guard tweeted a link to a film. which contained antisemitic material.

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shoe giant nke,
announced on Friday night that he would be severing his relationship with Irving, who has been suspended by the Nets, which the team called repeatedly for failing to “state clearly that they have no conflicting beliefs.” Is.”

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The Nets made the move Thursday, banning Irving without pay for at least five games, and a day later Nike made its decision. Those actions were widely criticized – among many others, the Anti-Defamation League and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Nets suspend Kyrie Irving for at least 5 games for failure to condemn anti-Semitic sentiment

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“At Nike, we believe there is no room for hate speech and we condemn antisemitism of any kind,” the Beaverton, Ore.-based company said. “For this, we have made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch Kyrie 8.”

Irving has had a signature line with Nike since 2014.

“We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on all,” Naik said.

1 pick in that year’s NBA draft, Irving signed with Nike in 2011. Irving’s first signature shoe was released three years later, and the popularity of the Kiri Line earned him $11 million a year from a Nike endorsement deal alone.

Kyrie 8 was expected to release next week. Previous models of his shoes were still on sale Friday night on Nike’s website.

Irving posted a tweet — which has since been deleted — last week with a link to the documentary “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which features Holocaust denials and conspiracy theories about Jews. In a controversial postgame interview session last Saturday, Irving defended his right to post whatever he wanted.

The result continued from there. The NBA made a statement over the weekend that did not name Irving, but condemned all forms of hate speech. He deleted the tweet a day after fans wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts occupied some courtside seats at a Brooklyn-Indiana game on Monday night. Nets and coach Steve Nash split on Tuesday, a development that has been overshadowed by the Irving saga.

On Wednesday, Irving said he opposes all forms of hate, and he and the Nets announced they would donate $500,000 to each group that works to eradicate it. Silver then issued a new statement apologizing to Irving by name, and Irving declined to provide a direct answer Thursday when asked if he had anti-Semitic beliefs.

Obviously, this was the last straw for the Nets, which saw them suspended. Hours later, Irving posted an apology on Instagram, not explaining the specific beliefs he agreed with and when he posted the documentary.

“To all the Jewish families and communities that have been hurt and affected by my post, I am deeply sorry for causing you pain, and I do apologize,” Irving wrote. “I initially reacted out of emotion for being unjustly labeled anti-Semitic, rather than focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by the hateful comments made in the documentary.”

A day later, Nike – which was also criticized for not doing more quickly – swung into action.

Irving became the second celebrity in less than two weeks to lose a great deal of footwear due to anti-Semitic sentiment. Adidas parted ways with Yee — the artist formerly known as Kanye West — late last month, after the German company said it would halt production of its line of Yeezy products this year, as well as to stop payments. The latter would result in a loss of about $250 million. and its companies.

For weeks, you made anti-Semitic remarks in interviews and on social media, including a Twitter post that he would soon be known as “Jewish people to death 3”, a clear misrepresentation for the US defense readiness status scale. There is reference to what is known as DEFCON.

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Irving has expressed no shortage of controversial views throughout his career. He repeatedly questioned whether the Earth was round, before apologizing to science teachers. Last year, he was banned from playing most home games in the Nets because of his refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Nets played in Washington on Friday, winning 128-86 without Irving. A win of 42 points corresponds to the fourth-highest win in the history of the Nets franchise.

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Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said earlier on Friday that Irving’s apology was a step forward, but that several other steps would be needed before he could resume playing.

Marx said, “There are going to be some remedial steps and measures that have obviously been taken to get some counseling … some to deal with anti-hatred and some of the Jewish leaders within our community.” “They have to sit down with them, then they have to sit down with the organization, and we’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring them back.”

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