Kyrie Irving’s relationship with Nike has officially ended, the footwear and sportswear maker said Monday, a move that comes a month after the company suspended the Brooklyn Guard as part of the fallout for tweeting a link to a film containing anti-Semitic material.
“Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete,” the company said in a statement.
Irving’s agent and stepmother, Shetellia Riley Irving, told the New York Times that the sides have “mutually decided to part ways and we wish Nike all the best.” Irving, without mentioning Nike by name, appeared to address the matter on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.
“Anyone who has spent their hard-earned money on anything I’ve ever published, consider you FAMILY and we’re linked forever,” the Nets guard wrote. “It’s time to show how powerful we are as a community.”
Anyone who has spent their hard earned money on anything I have ever published consider you FAMILY and we are linked forever.
It’s time to show how powerful we are as a community.
Irving has sported his signature Nike line in recent games. It is unknown if the formal end of his relationship with Nike will affect this, at least in the short term. He has been a Nike athlete throughout his NBA career since 2011 and got his first signature shoe from the company in 2014.
When Nike suspended Irving in early November, the company was just days away from releasing the Kyrie 8, which would have been the latest in its signature line.
“We believe there is no place for hate speech at Nike, and we condemn anti-Semitism in all forms,” the Beaverton, Oregon-based company said at the time.
“I don’t stand for anything that comes close to hate speech or anti-Semitism or is directed against humanity,” Irving said on the day the Nets rehired him.
Irving has had no shortage of controversial opinions throughout his career. He repeatedly questioned whether the earth was round before finally apologizing to the science teachers. Last year, his refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine resulted in him being banned from attending most of the Nets’ home games.