Nike Ends Kyrie Irving Partnership Following Antisemitism Controversy

Kyrie Irving

Nike cut ties with controversial star Kyrie Irving, ending an eight-year partnership with the Brooklyn Nets guard.

Nike officially cut ties with Kyrie Irving on Monday (December 5).

The company dropped the Brooklyn Nets guard after he posted a link to an antisemitic film on Twitter in October. Kyrie Irving’s agent Shetellia Riley Irving confirmed the split in a statement to CNBC.

“We have mutually decided to part ways and wish Nike the best in their future endeavors,” she said.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania was the first to report on the end of Nike’s eight-year partnership with Kyrie Irving. The NBA star initially reacted to the news by posting gifs on Twitter.

“There’s nothing more priceless than being free,” one of the gif’s text read.

A few hours later, Kyrie Irving shared more thoughts on the split. He thanked fans who purchased his Nike releases.

“Anyone who has even spent their hard earned money on anything I have ever released, I consider you FAMILY and we are forever connected,” he tweeted. “It’s time to show how powerful we are as a community.”

He added, “To my Tribe : ‘I am because you are.’ I pour libations and pray for all of my people today and everyday. I am. Hélà.”

Last month, the Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving for posting an Amazon link to an antisemitic film and initially refusing to apologize for it. Nike also suspended its relationship with the 30-year-old point guard.

“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a statement. “To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”

Kyrie Irving later apologized and rejoined the Brooklyn Nets. He returned to the court after serving an eight-game suspension on November 20.