Nov 5, 2022 - Sports

Irving's Nike deal suspended, shoe launch canceled amid controversy

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a break in the action during the first quarter of the game of the Chicago Bulls

Kyrie Irving in a game against the Chicago Bulls. Photo: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Nike announced Friday it has suspended its deal with Kyrie Irving in the aftermath of his decision to post a link to a movie that contained antisemitic material, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: Irving has been swept up in controversy since posting the link, leading to his suspension from the Brooklyn Nets without pay for at least five games.

Details: Nike said it would suspend its relationship with Irving, meaning the company will no longer launch the new Kyrie 8 shoe due out this month.

  • “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a statement, per AP.
  • “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone,” the company added, according to the Washington Post.

Catch up quick: The controversy with Irving began after he promoted a movie packed with antisemitic tropes last week. The link has since been taken down.

  • The NBA star told reporters that he "didn't mean to cause any harm," and that he respects "all walks of life." But when asked if he's antisemitic, he said: "I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from."
  • The Brooklyn Nets suspended the one-time NBA champion after NBA commissioner Adam Silver condemned Irving's post and his lack of an apology.
  • Irving then issued an apology in an Instagram post, acknowledging the film's antisemitic language. He had also previously agreed with the Nets to donate money to the Anti-Defamation League.

What we're watching: The ADL and Brooklyn Nets have sent a joint letter to Jeff Bezos and Amazon asking for the film to be taken off its Amazon Prime platform, or for a new description to be added with additional context, The Athletic reports.

Go deeper: Nets suspend Kyrie Irving over antisemitic film post

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