Sportswear giant Nike has announced it has suspended its relationship with Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving effective immediately after he posted a link to anti-Semitic material on social media.
Irving, who was also suspended by the Nets without pay for a minimum of five games, refused to initially apologise for the post but eventually did so.
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The immediate backlash from his initial actions garnered widespread condemnation from the NBA community and now Nike are the latest to take swift action against the Nets star.
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Irving has had a shoe deal worth approximately $AUD17 million-a-year since 2014 with Nike, but that is set to go up in smoke.
In a statement, Nike said it was “deeply saddened and disappointed” with the situation and confirmed it would halt the launch of Irving’s latest shoe which was due to be released on November 11.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the statement read.
“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.
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“We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
After an uproar over his link to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”, Irving accepted responsibility for his actions and made a donation to anti-hate programs.
But NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he was disappointed at no apology and no rebuke of anti-Semitism from Irving, saying they would meet within a week on the matter.
Irving then avoided an apology in media comments, prompting the Nets to issue the minimum five-game ban with Irving apologising later, the start of his path back to the court.
The team said it was “dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no anti-semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film.”
The statement went on to say that “failure to disavow anti-semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team.”
“There are going to be some remedial steps and measures that are going to be put in place for him,” Nets boss Sean Marks added.
“To obviously seek some counselling, designated by the team, from dealing with some anti-hate and Jewish leaders within our community.
“He’s going to have to sit down with them, he’s going to have to sit down with the organisation after this and we’ll evaluate and see if it’s the right opportunity to bring him back.”