The latest shoe to drop in the ongoing saga centered around Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving came on Friday night. In a statement, Irving’s longtime sneaker sponsor, Nike, announced that it has made the decision to suspend its relationship with him in the aftermath of Irving’s posting of an antisemitic movie to his Twitter account.
Beyond that, Nike announced that the latest Irving signature sneaker — the Kyrie 8 — will not be released as previously scheduled.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the company said in a statement, per Sara Eisen of CNBC. “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. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
While Irving has since apologized for posting a link to the movie to his Twitter, it did not come until multiple combative sessions with the media in which he had the opportunity to apologize but chose not to. He was suspended by the team for no fewer than five games after his most recent meeting with the media, which also led to the Anti-Defamation League saying that it would not accept a previously-announced $500,000 donation from Irving.
The Kyrie 8s were supposed to drop last year, but Irving called them “trash” on Instagram and claimed he was not part of their design or marketing.