Nike splits with Kyrie Irving amid antisemitism

Irving signed with Nike in 2011, shortly after becoming the No. 1 pick in that year’s NBA draft. Irving’s first signature shoe was released three years later, and the popularity of the Kyrie line led to him making a reported $11 million annually.

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November 9, 2022 - 1:46 PM

In this file photo, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during a game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on Nov. 1, 2022, in New York. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images/TNS)

Nike has suspended its relationship with Kyrie Irving and canceled its plans to release his next signature shoe, the latest chapter in the ongoing fallout since the Brooklyn Nets guard tweeted a link to a film containing antisemitic material.

The shoe giant announced Friday night that it will halt its relationship with Irving, who has been suspended by the Nets for what the team called a repeated failure to “unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs.”

The Nets made that move Thursday, banning Irving without pay for at least five games, and a day later, Nike made its decision. Those actions followed widespread criticism — from, among many others, the Anti-Defamation League and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

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