Basketball star Kyrie Irving is making it clear that he’s more than happy to be finished with Nike. The two who cut business ties with each other after Nike accused him of anti-Semitism after he shared a documentary to his Twitter.
Irving had been sponsored by Nike since 2014 and enjoyed a good relationship with the giant sports brand for close to a decade.
During the Nets’ recent match against the Charlotte Hornets, Irving was spotted sporting a pair of black and gold NBA 2K sneakers, however the iconic Nike “swoosh” logo seemed to have been taped over in black, with “I am free, Thank you God… I AM” written in gold on one shoe and “Logo here” written on the other.
Days prior, Irving went to Twitter to send a message to supporters after the association with Nike ended, saying “Anyone who has even spent their hard earned money on anything I have ever released, I consider you FAMILY and we are forever connected.”
“It’s time to show how powerful we are as a community,” Irving’s post concluded.
“We wish Nike nothing but the best in their future endeavors,” said Irving’s agent Riley Irving in a statement on Monday.
In November, Nike had already announced their intention to end their business relationship with Irving prior to the official statement on Monday when Nike founder Phil Knight publicly slammed Irving.
“Kyrie stepped over the line, it’s kind of that simple,” said Knight in an interview with CNBC. “He made some statements that we just can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship. And I was fine with that.”
A previous Nike statement accused Irving of anti-Semitism. The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted, “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism…We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
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