Nike suspends relationship with Kyrie Irving amid antisemitic controversy
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Nike has suspended its relationship with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, effective immediately.
The brand also announced it will not be releasing his new sneakers, the Kyrie 8s, which were expected to debut 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 Friday. "We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone."
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Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during a break in action during the first quarter of a game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center Nov. 1, 2022, in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images / Getty Images)
CNBC notes that Irving is in a top-five seller for Nike.
The Nets suspended Irving Thursday night for "no less than five games" after he initially failed to adequately apologize for tweeting a link to a movie that contained antisemitic disinformation.
Following the suspension, Irving took to social media to finally apologize and walk back his decision to tweet a link to the film.
"While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibly for my actions," Irving wrote." I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets brings the ball up the court during the fourth quarter of a game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center Nov. 1, 2022, in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images / Getty Images)
"To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize. I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.
"I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti-semticism (sic) by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with. I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am."
KYRIE IRVING FINALLY APOLOGIZES AFTER NETS SUSPENSION: 'I AM DEEPLY SORRY TO HAVE CAUSED YOU PAIN'
Despite the apology, Nets general manager Sean Marks wants to see more.
"I think, after anything like this, you would always hope there is a change, a change in feelings and a change in attitude. The apology is a step in the right direction," Marks said. "It’s not enough."
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during a break in action in the first quarter of a game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center Oct. 31, 2022, in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images / Getty Images)
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Irving was slated to donate $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League earlier this week, but the ADL opted not to accept the donation, saying Irving’s earlier comments were insincere.
Fox News' Ryan Gaydos and Joe Morgan contributed to this report.
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