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Nike Ends Relationship With Kyrie Irving

Irving’s dismissal comes as sportswear brands are coming under increasing public scrutiny for the actions of their high-profile collaborators.
Irving’s dismissal comes as sportswear brands are coming under increasing public scrutiny for the actions of their high-profile collaborators. (Shutterstock)

The NBA player is no longer a Nike athlete, the brand told BoF.

Earlier on Monday, The Athletic reported that Nike had parted ways with Irving after suspending him on Nov. 4, when the NBA player shared a link to film with anti-semitic views and initially refused to apologise for his actions. The brand also paused the release of Irving’s Kyrie 8 sneakers.

The Nike endorsement saw the Brooklyn Nets player receive $11 million per year since 2011, according to sports business publication Sportico. Last season, 50 NBA players wore his signature sneakers — which Nike first launched in 2014 — second only to the late Kobe Bryant’s Nike sneaker franchise.

Irving’s dismissal comes as sportswear brands are coming under increasing public scrutiny for the actions of their high-profile collaborators. In October, Adidas terminated its partnership with Ye, the artist and designer previously known as Kanye West, following a string of controversies, including a series of anti-semitic comments.

Earlier today, Irving shared a meme on Twitter with the wording: “There’s nothing more priceless than being free.”

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