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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Nike makes major Kyrie Irving announcement

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Another domino has fallen in the Kyrie Irving saga.

Nike released a statement on Friday to announce that they are suspending their relationship with the Brooklyn Nets guard Irving. The company also revealed that they no longer plan to launch Irving’s new signature sneaker, the Nike Kyrie 8s, which were expected to be released this month.

“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike’s statement read. “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.”

The major decision by Nike comes after Irving sparked widespread backlash by sharing a link to an antisemitic movie on social media and subsequently refusing to apologize for doing so. Irving was also suspended by the Nets without pay earlier this week over his actions.

The seven-time All-Star Irving had been a top-billing Nike athlete since he first signed with them in 2014, and his line of signature sneakers was among their most popular and profitable. But we had heard just a few months ago that Irving’s Nike days might be numbered, and in light of recent events, Nike has finally decided to pull the plug.

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