Nike drops Kyrie Irving over anti-Semitism controversy

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Nike has officially cut ties with Brooklyn Nets basketball star Kyrie Irving after he posted an anti-Semitic video on social media.

Nike announced Monday that Irving was no longer under contract with the footwear giant.


Irving's agent Shetellia Riley Irving told CNBC the decision to sever the contract was mutual.

"We have mutually decided to part ways and wish Nike the best in their future endeavors," she said.

Nike did not comment on cutting ties with the point guard. While Irving also did not immediately comment, he did post a video on Twitter that appeared to reference the severed business relationship.

"There's nothing more priceless than being free," the video said.

Nike's move to end its relationship with Irving comes more than a month after the footwear giant suspended its contract with the basketball star before the highly anticipated release of the Kyrie 8s. The Nike Kyrie 7s have been among the most popular shoes worn by NBA players.

"At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of anti-Semitism," the company said in their statement, which was obtained by the New York Daily News and ESPN, last month.


"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."

Last month, Irving issued a formal apology for sharing a video featuring anti-Semitic sentiments during an interview. Irving had shared a tweet with a link to the film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, which some have said is anti-Semitic. Irving said he does not have "hate in his heart" for Jewish people after citing the film and book that promotes harmful conspiracy theories about Jewish people.

"I'm not anti-Semitic," Irving said. "I never have been. I don't have hate in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone that identifies as a Jew. I'm not anti-Jewish or any of that."

The apology came after an eight-game suspension from the Brooklyn Nets, without pay, for sharing the video in October and refusing to apologize after when given several opportunities.

Irving posted a written apology on social media on Nov. 4.

"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."


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