The shoe and athletic wear maker said on Monday that Kyrie Irving’s relationship with Nike has officially ended.
“Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete,” the company said in a statement.
Shetellia Riley Irving, Irving’s manager and stepmother, told The New York Times that the parties “mutually agreed to part ways and we wish Nike the best.” Irving appeared to have touched on the subject on his Twitter account Monday afternoon, without mentioning Nike’s name.
“Anyone who has spent their hard-earned money on anything I’ve ever published, I consider you FAMILY and we are forever connected,” the Nets guard wrote. “It’s time to show how strong we are as a community.”
Anyone who has spent their hard-earned money on anything I’ve ever published, I consider you MY FAMILY and we are bound together forever.
It’s time to show how strong we are as a community.
Irving wears his signature Nike line in recent games. It is unknown whether the official end of his relationship with Nike will affect this, at least in the short term. He was a Nike athlete for his entire NBA career, starting in 2011, and bought his first signature shoe with the company in 2014.
When Nike suspended Irving in early November, the company was just days away from launching the Kyrie 8, the latest model in its signature line.
“We believe there is no room for hate speech at Nike and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” said the Oregon-based company Beaverton at the time.
“I’m not a fan of hate speech, antisemitism or anything that goes against the human race,” Irving said the day he returned to his role with the Nets.
Throughout his career, Irving has not lamented the lack of controversial ideas. He repeatedly questioned whether the Earth was round before finally apologizing to his science teachers. Last year, his refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine led to the Nets being banned from playing most of their home games.