Nike and Kyrie Irving Officially End Relationship
Nike and the N.B.A. star Kyrie Irving ended their business partnership on Monday, finalizing a break that began when the sportswear giant suspended the relationship last month after Mr. Irving posted a link to an antisemitic film on social media.
“Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete,” Nike said in a statement.
Mr. Irving’s contract with Nike, which has produced the basketball star’s shoe line since 2014, was set to expire in October 2023. At the time of the suspension, Nike said it would not release Mr. Irving’s latest shoe, the Kyrie 8.
“We mutually decided to part ways and we just wish Nike all the best,” Shetellia Riley Irving, Mr. Irving’s agent, said. She declined to comment further.
Mr. Irving, 30, was also suspended by the Brooklyn Nets last month, though he returned to the team on Nov. 20.
A few days after his initial post with the link to the film, Mr. Irving posted an apology on Instagram. “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,” he wrote.
Mr. Irving’s suspension last month came shortly after Kanye West made a series of antisemitic comments, causing numerous companies to cut ties with him. Notably, Adidas ended its relationship with Mr. West, who goes by Ye. Adidas, which had an entire division devoted to manufacturing and selling Yeezy merchandise, said it would likely face a loss of 250 million euros, or roughly $246 million, this year from ending that partnership.
Mr. Irving’s shoes have been popular with fellow players and fans. Still, analysts have pointed out that Nike earns far more from ties to other notable stars, especially the basketball great Michael Jordan. Last year, the Jordan brand, which includes sneakers and other athletic wear, accounted for $5 billion of Nike’s $44.5 billion in total revenue.