Nike is suspending its relationship with Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, the company said in an emailed statement to CNN Friday.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the statement says. “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.”
Irving missed the first of at least five Brooklyn Nets games Friday after he was suspended for comments regarding his tweet linking to an antisemitic documentary.
The Nets suspended Irving Thursday after he initially doubled down on his decision to share the content on his Twitter account.
When asked Friday if there was any consideration of releasing Irving from the team, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters, “No. Not at this particular time.”
“There is going to be some remedial steps and measures that have been put in place for him to obviously seek some counseling … from dealing with some anti-hate and some Jewish leaders within our community,” Marks said. “He’s going to have to sit down with them, he’s going to have to sit down with the organization after this, and we’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back.”
The NBA star point guard issued an apology hours later on his verified Instagram account, in which he said he takes full accountability for his actions.
“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,” Irving wrote. “I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.
“I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all,” he said.