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Nike drops Kryie Irving following antisemitism scandal

The decision comes one month after the sporting apparel giant suspended its agreement with the NBA player and announced the latest version of his sneakers, the Kyrie 8, would not be released.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Nike officially cut ties with NBA player Kryie Irving on Monday, following a scandal in which the Brooklyn Nets star shared antisemitic content on social media and then failed to repudiate Jew-hatred.

The decision comes one month after the sporting apparel giant suspended its agreement with Irving and announced the latest version of his sneakers, the Kyrie 8, would not be released.

“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a statement at the time.

Irving caused a firestorm in November when he tweeted a link to the film “From Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America!” based on a book by Ronald Dalton. The film castigates Jews as “Satanic” and falsely quotes Adolf Hitler stating that “the Negroes, they are the true Hebrews” and warning of a plan to move “false white Jews into a state of Israel.”

In addition, the movie lists five items it calls falsehoods spread by Jews, including that Jesus was a Jew and that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Irving was suspended by the Nets for eight games after he “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs,” before eventually apologizing “deeply” and being reinstated.

“I don’t have hate in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone that identifies as a Jew,” Irving said towards the end of his suspension, adding: “The difficult aspect is just processing all this, understanding the power of my voice, the influence I have. I am no one’s idol, but I am a human being that wants to make [an] impact and change.”

Irving had been under contract with Nike since 2014.

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