Following an 8-game ban late last month, controversial player Kyrie Irving rejoined the Brooklyn Nets and led his team to a 122-116 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. However, it wasn’t the game but Irving’s shoes that got everyone’s attention.
In an obvious reference to the NBA star’s endorsement split with Nike, Irving was spotted boasting a pair of Nike Kyrie 3 “Raygun” trainers from 2018, with tape covering the branding.
Confidently expressing his thoughts on cutting ties with Nike, Kyrie Irving used thick black tap to cover the midfoot and rear regions of the shoe. The tape was written over with “I AM FREE/Thank You God… I AM” and also “Logo Here.”
Take a look at the taped up Nike trainers in question, and keep reading below to find out why the partnership between Nike and Kyrie Irving came to an unfriendly conclusion.
Following Nike‘s suspension of their partnership with the Brooklyn Nets guard, Kyrie Irving, it’s now reported that their partnership has officially come to a close.
In November, Nike followed the Nets in taking action after Irving shared a film that expressed antisemitic views. The Nets issued Irving a minimum of a five game ban, while Nike suspended the partnership.
The upcoming Kyrie 8 basketball trainers by Nike have now also been cancelled. A spokesperson for Nike stated: “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete, Nike spokesperson says. The sides have parted ways one month after Nike suspended its relationship with the Nets star. Irving has one of most popular signatures shoes in the NBA and is now a sneaker free agent.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 5, 2022
Irving and Nike‘s relationship was already on the rocks due to Irving’s response to COVID-19 that led to him missing a significant portion of the 2021-2022 NBA season.
Irving has also previously shared his disappointment with the sportswear brand, posting in 2021 that the upcoming Kyrie Infinity trainers were “trash” and that Nike planned to release them without his consent.
While Kyrie Irving continues to boast an average of over 24 points per game for the Nets, his future in the NBA and whether Irving will be pursuing any new endorsement deals still remains unclear.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only case in recent times that involve a big public figure being involved with antisemitic remarks. Kanye West is also under a lot of criticism lately for his antisemitic comments. Find out more right here.