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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Phil Knight ‘Doubts’ That Nike Will Resume Its Kyrie Irving Partnership

  • Nike co-founder Phil Knight told CNBC the company probably will not resume its partnership with Irving.
  • Irving has faced several other high-profile consequences for his actions.
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Nike will most likely not resume its partnership with Kyrie Irving, Nike co-founder Phil Knight told CNBC on Wednesday — ending a decade-long relationship.

The first company suspended their relationship last Friday in response to Irving’s peddling of antisemitic conspiracy theories — and his refusal to deny holding antisemitic beliefs. Nike also canceled the release of the Kyrie 8 shoe.

“Kyrie stepped over the line,” Knight said. “It’s kind of that simple. He made some statements that we just can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship.”

Irving has faced several other high-profile consequences for his actions. 

  • The Brooklyn Nets announced they had suspended him indefinitely for at least five games. 
  • The Nets presented him with a list of tasks to complete before he can be reinstated, which included meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Irving did so earlier this week.
  • The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement condemning both the movie he shared in a since-deleted tweet and his subsequent comments.

Irving did issue an apology via Instagram on Thursday night — but only after the Nets suspended him.

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