Nike had simply announced the suspension of his collaboration with Kyrie Irving following the Brooklyn leader’s message towards a conspiratorial and anti-Semitic film. But as the contract between the basketball player and the equipment manufacturer ended in a few months, and the Beaverton firm already did not wish to renew it following the controversies that surrounded Kyrie Irving in the past, it looked very much like a pure and simple divorce.
This is confirmed by Phil Knight in an interview with CNBC, explaining that he does not imagine a possible reconciliation.
“I doubt that we will go back” explains the founder of Nike. “But it’s not certain…Kyrie crossed the red line. It’s as simple as that. He has made statements that we simply cannot tolerate and that is why we have ended our relationship. I was okay with that. »
Like the Nets, Nike cut ties following Kyrie Irving’s refusal to issue a clear apology, while the basketball player remained unclear about his own beliefs about the anti-Semitic theories he had shared.
“We study who we sign, how much we pay, but we don’t just consider the talent of the athlete in question, but also their character. It’s not an exact science, but it’s a process we follow very rigorously, and a lot of people are involved.”concludes Phil Knight.
Kyrie Irving has been linked to Nike since 2011, with a signature shoe since 2014. These are some of the brand’s most popular models, as the partnership earns the basketball player at least $11 million a year.
Nike had also purely and simply canceled the release of the “Kyrie 8”, scheduled for November 8.