As tired as you are of reading about Kyrie Irving, sports writers are equally as exhausted trying to come up with good ledes for stories about the guard who’s currently suspended by the Brooklyn Nets. I wish it would’ve been Pepsi that suspended its relationship with Irving in addition to Nike because I feel like there’s an Uncle Drew joke waiting to be penned.
Something along the lines of, “Everyone has that crazy relative who says problematic stuff at family gatherings, and Pepsi is your aunt who’s had enough as she formally filed divorce papers with Uncle Drew.”
Unfortunately, I don’t have anything nearly that good for Nike issuing a statement saying it suspended its relationship with Irving and will not release his newest shoe.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism. 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.”
We knew this was coming. We may not have been able to predict what the action was that finally caught up with Irving, but after not learning a damn thing from his anti-vax agenda — other than if you throw a tantrum long enough, someone will acquiesce — a comeuppance was in his future. The fact that it was his own tweet that got him wasn’t as poetic as if it had been COVID. This is funnier though. (Not the antisemitism; Irving going full Plaxico Burress with his Twitter account.)
Being the smartest person in the room is hard work, which is why valedictorians can typically be found in the library during their free periods. I doubt Kyrie even knew where that building was during his semester at Duke, because if he had, he’d know how to differentiate between credible sources and some jackass spouting debunked antisemitic tropes in a documentary cooked up on iMovie.
By the way, the Anti-Defamation League and the Nets sent a letter to aspiring NFL owner Jeff Bezos and Amazon leaders asking them to stop selling the material or at least add a disclaimer to it. (Wow, that sounds eerily like what critics have been asking social media companies to do with similar misinformation for years. Supervillains exist in real life; they’ve just already acquired their $10 billion dollars.)
Early Friday, Nets GM Sean Marks said Irving’s apology wasn’t enough to cut short his five-game suspension and that more work needs to be done. Your guess is as good as any whether the Judaism 101 course, or his sit down with the principal, takes, but my guess is we’ll see him back on the court this season.
While I’m not sure how sponsorships work/if Irving can still sport his Nikes on the court, maybe Skechers has an extra pair of sneakers he can lace up.