Kyrie Irving‘s last-minute apology isn’t working out in his favor.
Irving’s already on the outs with the league as he makes amends, but his brand deal with Nike might be over if it’s up to the swoosh’s co-founder and chairman, Phil Knight.
In a recent interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, the billionaire was asked about his perspective of Nike suspending his contract from a business standpoint and personal, and he didn’t hold back.
“Kyrie stepped over the line. 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. And, I was fine with that,” Knight says.
The interviewer digs deeper into Knight’s comments asking how he feels about brands associating themselves with athletes at a time when promoting your opinion has become so commonplace.
“I think the athlete association has been key since the very beginning, and it’s still key. We look at who we sign and how much we pay,” Knight adds. “Not only how good the athlete is, but what their character is, so it’s not an exact science, but it’s a process that we go through with a lot of intensity and a lot of people sticking their heads in it.”
Quick asks Knight if Kyrie has a chance to regain his status –as he’s attempting to do with the NBA by completing a list of steps— but he asserts that the relationship is likely over.
“He was dug in. I would doubt that we go back. But, I don’t know for sure,” he says.
After Irving shared a link to the antisemitic film Negroes: Wake Up Black America, Nike suspended its relationship, which was already set to expire on Oct. 1, 2023, and wouldn’t likely be renewed.
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