One of Nike‘s most popular signature sneaker lines is no more.
Kyrie Irving’s been at odds since he promoted Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America, which contained antisemitic rhetoric, and now one of his biggest brand deals has officially been pulled.
NBA Insider Sham Charania confirmed the news Monday afternoon, confirming that Irving is now open to teaming up with another major athletic brand.
“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,” Charania writes.
Irving responded to Charania’s message with a GIF that read “Let The Party Begin” as he readies himself for sneaker free agency.
In a recent interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, Knight cited the difficulty of evaluating an athlete’s character when striking brand deals with them.
“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. “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.”
When asked if Kyrie Irving would return, he asserted, “I would doubt that we go back. But, I don’t know for sure.”
The 30-year-old’s deal was already set to expire back on Oct. 1, but the contract and chance at renewal have officially evaporated.