Kyrie Irving just became the second major celebrity to lose a clothing deal over his antisemitic comments online, after Nike decided on Monday to drop the basketball player in light of a recent tweet.
In a statement released on Monday, Nike announced, "Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete," reported the NBA.
Irving's stepmother, Shetellia Riley Irving, who also happens to be his agent, confirmed the news and said the decision to cut ties was a mutual decision by both Nike and Irving.
She told The New York Times that they "mutually decided to part ways, and we just wish Nike all the best."
Irvin also seemed to address the recent developments in his relationship with Nike in a recent tweet.
"Anyone who has even spent their hard-earned money on anything I have ever released, I consider you FAMILY, and we are forever connected," the NBA player tweeted. "It's time to show how powerful we are as a community."
The move comes roughly one month after Adidas cut ties with Kanye West over his antisemitic comments and posts.
However, this isn't the first time Irving's comments have gotten him in trouble.
What did Kyrie Irving post?
On October 27, Irving tweeted a link to a movie based on a 2015 book which contained antisemitic material.
The movie Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America is known to have hate speech and false claims about the Jewish community, including denying that the Holocaust happened, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The tweet sparked uproar against Irving by not only the Jewish community but people worldwide, including other athletes and public figures.
The tweet has since been deleted.
What did Kyrie Irving say?
\u201cI am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone\u2019s religious beliefs. The \u201cAnti-Semitic\u201d label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.\n\nH\u00e9l\u00e0\ud83e\udd1e\ud83c\udffe\u267e\u201d— H\u00e9l\u00e0 (@H\u00e9l\u00e0) 1667066860
After posting the tweet, Irving defended himself by defining himself as an "omnist" in a tweet posted to his Twitter account.
"I am an OMNIST, and I meant no disrespect to anyone's religious beliefs," read Irving's tweet.
"The "Anti-Semitic" label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in every day. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions."
He further defended himself in interviews with reporters and asked why they weren't more fixated on talking about the history of the 300 million black Americans buried in the U.S. instead, reported Sportsnet.
Eventually, the reporters asked him if he was a Holocaust denier, which he denied.
"Those falsehoods are unfortunate," Irving said. "And it's not that I don't believe in the Holocaust. I never said that. Never, ever have said it. It's not come out of my mouth. I never tweeted it. I never liked anything like it. So the Holocaust in itself is an event that means something to a large group of people that suffered something that could have been avoided."
How did the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets respond?
The NBA condemned antisemitism in a statement on October 29, although they left out any mention of Irving or his tweet.
"Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable and runs counter to the NBA's values of equality, inclusion and respect," read the statement. "We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring such words or ideas, including antisemitic ones, are challenged and refuted, and we will continue working with all members of the NBA community to ensure that everyone understands the impact of their words and actions."
Days after the NBA's statement, the Nets announced that the team and Irving would each be donating $500,000 "toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities," reported US Magazine.
On November 3, The Nets announced that they would be suspending Irving for an undetermined amount of time.
"Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate," the Nets statement said.
"We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct, and the suspension period served is no less than five games."
Did Kyrie Irving apologize for his tweet?
\u201cKyrie Irving posts on Instagram that he\u2019s \u201cdeeply sorry\u201d\u201d— Ramona Shelburne (@Ramona Shelburne) 1667533993
Irving initially refused to apologize for his tweet, reported CNN. However, he did eventually issue an apology on his Instagram.
Irving wrote in a caption under an Instagram post on his account: "to All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize."
"I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labelled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary."
What is Kyrie Irving's vaccination status?
\u201cIf I can work and be unvaccinated, then all of my brothers and sisters who are also unvaccinated should be able to do the same, without being discriminated against, vilified, or fired. \u267e\ud83e\udd1e\ud83c\udffe\n\nThis enforced Vaccine/Pandemic is one the biggest violations of HUMAN RIGHTS in history.\u201d— H\u00e9l\u00e0 (@H\u00e9l\u00e0) 1663684320
Irving's tweet was not the first time the athlete has been in the spotlight for posting something controversial.
The basketball player regularly posts about being against the COVID-19 vaccine and is open about his choice to remain unvaccinated.
The Nets guard was so determined to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 that he even turned down a $100 million four-year extension because of his decision regarding his vaccine status, reported ESPN.
Irving was also barred from entering Canada to play the Toronto Raptors earlier this year because of his vaccination status, although the rules have since been changed.
Does Kyrie Irving believe in the flat Earth theory?
In 2018, Irvin made headlines for claiming he wasn't confident about the Earth being round.
"Can you openly admit that you know the Earth is constitutionally round? Like, you know that for sure? Like, I don't know," Irving said during an interview with The New York Times.
He eventually apologized for his comments.
"To all the science teachers, everybody coming up to me like, 'You know I've got to reteach my whole curriculum?' I'm sorry," Irving said, as per reports by the NBA. "I apologize. I apologize."