“Kyrie crossed the line,” Nike co-founder Phil Knight told CNBC on November 10. “He made statements that we cannot ignore and that is why we ended the relationship.”
The company is currently selling several of Irving’s shoes at half price – the Kyrie Infinity shoes are on sale for $69.97, down from $140, while the Kyrie Low 5 is available for $61.97, up from $120 place.
The new price for Kyrie Irving’s shoes on the Nike website pic.twitter.com/fbVBrWX8j2
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) December 6, 2022
Irving began his marriage to Nike in 2011, shortly after he was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2014, Irving’s brand shoes went on sale for the first time, and since then the basketball player received about 11 million US dollars from “Nike” every year.
About 68% of NBA players wear Nike shoes. Every season since the release of the “Kyrie 1” shoe, Kyrie’s annual shoe model has been one of the most worn around the league. ESPN reports that Nike will not ban other NBA basketball players from wearing Kyrie’s brand products.
“Anyone who has (ever) spent their hard earned money on a pair of my shoes, that’s why I consider you part of my family and we’re forever connected,” Irving shared on Twitter Monday. “It’s time to show how strong we are as a community.”
Irving is currently a shoe free agent, and if you told anyone in 2014 that one of the league’s best running backs would be without a shoe contract, it would have come as a surprise. Given the fact that Irving was suspended for the second straight season, it’s no surprise that no one wants vaccine skeptic Irving under their sports brand banner. It will be interesting to see if any shoe companies will want to sign Irving knowing his actions off the basketball court.