LeBron James and Jaylen Brown engaged themselves in the Kyrie Irving situation Thursday afternoon on Twitter. The Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving last week for a minimum of five games after he shared a film portraying Anti-Semitic ideas. James and Brown displayed their support for Irving after a recent statement from Nike. The Nets organization also gave Irving a list of items that he needs to do to return to the team. The list is as follows.
James came out on Twitter, voicing his support for Irving, saying, “I told you guys I don’t believe in sharing hurtful information. And I’ll continue to be that way, but Irving apologized, and he should be able to play. That’s what I think.” He also added, “what he (Irving)’s asked to do to get back on the floor, I think, is excessive IMO.”. You can see the full tweet here:
Initially, Irving declined an apology and stood by his decision to support the film. However, Irving issued an apology, saying that he “initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic.”. His apology came hours after his suspension from the Nets.
Relationship with Nike
Nike would also suspend their relationship with Irving shortly after being suspended by the Nets. Before Nike punished Irving, Nike stated, “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech, and we condemn any form of Anti-Semitism. The initial presumption was that this suspension would postpone the launch of Irving’s new “Kyrie 8” shoe, which he planned to launch on November 11. However, earlier today, Nike’s co-founder, Phil Knight, made a statement implying the permanent end of a relationship between Irving and Nike.
The statement is as follows: “He made some statement’s that we just can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship. And I was fine with that.” Via AP.
Jaylen Brown responded to this punishment on Twitter, saying “Since when did Nike care about ethics?”.
Irving brings in $11M in annual revenue from his partnership with Nike. His actions have jeopardized his future financially outside of the NBA. He is currently on a $33.33M per year contract with the Brooklyn Nets. Even so, his future in the NBA is also in jeopardy.
The Miami Heat kicked Myles Leonard, a former Heat forward, off the team and fined him $50,000 after saying an Anti-Semitic slur on a live stream. Leonard hasn’t played in the NBA since, which occurred over a year ago. Incidences like Leonard’s keep fans wondering what could be next for the seven-time All-Star.