Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown has publicly dug Nike into an apparent statement of support for Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets star who has been suspended by his team for linking to an anti-Semitic movie on social media.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight said on Thursday the company’s relationship with Irving is “probably over” due to the security guard linking to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on social media.
Brown, who retweeted a reporter who quoted Knight’s comments on Twitter, simply said, “Since when does Nike care about ethics?”
Brown’s comments may refer to: allegations that Nike has used forced labor and sweatshops in East Asia. Furthermore, Nike has sponsored controversial athletes such as Justin Gatlin, the sprinter who was banned twice for doping.
Last week, Nike announced that they were suspending their ties to Irving and not releasing the Kyrie 8 show that was due out later this month.
In an interview with CBC, Knight said, “I doubt we’ll go back. But I am not sure.
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown (right) has made a public dig at Nike after the co-founder made comments about working with Kyrie Irving (left) in the future
Brown took to Twitter to question Nike’s ethics following Phil Knight’s previous comments
Brown appears to subtly support Irving, who is still under fire after linking to an anti-Semitic film on social media
“Kyrie stepped over the line. It’s that simple. He made some statements that we just can’t stick to, which is why we ended the relationship. And that was fine with me.’
Irving signed with Nike in 2011 and has had a signature line of shoes since 2014, with his annual endorsement deal believed to be worth at least $11 million.
Irving was also suspended last Thursday night by the Nets “until he complies with a set of objective corrective measures that address the harmful consequences of his conduct.”
The Nets said they decided to partially suspend Irving because he “refused to say unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs.” He has since apologized following the Nets’ suspension.
Nike also apparently tried to get Irving to clarify or apologize. ‘Same situation. He was buried,’ Knight said.
Brown’s tweet comes the same day LeBron called on James Irving to play for the Nets. Irving has currently missed four games and if he missed only five, he would return against James and the Lakers on Sunday night.
James tweeted while being treated for a groin injury, saying: “I told you I don’t believe in sharing hurtful information.
“And I’ll stay that way, but Kyrie apologized and he should be able to play. That’s what I think. It’s that simple. Help him learn, but he should play.
“What he’s being asked to get back on the floor I think is excessive IMO. He is not the person portrayed of him. Anyway, back to my rehab session.’
LeBron James called for Irving to be allowed to play for the Nets again on Thursday
LeBron James tweeted his support for Kyrie Irving despite contrasting recent comments
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, meanwhile, has spoken out about his recent meeting with Irving
Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke optimistically about Irving in an interview with The New York Times.
“We had a direct and candid conversation,” Silver said of their meeting earlier this week. “He’s someone I’ve known for ten years, and I’ve never heard an anti-Semitic word from him or, frankly, hatred of any group.
Whether he is anti-Semitic or not is irrelevant to the harm caused by posting hateful content.
“I have the feeling that we have reached the right outcome with his suspension. And in hindsight, maybe we could have gotten there faster. I accept that criticism.
“But I thought it was important to understand the context it was posted in to understand what discipline was appropriate, not in any way to excuse it, but to understand what discipline was appropriate.”