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Volume 24 No. 176
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Nike, Kyrie Irving Continue To Flaunt "Flat-Earth" Theory With Shoe Branding

Nike and Celtics G Kyrie Irving unveiled a flat-earth display at a Foot Locker "Sneakeasy" pop-up shop that included the Kyrie 4 "hovering over some sort of Nike-sanctioned display purportedly explaining Irving's nonsense theory," according to Jason Owens of YAHOO SPORTS. Nike sees this as "all fun and games and an opportunity to cash in on an Internet meme," but "spreading ignorance is not OK." Marketing shoes to a largely young target demo with false science as a hook is "not clever or funny." It is "irresponsible" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/2). SI.com's Dan Gartland notes Nike is "clearly willing to go all-in on the Flat Earth nonsense" to market Irving's new shoes. There is "even a Flat Earth reference in a new TV commercial that debuted on Christmas." Nike "might be doing this with a wink and a nudge, just exploiting their pitchman’s most notable off-court personality trait." But make "no mistake" -- Irving "really believes this stuff." Kids are "starting to believe it too, just because Kyrie says so." That is what "makes this so infuriating" (SI.com, 1/2).