Nike has confirmed it ended its sponsorship settlement with Neymar after he refused to collaborate in an investigation into an accusation that he sexually assaulted a feminine worker from the corporate years in the past. The soccer famous person has denied the accusation and criticized the corporate on Instagram whereas coaching with Brazil outdoors Rio de Janeiro.
Neymar referred to as Nike’s claims “an absurd lie.”
Nike did not give a motive final August when it parted methods with the Paris Saint-Germain ahead. However the firm stated in an announcement on Thursday that it terminated the contract as a result of Neymar refused to take part “in an excellent religion investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an worker.”
Nike stated it couldn’t converse intimately concerning the case when their deal ended as a result of the investigation was not conclusive.
“No single set of info emerged that will allow us to talk substantively on the matter,” Nike stated.
“It might be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory assertion with out with the ability to present supporting info.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the story on Thursday. The newspaper reported that the Nike worker instructed buddies in addition to colleagues in 2016 that Neymar tried to drive her to carry out oral intercourse in his resort room whereas in New York, the place she was serving to to coordinate occasions and logistics for the participant and his entourage.
No grievance was ever made to police or native prosecutors, legislation enforcement officers instructed The Related Press. A message looking for remark was left with the NYPD. The Manhattan district lawyer’s workplace declined remark.
Nike stated it was “deeply disturbed by sexual assault allegations” and confirmed the alleged incident came about in 2016, when Neymar performed with Barcelona. Nike stated it acquired an official discover of the incident two years later.
The corporate stated it revered the worker’s preliminary need to keep away from an investigation and to maintain the matter non-public.
“In 2019, when the worker later expressed curiosity in pursuing the matter, we acted instantly,” it stated.
“Nike commissioned an unbiased investigation and retained separate unbiased authorized counsel for the worker, of her selecting and on the firm’s expense.”
Neymar wrote a protracted Instagram submit on Friday addressing the top of the Nike partnership and the sexual assault allegation with out going into particulars.
“I actually do not perceive how a severe firm can distort a enterprise relationship that’s supported by paperwork. Written phrases can’t be altered. They’re very clear,” Neymar wrote.
“As soon as once more I’m warned that I can not remark in public. In opposition to my very own will, I shall obey.”
The footballer additionally stated he travelled and labored with Nike staff a number of instances after the alleged incident, and nothing modified within the relationship.
“I used to be not given the chance to defend myself. I used to be not given the chance to know who this individual was that was allegedly offended. I do not even know her,” he wrote.
“I by no means had any form of relationship or strategy with this individual.
“I did not also have a likelihood to speak to her, to know the actual causes for her ache. That individual, an worker, was not protected. I, a sponsored athlete, was not protected.”
The Brazilian additionally regretted having to put on a shirt sponsored by Nike at his membership Paris Saint-Germain.
“Irony of destiny I’ll proceed to stamp a model on my chest that betrayed me. That is life for you!” he wrote.
“I stay agency and robust, believing that point, all the time this merciless time, will deliver the true solutions.”
Neymar is predicted to play two World Cup qualifiers in early June. He’s extensively believed to be in Brazil’s squad to be introduced for subsequent month’s Copa America.