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 celebrity has denied the accusation and criticized the corporate on Instagram whereas coaching with Brazil outdoors Rio de Janeiro.
Neymar known as Nike’s claims “an absurd lie.”
Nike didn’t give a cause final August when it parted methods with the Paris Saint-Germain ahead. However the firm mentioned in a press release on Thursday that it terminated the contract as a result of Neymar refused to take part “in a great religion investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an worker.”
Nike mentioned it couldn’t converse intimately in regards to the case when their deal ended as a result of the investigation was not conclusive.
“No single set of information emerged that might allow us to talk substantively on the matter,” Nike mentioned. “It might be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory assertion with out with the ability to present supporting information.”
The Wall Avenue Journal first reported the story on Thursday. The newspaper reported that the Nike worker informed mates in addition to colleagues in 2016 that Neymar tried to power her to carry out oral intercourse in his lodge room whereas in New York, the place she was serving to to coordinate occasions and logistics for the participant and his entourage.
A message searching for remark was left with the NYPD. A search of the police division’s on-line incident database returned no complaints matching the main points of that account, suggesting no report was filed. The Manhattan district legal professional’s workplace declined remark.
Nike mentioned it was “deeply disturbed by sexual assault allegations” and confirmed the alleged incident befell in 2016, when Neymar performed with Barcelona. Nike mentioned it obtained an official discover of the incident two years later.
The corporate mentioned 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 mentioned. “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 tip of the Nike partnership and the sexual assault allegation with out going into particulars.
“I actually don’t 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 mentioned 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 don’t even know her,” he wrote. “I by no means had any form of relationship or strategy with this individual. I didn’t also have a probability 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 carry the true solutions.”
Neymar is anticipated 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.