Nike Says It Ended Deal With Neymar Amid Investigation of Sexual Abuse

Nike ended its sponsorship settlement with the Brazilian soccer famous person Neymar final 12 months after he refused to take part in an investigation of an accusation that he had sexually assaulted a Nike worker, the corporate confirmed Thursday evening.

Nike stated its investigation didn’t attain a conclusion as as to if an assault had occurred, which was why it made no public assertion on the time.

“No single set of facts emerged that would enable us to speak substantively on the matter,” Nike stated in a press release. “It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts. Nike ended its relationship with the athlete because he refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an employee.”

The accusation of assault was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday evening. Nike’s assertion obtained by The New York Times matched feedback made to The Journal by Hilary Krane, Nike’s common counsel.

A spokeswoman for Neymar, 29, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, however denied the accusation to The Journal.

Nike first signed Neymar to a sponsorship settlement in 2005, when he was simply 13 years previous and enjoying for the youth workforce of Santos F.C., one of the most important golf equipment in Brazil. The firm continued sponsoring Neymar after he moved to F.C. Barcelona after which to Paris St.-Germain, establishing himself as one of the world’s greatest and hottest gamers. But he switched allegiances to Puma in 2020, with out an evidence for leaving Nike earlier than his contract had expired.

In 2018, a longtime worker filed a criticism to Nike, in keeping with The Journal, which cited paperwork it reviewed and unnamed individuals aware of the investigation. According to The Journal, the criticism stated that in a advertising tour within the United States in June 2016, the girl helped Neymar, who gave the impression to be drunk, into his resort room after midnight. While there, Neymar tried to pressure the girl to carry out oral intercourse and blocked her from leaving the room, the criticism stated, in keeping with The Journal.

The girl requested Nike concerning the standing of her criticism in 2019, The Journal reported. The firm, which believed the girl had not wished it to take any motion on it, in keeping with Nike’s assertion, employed an out of doors regulation agency to carry out an investigation. While representatives for Neymar denied the accusation to the regulation agency, in keeping with the Journal, he refused to personally be interviewed, prompting the termination of his sponsorship settlement.

Around the identical time in 2019, Neymar was accused of raping a Brazilian mannequin, Najila Trindade, whom he had flown to Paris. He stated that they had consensual intercourse, and he revealed a quantity of specific messages he had exchanged with Trindade on social media, leading to a backlash in opposition to Neymar and plenty of of his sponsors.

No fees have been filed in opposition to Neymar within the case, and the Brazilian authorities ultimately charged Trindade, who publicly recognized herself as Neymar’s accuser, with slander, extortion and fraud. The first two fees have been dropped, and Trindade was acquitted of fraud.