Nike Split With Neymar Amid Sexual Assault Probe
Nike said it ended its partnership with Neymar after he refused to cooperate with an investigation into sexual assault allegations against him.
The company cut the star’s endorsement deal short with eight years remaining last summer without public explanation as it was investigating the claim, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“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,” Nike said in a late Thursday statement.
The worker, who filed her complaint in 2018, said that Neymar, 29, tried to force her to perform oral sex in his New York hotel room in 2016, where the accuser was coordinating events for the soccer star, according to the report.
The incident in question allegedly happened after the woman escorted the intoxicated star to his room after a night of celebration with Michael Jordan and other Nike employees at a Manhattan night club, the article said. Neymar denied the allegation.
Nike said it commissioned an independent investigation into the allegations in 2019 when the employee expressed interest in pursuing the matter. The company said, however, the investigation was inconclusive.
“No single set of facts emerged that would enable us to speak substantively on the matter. It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts,” the company said.
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