According to information gathered by the Wall Street Journal and AFP, Nike broke his contract with Neymar because he refused to cooperate in an investigation into allegations of sexual assault made by an employee against him.
Nike broke its partnership with Neymar after the Brazilian star of Paris SG refused to cooperate with an internal investigation by the brand after an employee accused him of sexually assaulting her, the supplier told the AFP. “Nike ended its partnership with the athlete because he refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation into credible allegations of wrongdoing made by an employee,” Nike said in a statement released overnight. Thursday to Friday, confirming information from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
“The investigation was not conclusive,” the Beaverton, Oregon-based company nevertheless insisted, adding: “No body of facts has emerged that would allow us to rule on the merits of the case. It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts. “
“Baseless attacks”, according to the Neymar clan
Joined by the WSJ, the spokesperson for the player assured in a statement that “Neymar Jr. will vigorously defend himself against these baseless attacks in case any allegation is presented, which has not happened so far” . And she claimed the two sides had separated for business reasons. When Nike prematurely terminated his sponsorship contract between him and the Brazilian at the end of August 2020, no reason had been given.
In the press release sent to AFP, Nike explains that it was “deeply disturbed by the allegations of sexual assault made in 2018 by one of its employees against Neymar Jr”, without specifying their nature.
Neymar left Nike for Puma in 2020
Based on testimonies and documents, the Wall Street Journal reports that this employee told friends and colleagues that Neymar tried to force her to perform oral sex in 2016, while she was in her room. hotel room in New York City, where she worked on the coordination and logistics of a promotional event.
The American equipment manufacturer said in its statement that it was ready to investigate in 2018 when its employee first made these allegations, but that it “respected the employee’s initial desire to keep this matter confidential and to avoid the opening of an investigation “.
Nike therefore did not share information with the courts or any other third party until 2019, when the group hired lawyers to conduct an investigation, when the employee wished to continue this case. That year, Neymar was accused of rape by another woman in Brazil. This accusation, which he vehemently rejected and which was eventually dropped, had greatly damaged his image. This did not prevent him, almost immediately after the termination of his contract with Nike, from engaging with Puma to become the new head of the gondola.