Nike acknowledged the termination of its sponsorship arrangement with Neymar after the Brazilian soccer superstar refused to cooperate in an inquiry into allegations that he sexually abused a female employee of the business years ago.
Nike did not provide an explanation for their decision to break company with the Paris Saint-Germain striker in August of last year. However, the firm stated in a statement on Thursday that it opted to cancel the contract because Neymar failed to cooperate “in a good faith examination of credible claims of malfeasance by an employee.”
Nike stated that after their contract expired, they were unable to speak in depth about the matter since the inquiry was inconclusive. “No single set of facts emerged that would enable us to speak substantively on the matter,” Nike said. “It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts,” Nike continued.
According to the original publication, the Nike employee informed friends and colleagues in 2016 that Neymar tried to compel her to perform oral sex in his hotel room while in New York, where she was assisting with the coordination of events and logistics for the star and his entourage.
Nike stated that it was “deeply troubled by sexual assault allegations” and acknowledged that the alleged event occurred in 2016, while Neymar was playing for Barcelona. Nike stated that it received official notification of the occurrence two years later.
The corporation stated that it understood the employee’s desire to avoid an inquiry and keep the incident confidential. “When the employee later indicated interest in continuing the case in 2019, we moved immediately,” the company claimed. Nike commissioned an independent inquiry and engaged separate independent legal counsel for the employee, at her request and at the expense of the company.
The Associated Press requested comment from Neymar’s reps, who did not respond. According to an anonymous spokesman for the footballer, he denies the claim.