Nike Ended Neymar Deal Amid Investigation of Sexual Assault
Football superstar Neymar allegedly had his long-term Nike deal terminated after refusing to cooperate with an investigation into ‘credible allegations of wrongdoing’ made by one of the company’s employees. First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the investigation involves accusations that the PSG football star sexually assaulted a Nike employee in 2016.
In a Nike statement acquired by The New York Times, the company says the investigation did not reach a conclusion as to whether an assault had occurred, which was why no public statement was issued when Neymar made his high-profile transfer to sportswear industry rivals PUMA in 2020.
‘No single set of facts emerged that would enable us to speak substantively on the matter,’ Nike said in the statement. ‘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 employee involved in the investigation filed a complaint to Nike in 2018 regarding a tour in the United States which took place in 2016. The woman says she helped a visibly drunk Neymar to his hotel room, where he then tried to force the woman to perform lewd acts. Neymar denies the allegations.
Neymar first signed with the Swoosh in 2005, when he was just 13 years old, playing for the youth team at Santos FC. Placed front-and-centre of Nike Football’s roster, the Brazilian was bestowed multiple collaborations during the deal, both on and off the pitch.