Report: Nike drops Neymar amid sexual assault allegations.
Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (better known as Neymar) has reportedly been dropped by his sponsor, Nike, while he is being investigated for sexual assault. The report was published by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday and says that he was dropped by Nike last year.
The woman in question is employed by Nike, though a name was never revealed in the report. The severing of Nike and Neymar’s professional relationship reportedly happened in August 2020 with eight years still remaining on his contract.
The incident is alleged to have happened in 2016, and a report was filed in 2018. The report says, “Neymar tried to force her to perform oral sex in his hotel room while in New York City where she was helping to coordinate events and logistics for Neymar and his entourage.” The investigation reportedly began in 2019 and he was removed from all marketing while the investigation was underway.
He denies the allegations and says the severing of the ties with Nike was due to commercial reasons.
“Neymar Jr. will vigorously defend himself against these baseless attacks in case any claim is presented, which did not happen so far,” his spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.
Nike eventually severed ties, not due to the findings of the investigation, but due to the soccer star being uncooperative during the investigation.
Neymar says he and Nike parted due to business reasons
“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,” said Hilary Krane, Nike’s general counsel via The Wall Street Journal. The soccer star reportedly refused to be interviewed by investigators about the incident.
Further reports of the incident say that the Nike employee was asked by hotel staff to get Neymar to his room, as he appeared intoxicated.
“She was briefly left alone in the room with Neymar, he took off his underwear and tried to force her to perform oral sex. She said Neymar tried to block her from leaving the room and then chased her down the hotel hallway while he was still undressed.”
Neymar has not spoken publicly about the incident at press time.