Brazilian superstar Neymar hit back at Nike, claiming that the company’s statement that it ended an approval deal because it refused to cooperate with an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a Nike employee was “an absurd lie”.
In a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Nike, who had Neymar on a long-term contract, said it ended the deal last year after an employee made “credible allegations” “against the player.
Neymar, who plays for Paris St Germain, denies the allegations and says he does not know the employee in question.
The incident allegedly took place in 2016, but the employee initially asked to keep the matter confidential and Nike did not open its investigation until 2019 after the woman expressed interest in legal action, according to one. Nike release.
Nike said it ended its relationship with Neymar because “the athlete refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation into credible allegations of wrongdoing by an employee.”
Neymar, responding on Instagram, said: “I haven’t had the opportunity to defend myself.
“I never had a relationship or approach from this person. I didn’t even have the chance to talk to him, to know the real reasons for his pain. This person, an employee, did not was not protected. I, a sponsored athlete was not protected. “
Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Neymar’s statement.
“I really don’t understand how a serious business can distort a document-backed business relationship. Written words cannot be changed. They are very clear,” Neymar added.
“Since I was 13, when I signed my first contract, I’ve always been warned: don’t talk about your agreements. Agreements are confidential!
“To break this rule and say that my contract was terminated because I did not contribute in good faith to an investigation is an absurd lie.”
Neymar wrote that he had been advised not to say more about the deal, but a separate statement sent by his spokesperson for Neymar Sport E Marketing Ltda, the company created on his behalf, criticized the governance of Nike business.
He said Nike’s board statements were made “inappropriately and irresponsibly” and hinted the player would reveal more about the case at a later date.
“The appropriate measures have already been adopted and soon the real reasons will be revealed and the facts clarified,” the statement said.
The dispute is the latest to beset the career of the 29-year-old former Santos and Barcelona striker, who has been punctuated by scandals on and off the pitch, for criticizing referees, suing his former club, facing off against fans and even abused his own coach in Santos.
He was also charged with rape at a Paris hotel in June 2019, although Neymar said the meeting with the woman, a Brazilian model, was consensual and he accused her of trying to extort him.
Brazilian authorities dropped the investigation against Neymar, citing lack of evidence, and then accused the model of slander, extortion and procedural fraud.
The slander and extortion charges were dismissed in 2019 and she was acquitted of the fraud charge in 2020.