Nike drops Brazilian football star Neymar after abuse allegations

Economy|Football

Bloomberg

Nike drops Brazilian football star Neymar after abuse allegations

Nike said in a statement that it had been ‘deeply disturbed’ by sexual assault allegations made against Neymar by a Nike employee in 2018, two years after the alleged incident occurred.

A spokeswoman for Neymar da Silva Santos Jr said he denies the allegation and the split with Nike had occurred for commercial reasons [File: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images]
A spokeswoman for Neymar da Silva Santos Jr said he denies the allegation and the split with Nike had occurred for commercial reasons [File: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images]

By Kim BhasinBloomberg28 May 2021

Nike Inc. said it ended its partnership with Neymar after the Brazilian soccer star wouldn’t cooperate in a probe of sexual assault allegations against him made by a company employee.

“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 company said in a statement. “From the very beginning, we have treated the employee’s allegations and her experience with great seriousness.”

The Oregon-based sportswear giant cut ties with Neymar in August 2020, and at the time gave no public explanation for the split. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the sexual assault investigation, said there had been eight years remaining on Nike’s marketing contract with the athlete.

Nike said in its statement that it had been “deeply disturbed” by sexual assault allegations made by the employee in 2018, two years after the alleged incident occurred. She came forward at a company forum where current and former staff members were able to confidentially share concerns, it said.

Businesses across the U.S. are rethinking their policies after the #MeToo movement put a spotlight on sexual harassment over the last few years. Nike in particular is under pressure to prove its commitment to protecting women in the workplace after two top executives abruptly left the company in 2018. They had allegedly protected male employees who mistreated female colleagues. Aljazeera News.

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