Nike has confirmed it ended its sponsorship agreement with Neymar after the Brazilian soccer player refused to collaborate in an investigation into an accusation that he sexually assaulted a female employee from the company years ago.
Nike didn’t give a reason last August when it parted ways with the Paris Saint-Germain forward. But the company said in a statement that it decided to terminate the contract because Neymar refused to participate “in a good faith investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an employee.”
Nike said it could not speak in detail about the case when their deal ended because the investigation was not conclusive.
“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.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the story on Thursday. The newspaper reported that the Nike employee had told friends as well as colleagues in 2016 that Neymar tried to force her to perform oral sex in his hotel room while in New York, where she was helping to coordinate events and logistics for the player and his entourage.
Nike said it was “deeply disturbed by sexual assault allegations” and confirmed the alleged incident took place in 2016, when Neymar played with Barcelona. Nike said it received an official notice of the incident two years later.