Nike Split With Neymar Amid Sexual-Assault Probe

Sneaker giant investigated allegation by Nike employee that soccer star sexually assaulted her; Neymar denies allegation and says commercial reasons ended endorsement deal


By Khadeeja Safdar
Neymar became the most expensive player in the history of soccer when Paris Saint-Germain paid a transfer fee of about $260 million for him in 2017. YOAN VALAT/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Nike Inc. and soccer superstar Neymar split ways last year after the company started investigating an allegation by a Nike employee that the Brazilian athlete had sexually assaulted her, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

In August 2020, Nike didn’t publicly give a reason for the early end to its endorsement deal with one of the world’s most recognizable athletes. Nike’s marketing contract with Neymar had another eight years remaining, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Nike employee had told friends as well as Nike colleagues in 2016 that 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, according to the people, including former and current Nike employees, and the documents.

Publish : 2021-05-28 12:58:00

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