Neymar has been the face of Nike since his first steps in the world of football, and has now moved to Puma.
A choice that inevitably caused a stir at the end of the summer of 2020, but which has not been commented on too much. The PSG player was content to explain that he had not appreciated the lack of support from some of his sponsors when he was in trouble over certain extra-sporting affairs, and in particular an accusation of rape by a woman who had travelled from Brazil to Paris in 2019. But the reality would be quite different according to the Wall Street Journal, which reveals that the Paris SG playmaker refused to cooperate with an internal sexual assault investigation that Nike wanted to conduct. The events allegedly took place in 2016, when a young woman at the US firm told colleagues and friends that Neymar had tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in a New York hotel room. The young woman had initially wanted to keep the matter quiet, before an internal investigation was started in 2018. When the procedure was launched in 2019, Neymar refused to cooperate, which the comma brand confirmed, without however accusing the Brazilian player of anything. Moreover, the internal investigation did not lead to any conclusion.
“Nike terminated its partnership with the athlete because he refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an employee. No set of facts has emerged that would allow us to make a determination on the merits of the case. It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts,” said Nike, which responded quickly to the Wall Street Journal revelations. For his part, Neymar has had his lawyers speak out, threatening to attack anyone who accuses the player without proof. “Neymar Jr. will vigorously defend himself against these baseless attacks in the event that any allegation is made, which has not happened so far,” said the lawyers of the PSG number 10. The case explains why Neymar has parted ways with Nike, even though the partnership seemed set to last until the end of the Brazilian’s career.