Nike did not reveal why they dropped Neymar who they had first signed as a 13-year-old, buthave now revealed the premature separation came about following an investigation into allegations that the 29-year-old had sexually assaulted a female employee.
Nike confirmed the investigation was ‘inconclusive’ but parted ways with Neymar after he ‘refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an employee’. A statement from Nike read:
_Nike was deeply disturbed by sexual assault allegations made by one of our own employees against Neymar Jr._
_The alleged incident occurred in 2016 and was officially reported to Nike in 2018. The employee came forward to share her experience in a forum created by Nike leadership to afford a safe environment in which current and former employees could confidentially share their experiences and concerns…_
_The investigation was inconclusive. No single set of facts emerged that would enable us to speak substantively on the matter._
_It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts._
_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._
However, the former Barcelona star vigorously denies the sexual assault allegations.
The PSG star’s spokesperson in a statement said Neymar and Nike had ended their 16-year association for commercial reasons.