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'Absurd, a Lie': Neymar on Nike's Claim of Ending Contract Over Sexual Assault Probe

News18 Sports

Last Updated: May 28, 2021, 22:36 IST

Neymar (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Neymar (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Nike ended their deal with the Brazilian in August 2020 after the Brazil superstar refused to cooperate said the apparel giant.

Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr has hit out at Nike saying their claim of ending the contract after he refused to co-operate in an internal investigation after a company employee accused the footballer of sexual assault an ‘absurd lie’.

Nike split with Neymar back in 2020 without giving any reason at time, however, reports emerged on Thursday that Nike claimed it parted ways with Neymar last year after the superstar Brazil attacker “refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation" as the company probed an employee’s claim that he sexually assaulted her.

The incident allegedly took place in 2016 and the investigation was launched two year later. Nike, however, said that the outcome was inconclusive.

An angry Neymar has since took to Instagram and posted a lengthy statement and accused them of “distorting" reality and the nature of their business dealings.

“Facts can be distorted because people see them from different angles. We cannot deny that life is like that. It’s part of it! I even understand when someone criticises my behavior, my way of playing and living life. We are different!

“I really don’t understand how a serious company can distort a business relationship that is supported by documents. Written words cannot be modified. They are very clear indeed. Leave no doubt!

“Since I was 13, when I signed my first contract, I’ve always been warned: don’t talk about your contracts! Contracts are confidential! To go contrary to this rule and claim that my contract was terminated because I did not contribute in good faith to an investigation, this is absurd, a lie.

“Once again I am warned that I cannot comment in public. Indignant, I will obey, but the WSL story is very clear. In 2016, it seems that they already knew about this event. I did not know! In 2017 I traveled again to the US for an advertising campaign, with the same people, they told me nothing, nothing changed!

“In 2017, 2018, 2019 we made trips, campaigns, countless recording sessions, and they told me nothing. A matter of such gravity and they did nothing. Who are truly responsible?

“I was not given the opportunity to defend myself. I was not given the opportunity to know who this person was who was offended. I don’t even know her. I’ve never had a relationship with her. I didn’t even have the opportunity to talk, to know the real reasons for her pain. That person, an employee, was not protected. I, a sponsored athlete, was not protected. Until when?

“Irony of fate I will continue to wear a mark on my chest that betrayed me. This is the life! I remain firm and strong, believing that time, always this cruel time, will bring the true answers. Faith in God!"

Neymar also claimed that accusations that he failed to co-operate are false, and went onto add that he subsequently took part in adverts with Nike without any issues being raised.

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first published:May 28, 2021, 22:09 IST
last updated:May 28, 2021, 22:36 IST