Neymar said Nike’s claim that it parted ways with him last year because he refused to cooperate with its internal investigation into an employee’s accusation that he s.e.xually assaulted her was an “absurd lie.”
The allegation is the latest to stain the image of the Brazilian superstar, whose 222-million-euro ($270 million) transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 makes him the world’s most expensive footballer.
Nike said on Thursday it had ended its sponsorship deal with Neymar over an employee’s claim he tried to force himself on her and his failure to cooperate with its investigation.
“(To) state that my contract (with Nike) was terminated because I did not contribute in good faith to an investigation is an absurd lie,” Neymar wrote on Instagram.
“I was not given the opportunity to defend myself. I was not given the opportunity to know who this person was that was allegedly offended. I don’t even know her. I’ve never had any kind of relationship or approach with this person.”
Nike said the alleged assault happened in 2016, but was only reported to the company in 2018.
The US sportswear giant had sponsored Neymar, 29, since he was a 13-year-old prodigy.
It did not give a reason when it terminated its deal with him in August 2020.
The superstar is now a poster boy for Puma. His deal with the German sportswear giant was announced in September 2020.
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