The sneaker giant investigated an allegation by a Nike employee that Neymar sexually assaulted her. He denies the allegation and says commercial reasons ended the endorsement deal.
Nike says Neymar refused to cooperate with “a good faith investigation of credible allegations.” Allegations–which Neymar denies–never became public. Neymar is now signed with Puma, among many other marketing tie-ups.
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.
Neymar denies the allegation, his spokeswoman said. “Neymar Jr. will vigorously defend himself against these baseless attacks in case any claim is presented, which did not happen so far,” she said in a statement. She said Nike and Neymar split for commercial reasons.
The Nike employee filed a complaint to Nike in 2018 and described the incident to the company’s head of human resources and general counsel, according to the people and documents. Nike hired lawyers at Cooley LLP to conduct an investigation starting in 2019 and decided to stop featuring Neymar in marketing amid the probe, according to the people and documents.