Nike said the brand 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 apparel giant said in a statement on Thursday that its investigation into the alleged 2016 incident — which was reported to the company in 2018 — was inconclusive.
‘No single set of facts emerged that would enable us to speak substantively on the matter,’ the company said.
In a Wall Street Journal article reporting the assault allegation, a spokeswoman for Neymar said the player denies the claim.
‘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, adding that Nike and Neymar split for commercial reasons.
‘It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts,’ the company said, but added: ‘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.’
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing documents and unnamed people, that Nike hired lawyers at Cooley LLP to conduct an investigation starting in 2019 and decided to stop featuring Neymar in marketing during the probe.