Brazil superstar Neymar has lashed out at Nike over the claim that it parted ways with him last year because he refused to cooperate with its internal investigation into an employee’s accusation he sexually assaulted her.
Nike said 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.”
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.
Ney is now a poster boy for Puma.
In a previous statement, a Neymar spokeswoman said he and Nike had split for commercial reasons.
The player’s father accused the company of “blackmail.”
“It’s all very strange” that the accusation only came to light years later, after Neymar left Nike, he told Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
Neymar is currently in Brazil training with the national team north of Rio de Janeiro ahead of two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.