Brazilian soccer legend Neymar has come out swinging against Nike, accusing the footwear giant of “distorting” the truth about his alleged lack of cooperation with internal investigators following a 2018 sexual assault claim by a company employee. “Facts can be distorted because people see them from different angles,” Neymar wrote Friday on Instagram. “We cannot deny that life is like this. That’s life! I can even understand when someone criticizes my conduct, the way I play and live my 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. They leave no doubt!”
The Nike employee filed a complaint against the player, legal name Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, in 2018, accusing him of sexually assaulting her. The company stopped using Neymar in marketing materials amid a 2019 probe into the accusation, which Nike has deemed “credible.” His endorsement deal with the company officially ended in August 2020, eight years early, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As The Wall Street Journal reported, an unnamed Nike employee in 2018 accused Neymar of sexually assaulting her. Nike launched an investigation the following year, and stopped featuring the 29-year-old Paris Saint-Germain superstar in its ads. Neymar denied that a complaint was ever made, and told the Journal that the endorsement deal ended last August for purely commercial reasons.