Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar Jr. has responded almost immediately after sportswear giant Nike released a statement explaining the reason why their long-term relationship with the player ended in 2020. Nike said that the Brazilian star refused to cooperate in an investigation on sexual harassment claims that were made against him by a Nike employee.
Neymar did not hesitate to call Nike's statement "an absurd lie." In his own statement shared on Instagram, the footballer said, "Facts can be twisted because people see them from different angles."
He then went on to slam Nike for talking about the termination of his contract in a public manner. "Ever since I was 13, when I signed my first contract, I was always warned: 'Don't talk about your contracts! Contracts are classified!'' To go against this rule and claim that my contract was terminated because I did not contribute in good faith to an investigation is an absurd lie."
The alleged incident took place in 2016, but Neymar stated that Nike did nothing about it and did not inform him about the complaint. He said that he worked with the same people every year as he fulfilled commitments to the brand until 2019, but the company did nothing about the complaint even if they claim to take the matter very seriously.
He says that Nike failed to protect both their employee and their sponsored athlete. "I wasn't given a chance to defend myself. They didn't give me the chance to know who the offended person is. I don't know her, I've never had any relationship with her. I haven't had the chance to talk to her, to understand the reasons for her pain."
Neymar has signed with German sportswear brand Puma in September 2020, just weeks after Nike parted ways with him prematurely. It is unclear what he was told at that time, when the brand decided to drop him eight years before his long-term deal officially ends.
"I remain firm and strong believing that time, always cruel time, will bring the real answers. Faith in God!" he concluded.