NFL Player Antonio Brown Dropped by Nike Amid Sexual Assault Allegations from Ex-Personal Trainer
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has lost his Nike endorsement deal amid sexual assault allegations brought against him in a lawsuit by his former trainer.
A spokesperson for the sportswear giant told the publication on Wednesday night:
"Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete."
Although the spokesperson refused to offer any specifics, the decision, which is sure to cost Brown a lot of money, is most likely related to recent sexual assault allegations made against him in a civil complaint filed by his former trainer.
Patriots say they were blindsided by the rape and sexual assault allegations against Antonio Brown https://t.co/7TBg8iGi5g— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) September 11, 2019
As reported by The Guardian, Taylor filed a civil complaint on September 10, accusing Brown of sexually assaulting her on three separate occasions while she worked as his trainer between 2017 and 2018.
Nike has pulled the Nike Tech Trainer Antonio Brown shoe they introduced in February off their website
Brown denied the allegations and in a statement, claimed that he and Taylor were involved in an “entirely consensual” personal relationship. He also described the allegations as a “money grab.”
The outlet more recently reported that Brown would not be facing criminal prosecution for the sexual assault accusations because of the statute of limitations.
The NFL continues to investigate Taylor’s accusations, and although Brown still played his first game as a New England Patriot on Sunday, the football player continues to lose endorsements.
Helmet manufacturer Xenith already severed ties with Brown earlier this month, a day after Taylor filed her civil complaint in US district court for the southern district of Florida, The Guardian reported.
Nike has pulled the Nike Tech Trainer Antonio Brown shoe they introduced in February off their website, the outlet noted. Several Pittsburgh and Oakland jerseys with Brown’s name and No 84 were, however, still available.
Endorsement deals with major brands contain "morals clauses." They make it very easy for a company to drop an athlete who attracts controversy that damages their brand or the company's brand. Athlete doesn't have to be "guilty." It's all about the controversy. #AntonioBrown #Nike https://t.co/pKFjX6zMJU— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) September 19, 2019
While Nike has been known to sever ties with athletes over negative press, the company has also been known to stand by several controversial ones like retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and golf legend Tiger Woods, who, in April, won his first major tournament in 11 years.
Brown, meanwhile, is saying little about the allegations, preferring to focus on his performance with the New England Patriots.
Speaking to the press on Thursday for the first time since the sexual assault claims, Brown was faced with a question about how it’s been transitioning to New England amid the allegations.
"Well, it's football. I'm grateful to play football," Brown said via NFL.com. "Every time you walk in the doors here, you know to be the best for the team. So, every time I walk in here, I just want to make sure I'm preparing to give these guys my best."
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