Nike ends endorsement deal with Antonio Brown
Nike has ended its endorsement deal with New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown as he faces multiple allegations of sexual assault.
“Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete,” a company spokesperson told FOX Business on Thursday.
The spokesperson did not elaborate on the reason Nike is no longer working with Brown or when the business relationship ended. The company released a signature sneaker for him, the Nike Tech Trainer Antonio Brown, last February.
The NFL is currently investigating allegations made by Brown’s former personal trainer, who filed a civil lawsuit earlier this month accusing Brown of sexual assault and rape during a series of incidents in 2017 and 2018. Days later, Brown faced a second allegation after an unnamed artist told "Sports Illustrated" that he exposed himself to her while she worked on a mural Brown had commissioned for a Pittsburgh-area home.
Brown also lost an endorsement deal with helmet maker Xenith, who cut ties with the Patriots star just days after the partnership was announced.
During a recent interview with Complex, Brown said he was “getting a huge Nike deal, which is opening up leverage for a lot of other guys and a lot of up-and-coming players to get in the marketing world and making money off the field.”
The 31-year-old wide receiver made his debut for the Patriots last Sunday, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Brown signed a one-year contract worth $15 million, including $8 million guaranteed, after he was released by the Oakland Raiders following a high-profile altercation with the team’s general manager, Mike Mayock.
NFL investigators met with Brown’s personal trainer for several hours earlier this week, according to multiple reports. The league has yet to make a determination on the situation.
The Boston Globe was first to report Nike’s decision.