Nike ‘very concerned’ over Neymar rape allegations
Nike says it is “very concerned” by the rape allegations against Brazil star Neymar, casting doubt over its partnership with the world’s most expensive soccer player.
“We are very concerned by the recent allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in a statement sent to CNN.
The statement came after 26-year-old Najila Trindade told Brazilian television station SBT TV that Neymar had raped and violently assaulted her in a Paris hotel room on May 15, which the soccer star denies.
Trindade is expected to testify again at the police station Friday morning in Brazil.
Police in Paris have not responded to CNN’s calls for comment. The Paris Prosecutor’s office says they are not investigating the alleged incident.
Nike’s comments come after a police press officer confirmed to CNN that Neymar attended a police station in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday to give a statement over an Instagram post he shared, which included explicit images of Trindade.
Neymar, who was in a wheelchair after suffering an ankle injury while playing for Brazil earlier this week, was wheeled to the entrance of the police station through hordes of reporters before standing up and entering on crutches.
Speaking outside the police station, Neymar was quoted by Reuters as saying: “I appreciate the support and all the messages that the world has sent, my friends, my fans, that the world is with me. I want to say thank you for the well wishes, and say that I have felt very loved. Thanks for everyone’s well wishes.”
His lawyer, Maria Fernandes, confirmed to Reuters that Neymar had given a statement to police.
“He made the point of coming as soon as he could to give a statement, to clarify everything that needed to be clarified,” Fernandes said.
The testimony has nothing to do with the rape allegations which allegedly took place in Paris.
“We are absolutely confident that we will prove the innocence of our client. The process was thorough, but he provided all the clarifications that were to be provided.,” Fernandes added.
Neymar has previously denied all the allegations against him, via a video he posted on Instagram. He has called the incident, “a trap,” and his representatives have said he is the victim of extortion.
“I was induced to do it, it was something that happened, it was a trap and I ended up falling for it, but that’s a lesson from here on out,” he said.
The video has since been taken down.
CNN has contacted Neymar and his club Paris Saint-Germain for comment on the allegations made by Trindade in the interview, but has yet to receive a response.
Speaking on Wednesday to Brazilian network SBT TV. Trindade says she contacted him on Instagram, intent on pursuing a sexual relationship with the soccer star.
“There was a sexual intent, it was a desire of mine. I think that was clear to him,” she said.
Trindade says she met Neymar at the Hotel Sofitel Paris Arc du Triomphe, after she says he paid for her to travel to Paris.
“I had the desire of being with Neymar and when I got there everything was good, everything was fine, the messages, I was going to succeed, do you understand? But when I got there he was aggressive, totally different from the guy I met through the texts.
According to Forbes, Neymar is ranked fifth in the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. Forbes says that Neymar earns $90 million a year with $17 million coming from endorsements, from some of the world’s biggest brands.
He is the first soccer player to have his own Nike brand of shoes.