Nike dropped New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown on Thursday amid a federal lawsuit alleging he raped and assaulted his personal trainer, according to various media reports.
“Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete,” a Nike spokesperson told The Boston Globe, but the official did not comment about the decision.
Complex has confirmed with Nike the dismissal of Brown but would not also provide a reason, saying the brand does not discuss “sports marketing relationships.”
In June of 2018, Brown appeared on the Complex web series Sneaker Shopping and stated he would be receiving “a huge Nike deal,” which turned out to be the Tech Trainer “Antonio Brown” model, which was available in February of 2019. The sneaker can no longer be purchased on Nike.com.
Brown joined the New England Patriots after a messy separation from the Oakland Raiders on September 7. Three days after signing, Brown was named in a civil suit by his former trainer Britney Taylor in the U.S. District Court of Miami. Taylor accused Brown of two sexual assaults in June 2017 in Pennsylvania and rape on May 20, 2018, in Miami. Taylor and the NFL have been mum about the outcome of a recent 10-hour meeting.
Nike is the second endorsement deal Brown has lost since the lawsuit was filed earlier this month. Xenith, a football helmet manufacturer, severed ties with Brown shortly after the suit was announced, ESPN reports.
Darren Heitner, an attorney for Brown, said his client “denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” writes NBC News.
“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations,” Heitner said in a statement to the television news outlet.
Brown is currently scheduled to play Sunday against theNew York Jets.
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