NFL free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Nike. OBJ has claimed that the company has swindled him out of millions of dollars, all the while suppressing sneaker sales that would’ve led to a contract extension.
TMZ Sports has obtained the lawsuit filed by OBJ’s attorney Daniel Davillie which lays out the claims against the Swoosh. OBJ is arguing that since his original deal with Nike expired in 2017, he had wanted to shift to adidas. However, Nike at the time did not want to lose a marquee talent and match the terms and cost adidas’ deal.
While that appeared to be the case, OBJ now claims that the fine print made it impossible for him to extend his deal. The relationship quickly took in a turn in March 2022 when he was due around $2.6 million USD. OBJ is now saying that the company has withheld more than just $2 million USD. He only later learned that hNike withheld the funds because he had committed glove and footwear violations when he altered his equipment towards the end of the last season. OBJ himself claims he did no such thing and said it was because Nike failed to give him cleats that matched his new team, leading him to find his own customizations. All in all, OBJ is claiming that Nike has cheated him out of $20 million USD. Here is his statement below.
“Being a Nike Athlete and Brand Icon was a dream I’ve had since being a young boy. I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant in the Nike Family.
When Nike exercised its right of first refusal to match the Adidas offer and not only kept me as a Nike Athlete, but also made me one of their Brand Icons – my dream had been fulfilled.
Unfortunately, Nike did not honor its commitments. Throughout our partnership, I have kept my promise and fulfilled my obligations to the brand. I am extremely disappointed that I’ve had to take these measures to ensure Nike fulfills their obligations and promises.
Today, I’m taking a stand not just for me, but to set a precedent for all athletes who have dedicated their life to the sport they love – especially those who don’t have the means to stand up for themselves. We are held responsible for fulfilling our obligations under our contracts, but we also have to hold powerful companies like Nike accountable for honoring their commitments too.
I look forward to resolving this issue and hope we can start a real conversation about protecting athletes and their rights. This happens too often in the sports industry and it’s time for change.”
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) November 15, 2022
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