BOSTON (CBS) — Amid sexual assault allegations, Patriots receiver Antonio Brown appears to have lost a sponsor. A pretty big one, too.
WBZ-TV has confirmed that Brown is no longer associated with Nike, as first reported by The Boston Globe Thursday morning.
“Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete,” a spokesperson from the company confirmed to WBZ-TV.
Nike wouldn’t go into details as to why they are no longer in business with the star receiver, or which side called off their agreement. According to Pro Football Talk, the company was looking to end the relationship before Brown’s former trainer accused him of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit filed last week:
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the wheels were in motion to terminate the relationship with Brown before last week’s civil lawsuit accusing Brown of sexual assault and rape. There were concerns about Brown fulfilling his duties under the agreement, specifically as it relates to personal appearances.
The NFL is looking into the matter, interviewing Brown’s accuser for 10 hours on Monday. It’s possible that Brown could end up on the commissioner’s exempt list at some point in the future, which would make him ineligible to play for the Patriots.
There are no Antonio Brown sneakers available on Nike’s website, including his signature shoe, the “Nike Tech Trainer Antonio Brown.” But they still offer a handful of Antonio Brown jerseys, just ones from his time in Pittsburgh and Oakland.
Brown debuted for the Patriots last weekend against the Dolphins, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. The league’s investigation into Brown’s civil lawsuit will reportedly take weeks, so the receiver is expected to make his Gillette Stadium debut on Sunday when the Patriots host the New York Jets.