Odell Beckham Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Nike, saying that the company “screwed him out of millions.”
OBJ made an official statement about the suit saying:
“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. As this is now a legal matter, please refer any questions to my attorney, Daniel Davillier.”
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) November 15, 2022
Via TMZ.com, Beckham sued Nike for more than $20 million. The problem traces to a decision by Nike to exercise a right of first refusal in 2017, matching an offer Beckham received from Adidas. Then, in 2022, Nike allegedly began to withhold money from Beckham based on alleged technical violations of his agreement via the footwear and gloves he used in games.
While the facts remain to be determined, it’s not crazy to think that Nike regrets a deal done at the height of his popularity.
Since 2017, Beckham hasn’t had quite the same sizzle that he did early in his career.
So it’s entirely possible that Nike developed remorse, and that Nike decided to aggressively rely on fine print in the contract.
If Beckham’s rights are being violated, he should be taking action.
And if other players have their rights violated by their shoe and apparel partners, they should take action, too. The Nikes of the world don’t hesitate to mobilize the lawyers whenever their rights are compromised, in any way.
Players shouldn’t hesitate, either.