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Antonio Brown: Patriots WR dropped by Nike amid sexual assault lawsut

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 9/19/2019 Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY

New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown is no longer sponsored or affiliated with Nike, company spokesperson Josh Benedek confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. 

“Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete,” the Nike spokesman said in an email. The company did not elaborate on the decision to no longer sponsor Brown. 

The Boston Globe was the first to report of the ended sponsorship relationship. 

Brown was accused of sexual assault by a former trainer in a civil suit last week. The NFL is investigating the matter, but Brown has remained eligible to play and made his debut for the Patriots in a Week 2 win over the Dolphins.

Brown discussed a lucrative deal with Nike in a YouTube sneaker video for Complex, telling the outlet: “I am getting a huge Nike deal, which is opening up leverage for a lot of other guys and a lot of up-and-coming players to get in the marketing world and making money off the field."

Specifics of a Nike deal for Brown were not made public but the company debuted a $100 shoe tabbed "Nike Tech Trainer Antonio Brown" in February. The shoe has since been taken down on Nike's website.

A video featured on Brown's YouTube account shows the receiver visiting Nike's headquarters in Portland.

Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, has denied the claims from his client's accuser, Britney Taylor, and said a countersuit will be pursued. Her lawsuit was filed one day after Brown officially signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots.

USA TODAY Sports does not typically identify those claiming to be victims of sexual assault unless they decide to come forward publicly, as Taylor did.

With the NFL's investigation ongoing after the league interviewed Taylor on Monday, Brown is slated to play in the Patriots' home game against the New York Jets on Sunday. 

Brown also has endorsement deals with several high-profile companies including EA Sports. His previous sponsorship with Pepsi came to an end this year, according to Fox Business

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Antonio Brown: Patriots WR dropped by Nike amid sexual assault lawsut

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