Source: Tom Hauck / Getty
For the past few years Nike has been suing people left and right for banking off their products without their permission. But now it seems like the shoe is on the other foot as Odell Beckham Jr. has filed a lawsuit against the Swoosh brand for not paying him what he feels he’s owed.
TMZ is reporting that the NFL superstar is suing Nike for $20 million as he’s accusing the Swoosh of purposely repressing his sneaker sales as it would’ve triggered a contract extension with the brand had they moved enough units. Apparently not only does Odell feel Nike slowed sales of his sneaker line, but it got shady when it came time to give him a new contract extension.
Odell claims once his original Nike deal expired in 2017, he considered jumping ship to Adidas … who offered him a huge contract. Not wanting to lose a marquee talent, Odell says Nike exercised their right to match the Adidas deal. But, he claims the fine print was different … and it wasn’t truly the same deal.
Beckham Jr. says the way the Nike deal was structured made it nearly impossible for him to trigger very valuable extensions of the deal.
OBJ says the relationship with Nike began to sour around March 2022 when he was due a payment of around $2.6 million. But, he claims, without any warning, the company withheld more than $2 million of the payment.
Yeah, regardless of how much money you may have made already, if someone owes you $2 million you know you’re taking them to court over it.
When OBJ looked into the money that was withheld he learned that Nike used the excuse that OBJ “committed footwear and glove violations” when he altered his Nike equipment towards the end of last season. OBJ disputed the allegations and said he had to make changes to his attire as Nike didn’t give him cleats that matched the colors of the team uniforms he was rocking.
As for his gloves, Beckham Jr. says he always customizes the equipment to fit his “high fashion brand” and Nike never had a problem with it in the past.
Odell is alleging that Nike is manufacturing penalties to keep him from getting his paper and that the fine print in the contract has cost him $20 million thus far.
Odell has since released a statement regarding the issue:
“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.”
Beckham Jr. continued …”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.”
To a conglomerate like Nike, $20 million is a drop in a bucket , but don’t be surprised if they fight this in court to the bitter end.What do y’all think of the situation? Did Nike do Odell Beckham Jr. dirty or was it on him and his legal team to notice the changes in the contract? Let us know in the comments section below.