The 30-year-old athlete was set to leave Nike when his deal expired in 2017, however, the brand matched an offer from Adidas to keep him on board.
It was then, he claims, the fine print was changed. The first-round draft pick believes the new Nike deal “made it nearly impossible for him to trigger very valuable extensions of the deal,” according to the tabloid.
Additionally, Beckham Jr. claims in March 2022, Nike withheld a $2 million payment without warning, saying it was due to footwear and glove violations when he customized his equipment toward the end of last season.
According to the wide receiver, he did not commit the violations and was forced to change his equipment on his own after Nike refused to supply him with gear to match his new team.
Beckham Jr. shared a statement regarding the lawsuit on social media. It reads as follows:
“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.”
He continued, “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.”
Currently, the Louisiana native hopes to land a new NFL home team. According to ESPN, Beckham Jr. looks to sign a deal by the end of November 2022, as his doctor is prepared to clear him for the field.
The sports outlet names the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers all as possibilities due to their likelihood of advancing in the postseason and competing in the Super Bowl.