(Lead image via AP)
Odell Beckham Jr. is suing Nike for $20 Million after the company failed to pay him in full. The NFL Wide Receiver claims that Nike withheld millions of dollars from him by suppressing sneaker sales that would’ve resulted in a contract extension.
The lawsuit was obtained by TMZ Sports and shows that the case was filed by Odell Beckham Jr.’s attorney, Daniel Davillier.
After his original Nike deal expired in 2017, Beckham claims he considered signing a new contract with adidas, who had offered him a “multi-million-dollar deal that represented one of the biggest endorsement contracts of any football player at the time.” Nike then exercised its contractual right to match the adidas deal, but Beckham claims that a closer look at the terms and conditions of the new deal were different and not comparable to those of the adidas offer.
Beckham claims that the structure of the new Nike deal made it nearly impossible for him to secure valuable extensions from the deal.
From there, Beckham’s relationship with Nike began to turn sour around March 2022. Beckham was expecting a $2.6 million payment from Nike at this time. OBJ claims that without any warning, Nike withheld more than $2 million of the payment.
Afterwards, Nike reached out to Beckham and claimed that the withheld money was because OBJ had committed footwear and glove violations when he altered his equipment towards the end of last season.
Beckham insists that he shouldn’t be held liable for the violations as he was forced to personally customize his cleats because Nike failed to give him cleats that matched the colors of his new team, the Los Angeles Rams.
OBJ also added that Nike never had a problem in the past with his custom gloves, as he regularly tweaks the equipment to fit his “high fashion brand.” He believes that Nike is “inventing excuses not to pay him” and potentially pressure him into signing a less lucrative deal with them.
In the end, Beckham claims that Nike screwed him out of over $20 million. He’s now suing to collect.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s official statement addressing the lawsuit:
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. via TMZ Sports