A leaked video of NFL player Ray Rice knocking his wife out and dragging her unconscious body in the elevator leaked to TMZ in February.
Since then, the couple has been in a media circus with NFL trying hard to contain the damage and brand identity of its player.
However, the Ravens got rid of the player and Nike cut him off from their endorsement deals.
A player’s public figure is the most important factor for endorsement deals.
Here are other very controversial athletes who lost their endorsement deals with Nike due to their very bad negative reputation:
- Cyclist Lance Armstrong. His use of PEDs to become the champion of the cycling world is just not the figure that Nike needs. So, the giant sports apparel brand cut him off.
- Sprinter Oscar Pistorious. This athlete was accused of killing his girlfriend in 2013’s Valentine’s Day. Nike quickly cut off their endorsement deals with him, it’s just not the public reputation they need.
- NFL Quarterback Michael Vick. He was involved in dogfighting and Nike does not like that.
- Track and Field Athlete Marion Jones. She was involved in the 2005 Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid scandal. Though Nike didn’t drop her officially, her contract wasn’t renewed.
- Sprinter Justin Gatlin. He got involved in the center of a steroid controversy and Nike didn’t like it.