Nike suspends Adrian Peterson deal

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nike has suspended its contract with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, announcing the decision Wednesday as part of a statement that also addressed the company's role as a partner with the NFL.

"Nike in no way condones child abuse or domestic violence of any kind and has shared our concerns with the NFL," company spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said in a statement. "We have suspended our contract with Adrian Peterson."

Last week, Nike said it was concerned about the child abuse allegations surrounding Peterson and was monitoring the situation. The company pulled some of Peterson's Vikings jerseys out of some of its stores in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

Nike's new stance means that the company will not be paying Peterson under the terms of his endorsement contract. It has been an unprecedented week for the world's largest sports shoe and apparel company, having terminated the contracts of both Ray Rice and Oscar Pistorius.

Nike had a contract with Peterson through the 2011 season. Peterson then went without a shoe contract for the 2012 season before signing with Nike again.

There are morals clauses in Nike contracts, as there are in most endorsement contracts, that allow a company to take action, without penalty, on a deal based on a certain act affecting the brand.

Nike is in the third year of a five-year deal as the NFL's official apparel provider. The company has endorsement deals with Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck, among other NFL players.

Peterson was indicted on one count of reckless or negligent injury to a child Friday, stemming from an incident earlier this year in which he used a switch to discipline his son. The Vikings announced early Wednesday morning that he has been put on the NFL's exempt list, which will keep him away from all team activities, while paying his $11.75 million salary.

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