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Ray Rice's Last Sponsor, Nike, Has Dropped Him

No brand is standing by disgraced NFL player

Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens addresses a news conference with his wife Janay | Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Nike, who was former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's last official sponsor, confirmed today that the athlete is no longer on its roster.

The company follows a slew of brands that are no longer sticking by the disgraced football player after TMZ released a brutal video showing Rice pummeling his wife Janay Rice (nee Palmer) in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino. The video was the second to come out and led to him being cut from the Baltimore Ravens and an indefinite suspension from the NFL and CFL.

Though many of Rice's sponsors ended their deals well before the second clip was released, a Nike spokesperson declined to elaborate on exactly when its contract with the Pro Bowl athlete was terminated.

In addition, the sportswear giant, which is the NFL's official uniform provider, has pulled the running back's jersey from its online store, while Modell's has removed the product from its website and its brick-and-mortar locations. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted that it will allow fans to exchange their Rice jerseys at stadium stores in the near future.

 

 

Likewise, EA Sports said it would remove Rice from Madden NFL 15 by Friday. Because prior to the indefinite suspension he still remained on the Baltimore Ravens team, the video game producer decided to leave him as a playable athlete. After he was banned from all NFL rosters, it decided to make the change to reflect reality.

And sports training equipment manufacturer Vertimax initially said in February that it had no plans to release Rice but was waiting until more facts came to light. The company said in a statement yesterday that it quietly ended Rice's contract in June.

"After internal discussion about the events that transpired, we determined that a future relationship with Ray did not align with our goals as a company," CEO Michael Wehrell said in a statement. "We sent Ray and his representatives an official termination letter at that time and have had no relationship with he or his representatives since then. Our goal is and always has been to help athletes achieve their personal and athletic goals, and we will continue to do that without Ray Rice as a partner."

According to Forbes, the running back was estimated to rake in $1.6 million a year in endorsements.

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