Now that we know what Tiger Woods was thinking when he cheated on his wife so many times, it’s time to move to the next major Nike-supported athlete who won’t lose his sponsorship due to alleged sexual deviancy. This time it’s French footballer (and Bayern Munich star) Franck Ribery who admitted to having a longstanding sexual relationship with a French prostitute named Zahia Dehar. When the purported “relationship” began, Dehar was just 17. For his crimes Ribery faces 3 years in prison and a $60k fine.
Though prostitution is legal in France, the law prohibits paid sex with minors. Dehar, who was 17 at the time of a tryst with Ribery, admits she didn’t inform Ribery (or the other footballers she was getting paid to sleep with) that she was not of age. She has since turned 18 and was photographed with Ribery on her 18th birthday suggesting he knew she was not of age.
Ribery faces further scrutiny because he is married, has children and is Muslim. He’s also a highly sought after player. Chelsea is purportedly set to pay him some $60 million to join up. He’s also set to play for France in the upcoming World Cup in Africa.
Once these allegations sprang up it wasn’t long for someone to ask if Nike, a major Ribery supporter, would maintain its support, for now. “Nike is supportive to Ribery, Nike France communications direction Sophie Nicolet told Radio Monte Carlo. We’ll see how it [the case] evolves, if there’s any evolution at all. He’s a great footballer and we support him as such.”
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