Juventus, Nike Issue Statements on Cristiano Ronaldo Rape Allegation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2018

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina sit in the stands prior to the Champions League, group H soccer match between Juventus and Young Boys, at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Luca Bruno/Associated Press

Nike is reportedly "deeply concerned" with rape allegations against Juventus and Portugal soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, although the Serie A club publicly backed its player.

Rob Harris of the Associated Press reported Nike called the allegations "disturbing," but Juventus released a statement on Twitter backing his "great professionalism and dedication" and pointing out these developments "do not change this opinion."

This comes after Barry Hatton of the Associated Press reported Ronaldo was left off Portugal's national team for upcoming matches after Kathryn Mayorga's 2009 rape allegations resurfaced.

Nike isn't the only sponsor to respond to the rape allegations, as Harris noted EA Sports said "we have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo. We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA's values."

According to Jimmy Golen of the AP, the Las Vegas Police Department confirmed it reopened the sexual assault case from 2009 that Mayorga brought against Ronaldo on the same day of the alleged attack.

Emanuella Grinberg, Shawn Nottingham and Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN reported on the case, noting the lawsuit says Ronaldo apologized and said he "was usually a gentleman" after the alleged rape. Mayorga says she received $375,000 for her silence.

However, Ken Ritter of the AP wrote Mayorga's lawyers said she was "diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and depression, conditions they argue would have made her legally incompetent to reach a non-disclosure agreement."

Ronaldo denied the allegations and called rape "an abominable crime" in a Twitter response.

Harris noted Ronaldo has been under contract with Nike since 2003.

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