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Odell Beckham Jr. Nike lawsuit, explained: Why star receiver is suing for $20 million

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Odell Beckham Jr. is taking Nike to court over allegedly withholding millions from the star wide receiver.

According to a report from TMZ Sports, Beckham filed a lawsuit against the major clothing brand, claiming Nike withheld millions from him over claims he violated policies related to footwear and glove usage.

Monday night, Beckham released a statement, saying that Nike “did not honor its commitments,” while he noted that he has kept his end of the deal.

“I am extremely disappointed that I’ve had to take these measures to ensure Nike fulfills their obligations and promises,” Beckham said in a statement. “Today, I’m taking a stand not just for me, but to set a precedent for all athletes who have dedicated their life to the sport they love — especially those who don’t have the means to stand up for themselves. We are held responsible for fulfilling our obligations under our contracts, but we also have to hold powerful companies like Nike accountable for honoring their commitments too.”

MORE: Which teams might be interested in signing OBJ?

Here’s what you need to know about Beckham’s lawsuit: 

Odell Beckham’s Nike lawsuit, explained

Per TMZ Sports, Beckham’s relationship with Nike began to sour in March 2022. Beckham said he was due about $2.6 million, but Nike withheld more than $2 million without warning, saying that he violated their equipment policies near the end of the 2021 season.

Beckham said he was not violating the policy, instead casting blame on Nike for not giving him cleats for his new team after he moved from the Browns to the Rams, which meant he had to customize his cleats for games. Beckham said he has always worn customized gloves, and that it had never been an issue for Nike, according to TMZ.

Beckham noted in his statement that he neared an offer with Adidas, but Nike exercised the right of first refusal and made him a Brand Icon to keep him with Nike. According to SoleCollector’s Brendan Dunne, the Adidas deal was worth up to $47 million in guaranteed extensions with a base salary between $3.2 and $4.2 million.

MORE: When can Beckham play again?

Dunne reported Beckham’s new contract with Nike, signed in 2017, would pay him $3.25 million initially, with the deal progressing up to $3.75 million in 2021-22. There were guaranteed extensions if minimum royalty guarantees are made that could pay him $4 million per year from 2022-24, and $4.25 million in 2024-25.

In addition to the cash compensations, he would be guaranteed royalties starting at $1.4 million and ranging up to as much as $2.225 million, if minimum royalties were met.

According to The Athletic, Beckham said Nike altered the new contract, particularly regarding the royalty figures, that could potentially trigger an extension without him knowing about it. 

TMZ reported the new deal kept him from receiving more than $20 million, which is what he is trying to get back in damages.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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