Nike reportedly drops Ryan Braun
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun stands to make plenty of money when he returns to the field in 2014, but his sources of income off the baseball diamond are dwindling. The scorned slugger lost what was likely his biggest endorsement deal on Friday when Nike reportedly parted ways with him.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins acknowledged that the sneaker and apparel juggernaut no longer has a relationship with Braun. Braun has used Nike products throughout his entire MLB career, and his deal had recently included sales of T-shirts with “Big Bat Like Braun” and “Braun Owns Milwaukee” written across the front of them.
As Rovell pointed out, Braun has now lost almost all of his endorsement deals since his name first became associated with performance-enhancing drugs two years ago. Earlier this month, he was dropped by a large chain of convenience stores called Kwik Trip. His deal with Muscle Milk was not renewed last year and Braun’s name no longer appears on Wilson’s website, though the sporting goods company has not said if they have dropped him.
There is still a restaurant in Milwaukee called Ryan Braun’s Graffito which is named after Braun. The restaurant’s owner, Omar Shaikh, said he could not comment on the establishment’s relationship with Braun at this time. Braun was also supposed to open a restaurant with Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers recently said he is not sure if that will still happen after Braun lied to him on numerous occasions.
Nike has proven in recent years that it will not tolerate clients who have admitted to PED use. The company cut ties with Lance Armstrong in May and track coach Trevor Graham in 2006 because of their association with doping, but stuck with Tiger Woods throughout his infamous sex scandal. As expected, things are getting worse for Braun before they get better.