NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. sues Nike for ‘swindling him out of $20million by suppressing sales of his merchandise to avoid triggering bonuses and extensions ‘

NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. is suing Nike, claiming the sports apparel giant deliberately suppressed sales of his sneakers which would have triggered bonuses and contract extensions worth $20 million.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Oregon, where Nike was originally founded as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964.

According to TMZ, which has obtained the filing, the 30-year-old Beckham claims Nike altered his contract when it exercised the company’s right to match Adidas’ offer to the NFL receiver in 2017. The changes made it nearly impossible for Beckham to trigger lucrative incentives, which included contract extensions, according to the lawsuit.

Emails to Beckham’s attorney and Nike spokespeople were not immediately returned.

Beckham and Nike were at odds beginning in March, when he was due a $2.6 million payment, $2 million of which was withheld, according to the free agent.

Nike claimed the money was withheld because he altered Nike footwear and gloves before playing in the items, in violation of his contract.

Beckham, however, has denied committing any contract violations, saying that he was forced to alter his cleats because the ones provided by Nike did not match his team’s colors at the time.

Now Beckham is suing for $20 million.

‘Being a Nike Athlete and Brand Icon was a dream I’ve had since being a young boy. I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant in the Nike Family,’ read Beckham’s statement.

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‘When Nike exercised its right of first refusal to match the Adidas offer and not only kept me as a Nike Athlete, but also made me one of their Brand Icons – my dream had been fulfilled.

‘Unfortunately, Nike did not honor its commitments. Throughout our partnership, I have kept my promise and fulfilled my obligations to the brand. I am extremely disappointed that I’ve had to take these measures to ensure Nike fulfills their obligations and promises.

‘I look forward to resolving this issue and hope we can start a real conversation about protecting athletes and their rights. This happens too often in the sports industry and it’s time for change.’

Beckham is still recovering from a knee surgery after tearing his left ACL in February’s Super Bowl as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills are just a few of the NFL contenders rumored to be interested in the Super Bowl champion.

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