Sponsors drop accused Pistorius
Corporate sponsors Oakley and Nike have dropped Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius as the sports star fights charges he murdered his girlfriend.
The moves come as the South African double-amputee, who gained worldwide fame for running on carbon-fibre blades, admitted to shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp during his bail hearing yesterday (19 February). He has, however, denied the shooting was premeditated, claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.
Oakley, the glasses maker, has suspended its contract with Pistorius in the wake of the allegations.
In a statement it said: “In light of the recent allegations, Oakley is suspending its contract with Oscar Pistorius, effective immediately. Our hearts are with the families during this difficult time and we’ll continue to follow the developments in this tragic case.”
Meanwhile, Nike said it has no intention to feature Oscar Pistorius in upcoming campaigns. The company declined to say whether it had any plans for Pistorius or whether it would pull current advertising that includes him. The business did pull an internet ad showing Pistorius sprinting with the caption, “I am the bullet in the chamber” last week.
Fellow sponsor British Telecom, which last week (14 February) said the Paralympian was “still a brand ambassador” added: “Given the ongoing situation we have nothing further to say at this time.”