New Balance terminate contract with Ben Stokes following Bristol incident
Ben Stokes has had his contract with New Balance terminated, the sports equipment manufacturer announced on Wednesday.
The news comes after it was announced last week that Stokes would not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad for this winter’s Ashes series as he waits to learn whether he will face criminal charges over the Bristol incident.
The 26-year-old, England’s vicecaptain, has not been ruled out of the five-Test series which starts on 23 November, but the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice as it awaits developments in the ongoing investigation by Avon amp; Somerset Police.
In a statement, New Balance said: “New Balance does not condone behaviour by our global athletes that does not match our brand culture and values, and therefore we have ended our relationship with Ben Stokes, effective October 11, 2017. We will not provide further comment.”
Also on Wednesday, the allrounder apologised to Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of the England allrounder impersonating the pair.
Footage emerged last month allegedly showing Stokes doing an impression of first Katie and then Harvey. The video came to light shortly after Stokes was placed under investigation by police after being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last month.
In a statement released on Twitter, Stokes said: “Earlier this year I was shown a clip of Harvey being asked on ”Loose Women“how he responds to internet trolls. I loved Harvey’s directness with his response - he said what most of us think but perhaps aren’t brave enough to say, let alone on live TV.
“I foolishly attempted to copy the clip after I saw it a few times. I should never have done this and I am so sorry. It was absolutely not my intention to offend Harvey, Katie or anybody else.”
Stokes added: “I have written to both Harvey and Katie to say sorry and prior to this offered to meet in person at the end of last month with a view to also getting behind their petition about online bullying. I do hope I can put this right.”
Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest.
Ben Stokes, who faces possible criminal charges over an incident in Bristol last month, apologised to Katie Harvey and her son Harvey via Twitter. Photograph: Reuters Staff/Reuters