New Bal­ance ter­mi­nate con­tract with Ben Stokes fol­low­ing Bris­tol in­ci­dent

The Guardian Australia - - Sport -

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

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