Stokes cut by New Balance
Ben Stokes has apologised for mocking a disabled child, but it did not stop New Balance from ending their sponsorship deal with him.
The multinational sports equipment company tore up the England cricket allrounder’s contract on Thursday (NZ time), reported by the Telegraph to be worth £200,000 (NZ$375,000) per year.
It came hours after the 26-year-old issued an apology for a video which emerged earlier this month of him mocking celebrity Katie Price’s 14-year-old son, Harvey, who is blind and suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, autism and ADHD.
It was the second indiscretion for Stokes in quick succession after he was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm after an incident in late September outside a Bristol nightclub.
A video later emerged of a man, alleged to be Stokes, throwing 15 punches in a minute.
New Balance said in a statement Stokes’ conduct was not in line with the company’s values.
‘‘New Balance does not condone behaviour by our global athletes that does not match our brand culture and values. Therefore we have ended our relationship with Ben Stokes, effective October 11.’’
Earlier, Stokes had issued his apology on Twitter, saying he did not intend to cause any offence.
‘‘Earlier this year I was shown a clip of Harvey being asked on [ TV show] ‘Loose Women’ how he responds to internet trolls,’’ Stokes said, in his first public statement since the Bristol brawl.
‘‘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.
‘‘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.’’