Joke’s on Stokes as sponsor pulls the plug
BEN Stokes has had his contract with New Balance terminated as the fallout from the scandal at the heart of English cricket continues.
The sports equipment manufacturer said it “does not condone behaviour... that does not match our brand culture and values”.
New Balance’s decision was announced hours after Stokes apologised to Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of the Durham player impersonating the pair.
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.
The 26-year-old, England’s vice-captain, has not been ruled out of the five-Test Ashes series which starts on November 23 in Australia, but the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice as it awaits developments in the ongoing investigation.
Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest. Stokes issued his apology to Price and her 15-year-old son Harvey, prior to New Balance’s decision being made public. Footage emerged last month of Stokes doing an impression of first Price and then Harvey. 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. – The Independent