Cricketer Dumped By Major Sponsor Over Behaviour
Under-fire England all-rounder Ben Stokes has had his contract with New Balance terminated Stokes earlier on Wednesday apologised to British model Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey after a video emerged of him 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.
New Balance said in a statement: "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.
The Express newspaper's website published footage last month allegedly showing Stokes doing an impression of first Katie and then Harvey, whose father is former Sydney FC star Dwight Yorke.
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.
Please see below my apology to Katie and Harvey pic.twitter.com/hFx5DnBb8H— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) October 11, 2017
"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."
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 vice-captain, has not been ruled out of the five-Test series which starts on November 23, 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 & Somerset Police.
Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest.