Adidas added to Iowa youth basketball exploitation lawsuit

Sportswear maker Adidas Group has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit against a former Iowa youth basketball coach now serving a 180-year prison sentence for sexually exploiting hundreds of former players.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 10:33 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Sportswear maker Adidas Group has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit against a former Iowa youth basketball coach now serving a 180-year prison sentence for sexually exploiting hundreds of former players.

The civil lawsuit was initially filed in state court in Iowa in November on behalf of a victim identified only as John Doe who was a youth basketball player for two years. It initially sought to recover damages from former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen, the Barnstormers and its supervising organization, the Amateur Athletic Union.

The lawsuit was amended July 11 to add Adidas, a team sponsor. The suit claims the German company failed to protect the safety and ensure the privacy of minor athletes.

Stephen is serving a 180-year prison sentence after pleaded guilty in October 2018 to sexually exploiting young players.

An Adidas spokesman did not reply to a message.

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