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Archive for Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nike gives boot to Vick … for now

Relationship suspended pending case; Reebok pulls jerseys

July 28, 2007

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— Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Michael Vick on Friday, while Reebok took the unprecedented step of stopping sales of his No. 7 jersey.

In another dose of bad news for the indicted quarterback, a top trading card company announced it was pulling Vick's likeness from any new packs.

Facing protests from animal-rights groups, Nike announced it was suspending Vick's endorsement deal without pay, as well as halting sales of Vick-related shoes and other products at its retail stores.

"Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick, and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent," Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said.

Reebok, the official uniform supplier of the NFL, said it would stop selling Vick's replica jersey at retail stores and through its Web site.

Donruss, one of four major trading card companies, has decided to pull Vick's card from any future 2007 releases, according to Beckett Media.

All three hits came one day after the Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded not guilty to federal dogfighting charges in Richmond, Va.

Since Vick has not been convicted of any crime, Nike left open the door to resume its business relationship with the star player if he's acquitted. The company already had decided to suspend release of his fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V.

"We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen in the United States," Nike said. "Therefore, we have not terminated our relationship."

Vick signed with Nike in 2001, the same year Atlanta chose him as the NFL's No. 1 overall draft pick.

Vick is barred from the Falcons' training camp while the league investigates his actions for possible violations of its new personal conduct policy. He is set for trial Nov. 26 and faces up to five years in prison.

Although Reebok does not have a business relationship with Vick, the company serves as the official supplier of apparel and equipment to all 32 NFL teams.

"We just find the allegations very upsetting and very disturbing," Reebok spokeswoman Denise Kaigler said. "While this is just the beginning of the legal process and we know that it has to have time to run its course, we felt that making this decision now was important and the right things to do."

Comments

Crossfire 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe he can get a job with sellin' chaw and rebel flag t'shirts. Ye-haw...

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