Thursday, October 1, 2009
Kill a dog - Get a free hat!
Early this morning I caught an HLN report that Michael Vick had just signed an endorsement deal with Nike.
Before discussing the complete details of this claim let's talk about Michael Vick. He is the guy who really made a name for himself by making dogs like the one pictured here fight to the death for sport. He also played professional football. I mention the dog fighting before his football career (as prolific as it might have been) because I, like many other people, had never heard of him before he was arrested for his involvement with the dog fighting ring. It is the brutal, cruel dog fighting that made him a household name. According to CNN.com Vick also failed a random drug test while on probation.
Now let's talk about Nike and Michael Vick. In 2007 when Vick was convicted for taking part in dog fighting matches, Nike was the last of the sponsors to drop Vick. Understandably so, seeing how they have released several $100+ shoes with Vick's name printed on them. Several reputable print publications (USA Today and the Philly Enquirer are just two) and television news channels (Headline News and CNN) have mentioned "an undisclosed deal" between Michael Vick and Nike.
A not so in-depth Google search turned up a handful of fresh articles claiming that the "undisclosed deal" is nothing more that Nike supplying Vick with shoes and equipment for practice - something they do for many players whom they do not officially endorse. Guess what, supplying someone with your gear is an endorsement. As a clothing designer who has been in the biz for five years I know what an endorsement is. I endorse models and photographers all the time. Would you like to guess how I do it? Yup, I send them free clothing, just like Nike. Nike is by no means known for taking the high road. Do a quick Google or Youtube search for "nike exploits sweatshop" and see what you get.
So what's the point? The point is that the very concept of Nike providing a dog fighting millionaire who failed a drug test while on probation with even a hat to keep the sun off his head is a sign that the door is open to bigger things. For those of you opposed to dog fighting the only way to keep Nike from extending a NEW multi-million dollar deal to Michael Vick is to speak up now against the idea. Send the message to Nike that you do not support dog fighting by passing the message along that Nike HAS endorsed Michael Vick. Please let Nike know that you will not support them if they continue to endorse a man who is famous for dog fighting.
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