The news today in the sports world is that Nike has sealed a new endorsement deal with convicted animal abuser and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. After releasing him of his contract four year ago when he was arrested and convicted, they apparently think he will now be a positive role model for their company.
What are they thinking or are they thinking at all?
Huffington Post reports that while Nike says they don’t approve of what Vick did, they still have no problem with him representing their brand:
“Michael acknowledges his past mistakes,” Nike spokesman Derek Kent told Rovell. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
Intentionally maiming and then killing dogs is not a mistake. It is a calculated and callous crime. Vick not only funded a dog fighting operation, he also engaged first hand in the cruelty for six years. He personally violated dogs using electrical wire and then threw them into a pool so they were electrocuted. He also executed approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in ‘testing’ sessions” and killed using various methods, including hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.
Is executing animals for profit for six years in a row a mistake?
Vick served 18 months in prison and two months of home confinement back in 2007. Yes, he served his time. He should be able to get a job, just like any other felon can, but he should not be looked up to as a role model. This past January, Vick signed with the small sporting company, Unequal Technology and while that was bad enough, a major label like Nike endorsing him is even worse. Choosing him as a spokesman for a company that has been built from the money of countless families is disgusting. It sends the worst possible message to children. It shows them that money reigns supreme. It also says that cruelty and performing sadistic abuse is okay if you have enough talent (and can bring the company more money). Obviously that’s what Nike thinks or they would have never have named a felon to be a role model for their brand.
In a world where there are so many choices of athletes to represent them, Nike epically failed on this choice.
It’s a shame that a pro football player who has such talent and athleticism can sink low enough to sadistically abuse animals for entertainment and money.
I will never buy another product again and I’m sure I’m not alone.
Read Danielle’s blog Just Write Mom.