After initially planning to release Michael Vick's new shoe as scheduled, Nike has now announced they will delay the debut of Air Zoom Vick V after all. Although Vick has only been indicted and not convicted, and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty, this was the right move. Nike also had endorsement deals with Kobe Bryant (accused of sexual assault) and Justin Gatlin (accused of using an anabolic agent ) and does not need the bad publicity of yet another scandal.
from Nicholas Casey of The Wall Street Journal
Nike Inc. suspended the release of a shoe endorsed by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, the second time in about a year that the athletic-footwear giant has taken the unusual step of cracking down on one of its star endorsers after alleged misbehavior.
Mr. Vick, who has been under contract with Nike since 2001, was this week indicted on federal charges for his alleged involvement in a dogfighting ring and is scheduled for arraignment next week in Richmond, Va. The Beaverton, Ore., company won't release Mr. Vick's fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V, which was set to be released on Aug. 23, a Nike spokesman said. Mr. Vick's four previous shoe models will remain in 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," the company said in a statement yesterday. Nike added that it believes Mr. Vick should be "afforded the same due process as any citizen" and hadn't yet terminated its relationship with the athlete at this time. Mr. Vick's agent, Joel Segal, didn't return a call for comment.