October 1st, 2009 5:33 pm | by JONATHAN CROWL News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Sports

Why Nike And Michael Vick Would Be a Strange Relationship

June 2007 rally against Vick's Nike sponsorship
Earlier reports of a endorsement deal between Nike and Michael Vick —now denied by Nike— caused a WW reader to remind us of why a deal would have been a curious move for Phil Knight's company.

Vick was reinstated this season by the NFL to play for Philadelphia after serving prison time for being part of a dogfighting ring. Obviously, Vick has served his time and should be allowed to make a living at what he does best.

But here's why it would have been odd for Nike to sign Vick to a new endorsement deal after dropping him when he was charged with felony offenses for his involvement in dogfighting: Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, are known dog-lovers who have directed their philanthropic efforts before towards dogs. For example, the Knights, who have lost two dogs to cancer, made a $50,000 donation to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Foundation in June 2007. The donation was the largest ever received by the foundation at that time.

For the record, Nike said in a statement today that it does not have a contractual agreement with Vick and has just "agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike."
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