Nike makes statement, suspends release of Vick products

ATLANTA -- Michael Vick's legal troubles prompted Nike on Thursday to suspend the release of its latest product line named after the Atlanta Falcons quarterback.

Nike has told retailers it will not release a fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V, this summer. Company spokesman Dean Stoyer said the four shoe products and three shirts that currently bear Vick's name will remain in stores.

Vick will be arraigned next week in a Richmond, Va., federal courtroom on charges of sponsoring a gruesome dogfighting operation.

Stoyer said the company still has a standing contract with Vick but declined to speculate on his future with Nike.

A statement released by Nike Inc. said the company "is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick, and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship."

Stoyer, who declined to discuss terms of Vick's contract with Nike, indicated the company has no commercials or documentaries planned with the three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection.

In years past, Nike has run footage and interviews with Vick on its Web site, but none of the video promotions are currently posted.

"Some of that was shown on a limited run based on rights and usage," Stoyer said. "There's nothing new planned."

Vick signed his current contract with Nike in 2001, the same year Atlanta chose him as the NFL's No. 1 overall draft pick. After leading the Falcons to the 2002 and '04 playoffs, Vick last year became the first quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.

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