Nike suspends Vick contract without pay

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nike Inc. said Friday it suspended its contract with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and will pull goods with his name off the shelves at stores the company owns.

In a statement Friday, the company said it had not terminated the contract, as animal-rights activists had urged the company to do after Vick was accused of federal dogfighting charges.

"Nike has suspended Michael Vick's contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike owned retail at this time," the company said.

Vick pleaded not guilty Thursday to participating in a dogfighting ring that allegedly executed underperforming pit bulls by hanging, electrocution or other brutal means.

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

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