Nike continues sponsoring Michael Vick, even though he faces federal felony dogfighting charges. Witnesses say he and associates cruelly killed dogs who didn't show enough "gameness." Nike stopped plans to roll out a new line of Vick shoes, but that's just a feeble punt, since they continue selling other Vick shoes. He is a completely unsuitable role model, and a terrible reflection on Nike as a responsible company.
TAKE ACTION Send an email to Nike President, CEO and Director Mark Parker, asking Nike to sever all ties with Michael Vick immediately.
Edit the subject line and the message with your own words for even greater impact!
Please immediately stop sponsoring Michael Vick. I'm sure you don't want to be associated with someone indicted by a federal grand jury for crimes related to dogfighting. Reports of extreme cruelty to dogs who didn't "perform" to the fighters' satisfaction only add to the disgrace Vick brings to Nike. And selling shirts to children depicting this cruel man as a "hero" is absurd.
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Please cut your ties with Vick immediately--anything less would reflect very badly on your brand.
Sincerely, [Your name] [Your address]
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Thank you for spreading the word! Here is one more important step to ensure your voice is heard: Please take a moment to call Nike USA Consumer Services at 1-503-671-6453 repeating your request that they stop sponsoring Michael Vick.
Click here to learn more about dogfighting in the NFL.
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Dear Friend, I thought you might be interested in this HSUS campaign to persuade Nike to drop football player and alleged dogfighter Michael Vick. Now that a grand jury has indicted Michael Vick on federal animal fighting charges--causing a tsunami of bad publicity for anyone associated with him--Nike must act. Please ask Nike to cut their ties to Michael Vick immediately. It will only take a minute. Here is the link:
This dog was seized from Michael Vick's property, along with 51 others.
A federal grand jury indicted Atlanta Falcons celebrity quarterback Michael Vick and three others on felony dogfighting charges July 17. The indictment follows a three-month investigation of an alleged dogfighting operation uncovered at Vick's property in Surry County, Va.
Vick and the three co-defendants are charged with violating federal laws against competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting, and conducting the enterprise across state lines. The Humane Society of the United States assisted in the investigation and care of the dogs seized from the property.
"Dogfighting is a serious federal and state crime, and enforcement authorities have treated this investigation with the seriousness it deserves," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "We will continue to work with law enforcement with the intention of bringing to justice any individual who contributed to this cruel and violent treatment of animals."
"Now that Michael Vick has been indicted, the NFL should not hesitate to suspend him," added Pacelle.
"In or about March of 2003, Peace [one of Vick’s co-defendants], after consulting with Vick about the losing female pit bull's condition, executed the losing dog by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal." - Read more from the indictment [PDF]
On April 25, Authorities seized 52 pit bulls from Vick's Surry County property and also found equipment used in dogfighting operations including a "rape stand" used for forced breeding, treadmills, drugs to enhance fighting performance, and a blood-stained fighting pit.
Dogfighting is a cruel blood-sport in which two dogs are pitted against each other in a fight to the death, or until one dog cannot continue. They are trained to be vicious—sometimes confined in trunks or closets, fed gunpowder, or beaten—all for the amusement of spectators and high-priced wagering. Fights can last for hours, as the dogs are trained to continue even after brutal wounds are inflicted.
According to court documents regarding Vick's case, even if the losing dogs survived, they met a cruel fate, "sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method."
Dogfighting is a dead end for any person participating in it, and there's nothing hip or cool about it. More»
These documents, filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, thoroughly describe the nature of dogfighting on Vick's property and suggest that one or more informants guided investigators on two recent raids. Authorities say the dogs were bathed immediately before fights to make sure their coats were not tainted with a poison that could unfairly thwart the opponent.
What You Can Do
Call the NFL's Commissioner Roger Goodell at (212) 450-2000 (you may have to leave a message in voicemail), and ask him to suspend Michael Vick immediately. Then send him a follow-up email.
Late yesterday, a federal grand jury indicted NFL star quarterback Michael Vick and three cohorts on felony dogfighting charges. It’s the latest disturbing news in a case that The Humane Society of the United States has assisted with since the alleged cruelties came to light in Virginia last April.
The abuses described in the 19-page indictment are almost beyond belief:
In or about March of 2003, PEACE [one of Vick’s co-defendants], after consulting with VICK about the losing female pit bull's condition, executed the losing dog by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal.
In or about April 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK executed approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in "testing" sessions...by various methods, including hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground."
The NFL expressed “disappointment” and said yesterday that “we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts.”
Well, that’s just not good enough. These acts were not petty or harmless; they were nothing short of gruesome and barbaric. And there is precedent for a suspension: Other NFL players, such as Pacman Jones and Chris Henry, have been suspended while they awaited trial and before they were convicted. Please contact the NFL today and urge the league to suspend Michael Vick.
For details about the case and The HSUS’s role in assisting federal prosecutors with the investigation and the care of 52 pit bulls taken from Vick’s property, click here. And if you are able, please make a special donation today to help us care for those animals while the case is being pursued by federal authorities.
Thank you for all you do for animals.
Wayne Pacelle President & CEO The Humane Society of the United States
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