Where Was the Outrage When Nike Endorsed Michael Vick?

Some people are setting their Nike shoes on fire and boycotting the company because it has made Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.

These people are outraged because Nike is endorsing someone who they believe disrespected the flag — and thus the country and our military troops — by taking a knee while the national anthem played at NFL games. Donald Trump said Nike is sending a “terrible message.” (Yep, that’s the same president who disrespected the White House flag by refusing to fly it at half-staff after the death of Sen. John McCain, a patriot and war hero.)

Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice – not to disrespect the country.

After opting out of his 49ers contract to become a free agent last year, Kaepernick continues to be unemployed for doing nothing more than taking a knee during the national anthem. He has filed a grievance against the NFL contending that team owners colluded to punish him for his involvement in social causes by denying his employment in the league.

“Believe in something,” says the Nike ad with a close-up of Kaepernick’s face. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Where was the similar outrage back in 2011, when Nike endorsed another controversial NFL player—Michael Vick—after he’d gone to prison for running a dog-fighting operation during which he killed several dogs himself?

According to a federal indictment, Vick and two others brutally killed eight pit bulls at his Bad Newz Kennels by “hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.” Yet almost as soon as he got out of prison, Vick was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and resumed his NFL career.

If Vick had been featured in a similar Nike ad, it should have read something like this: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing a lot of innocent dogs.”

It’s true that there was some backlash to Nike’s endorsement of Vick, but it was nothing compared to the Kaepernick outrage. More than 4,000 people signed a Care2 petition urging the company to drop Vick. The Facebook page Boycott Nike – NO Michael Vick continues to have nearly 1,000 followers.

Nike spokesperson, Derek Kent, said at the time that the company endorsed Vick because he had acknowledged his past mistakes. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field,” Kent said.

Vick’s supporters say those of us who can’t forgive him for the horrible things he did to those poor dogs need to get over it. After all, he did apologize, but it seems like he was mostly sorry for getting caught. Yes, endorsing Vick was a mistake for Nike, but the company should be commended, not boycotted, for supporting a true American hero like Kaepernick.

And to everyone who’s upset with Nike’s endorsement of Kaepernick: please don’t destroy your shoes and clothing. Instead, show actual respect to our troops by donating them to your local homeless shelter or VFW post. About 11 percent of all homeless adults in the U.S. are veterans, and that’s something we should all be outraged about.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

108 comments

Frank H
Frank Hanline2 days ago

What really needs to be dealt with are:

1: Fatherless homes
2: The Bigotry of Low Expectations
3: Concentrated pockets of poverty
4: Poor schools
5: Thug culture
6: Using race as a weapon
7: Plea deals where the person admits to a lesser crime OR gets hit with a multitude of crimes
8: Private Prisons

and more

Look up who gets killed the most, white males by cops at 2.5 to 1 over black males. While that is NOT the ratio of the US as a whole, 5 to 1 whites/blacks, it is VERY close to the poverty rate. This really is a "poor person's burden".

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Leo C
Leo Custer2 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Robert G
Robert G3 days ago

Few people want to disrespect our flag, but on the other hand, our justice system is grossly unjuste: Black (and other ) Lives do Matter, Sessions is doing absolutely nothing, and he, Rosenstein, and Meuller deserve firing now; the Justice system itself is corrupt and too large and decentralized; how embarrassing to have in the US the largest prison population in the world – more than China and Russia. McCain is a poor diversion; he openly disrespected our President, was singly responsible for stopping favorable changes to ObamaCare, and he occupied a seat in Congress for months without doing the business of Congress. Other deaths of Congressmen do not warrant special handling, and certainly McCain’s did not after his actions and those of his family. Then it strikes me unworthy that football players who earn millions can disrespect their “cash cow.” On the other hand, Vick committed an awful crime; he admitted his guilt, faced his punishment, and deserves to begin again in forgiveness. These are two different situations. Kaepernick did not commit a crime. While I dislike this whole disrespect to the flag by those who benefit so much by their huge incomes, I also am glad to find any way to show disapproval for our country, politicians, congress, the justice system, against the innocent lives of its citizens. This would be an easier issue if Kaepernick d

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD3 days ago

tyfs

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole H5 days ago

OUTRAGEOUS ! !! I can not understand that people keep standing behind someone who has killed several dogs, of which one in a utterly disgusting and painful way ! Just because he said he was sorry afterwards ?? Don't make me laugh !! Do you know for 100 % sure that he meant what he said. And this has nothing to do with the NFL. There is the legal case of having brutally killed a dog in a very cruel way and the 2nd case is about his non respect of the National Hymn !! These 2 cases have to be seen / treated differently. And saying "sorry" is NOT enough for what he did to that one dog !!!

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Janis K
Janis K5 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Renata Kovacs
Renata Kovacs5 days ago

Thank you for sharing..

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Frank H
Frank Hanline6 days ago

Mary B: You do know that Tariq Nasheed of "We Was Kangs" fame spewed that Cruz, the Florida Shooter, was a white supremacist? Perhpas others who spew hate like him need to be "pulled off the airways"

Then there is Sarah Jeong from the NYT Editorial bpoard who "hates white people" and "Die white men" in particular.

Why are they not being called out in C2C?

Hypocrites is what C2C writers are.

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Mary B
Mary B6 days ago

Frank Hanline, I have to disagree with you on what your calling hypocrisy. We are supposed to decern and and make decisions based on our values, not stand by and say nothing when somebody commited cruelty. They should be stopped. People shouldn't drive when they're drunk, even tho it's legal to drink.Woman shouldn't be raped even tho they're so drunk they've passed out. Bad behavior is harmful. Circumcision, another one that needs to be stopped even tho it's traditional. There is nothing hypocritical about speaking up for your values AND saying those who promote harm have the 'same' right to spew their dysfunctional beliefs. Why? Because if no one says NO, we will not alow that behavior any more, they think it's okay. And just because someone calls themselves a liberal doesn't mean they are one.And anti-choice types are not speaking their values by protesting at Planned parenthood because they don't own the bodies of others. They too, must be stopped.If they don't want an abortion, nobody can force one on them. And yes, people like Alex Jones must be called out on his hate inciting ways because his words will lead to actions that harm . Free speech,and the Constitution needs to be re-examined in the light of todays technology and manipulative marketing practices.

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Leo C
Leo Custer6 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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