My stomach still feels flipped. My nose is turned up and my bottom lip down. It was disgusting, grotesque, sickening, heartbreaking, angering, sad. Along with the link to her Nike eBay auction, she sent a photo of one of the dogs that died in the Michael Vick dog fighting ring. If you didn’t hear, after a brief hiatus, Nike resigned Vick to a sponsorship deal.
She was right, people tend to shy away from the picture, me included. At first I thought, there’s no way I can post that picture to a bike blog that for the most part is a pretty happy place. People come here for goofy stuff. Then again. What do I have to lose? I doubt you'll stop reading if you see this. I'm sure I'll write something funny next week. Dogfighting is much more tolerable when you don’t see a dog with both ears, bottom lip and half its face missing. So, in protest, my cycling friend Bridget is selling all her Nike stuff for one price. All sale proceeds with go directly to Best Friends Animal Society, the organization that cared for Vick’s rescued Pitbulls a few years ago. That's quite a statement, considering there's two dozen items for one price.
Nike’s statement as quoted on Oregonlive.com, "We have re-signed Michael Vick as a Nike athlete. Michael acknowledges his past mistakes. We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field." The company's statement added, "We don't have any comment further than the statement."
“Mistakes” and “actions” are much easier words to look at than bloody dogs. Thankfully a Facebook friends lightened it up by posting “Eat poop and die Nike!” when she put up the link to her auction. Another who works at a shoe store said, “I had a customer tell my co-worker… not to bother bringing out any Nikes because they re-signed Vick.” Coming from an advertising background, sadly I’m sure Nike has crunched the numbers and realized that the benefit of having Vick as a Nike athlete is worth the fallout from animal lovers turning their back on the swoosh.
It made me look in my closet. I have a cycling under jersey and a set of running shoes. I’m not married to them. Both are take it or leave it items. There’s at least 5 other brands that I can easily turn to. Since seeing the bloody dog, I’ll have a hard time disassociationg those shoes with Vick. I’ll likely never purchase Nike again.
However, there’s a way to change that. Click on the auction and bid. There are 7 pairs of shorts, 2 sports bras, 3 caps, a baselayer, hooded pullovers, and a pair of cycling shoes and sadly a branded Livestrong duffle. At least you’ll know that the money you spend on this merchandise will go to helping rescued dogs and not end up in a check made out to Michael Vick.