Below is a copy of a letter that I sent to Nike’s, Chairman, CEO, Committee on Corporate Responsibility and other relevant officers. I would encourage everyone reading this to write a similar letter or feel free to copy and paste mine. But please, let the leaders of Nike know that we will not sit idly by as they willfully abort their corporate values by restoring Michael Vick to sports hero status with their once great brand.
To: Philip Knight, Chairman of the Board, NIKE Corporation
Mark Parker, CEO, NIKE Corporation
Charles Denson, President, NIKE Brand
Don Blair, VP and Chief Financial Officer
Gary M. DeStefano, President Global Operations
Maria S. Eitel, President NIKE Foundation
Elizabeth J. Comstock, Board Member
John G. Connors, Board Member
Timothy D. Cook, Board Member
Ralph D. Denuzio, Board Member
Alan B. Graf, Jr., Board Member
Orin C. Smith, Board Member
Bert Hoyt, VP Global Category Football
Tim Hersey, VP North America Retail
Elliott Hill, VP and GM North America
David Grasso, VP Global Brand Marketing
PAT ZEEDICK, VP and GM Young Athletics
Nike Corporate Responsibility Committee Members
Jill K. Conway
Douglas G. Houser
Johnathan A. Rodgers
John R. Thompson, Jr.
John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D.
Phyllis M. Wise
Other Nike Officers
Tom Peddie, VP North America Sales
Bernie Pliskie, VP and Corporate Controller
Ken Dice, VP North America Marketing
Eric Sprunk, VP Merchandising and Product
Nigel Powell, VP Global Communications
Brad Johnson, VP North America Merchandising
Trevor Edwards, VP Global Brand and Category Merchandising
Dear Sir/ Madame –
I am writing to you today to express my deep concern over your company’s decision to re-sign Michael Vick as a corporate spokesman and ambassador of your brand.
I have been a lifelong Nike customer for the last 30+ years. During that time, I can honestly say that I have never owned another brand’s athletic shoe or apparel. That, however, has changed because of your poorly thought out corporate strategy to again align yourself with Michael Vick.
In 2007, when Nike released Michael Vick, your company stated that ‘cruelty to animals was “inhumane, abhorrent, and unacceptable.”‘ To which I must now ask ‘what has changed’? Michael Vick is still guilty of barbarous acts of sadistic cruelty, torture and murder against innocent dogs. The 18 of 23 months that he spent incarcerated for “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fight Venture” does not erase that. Nor does it fulfill in the minds of thousands of animal lovers worldwide that he has truly reconciled what he did. His public appearances and statements about his involvement are scripted, flat, devoid of emotion and lacking in sincerity. Anyone who truly pays attention can see that.
With so many other untarnished, talented professional athletes to choose from, it is very sad that corporate greed would lead your once great company to historically re-sign a man who clearly has a strong degree of unchecked sociopathology. How do you change that and more importantly how does Nike justify it? How can this possibly fit within your corporate “Inside the Lines” policies?
Nike plays such a huge role in our children’s lives through youth sports. From little league to Pop Warner football, high school and collegiate athletics the world’s young people look up to and want to emulate the sports stars they see not only play their favorite games, but also endorsing and selling a company’s products.
Your decision to pull Michael Vick back into the Nike fold is a blatant slap in the face of anyone who has ever known the unconditional love of a dog. And it sends the message to parents all over the world that “if you want your child to emulate a sadistic animal abuser and murderer of innocent dogs, NIKE HAS YOUR GEAR!”
Until Nike reverses its stance on Michael Vick, I will cease to be one of your customers. Additionally I will, through my words and my voice, make sure that everyone I come in contact with – friends, family, co-workers, social acquaintances, and strangers alike that Nike has abandoned its corporate values in pursuit of unashamed, ill-gotten revenues through its relationship with this man who with forethought and malice, intentionally and with pleasure electrocuted, drowned, bludgeoned, hung and beat to death innocent dogs who didn’t perform well in his illegal activities.
I do not care for nor do I need a canned corporate response to this letter. I would much rather your once great organization do the right thing and terminate your relationship with Michael Vick.
Former Nike Customer
Even More Great Links and Resources:
1.) “Michael Vick Was WRONGLY CONVICTED!” Great facts and links to actual court documents
2.) “Through Her Eyes” – Virginia’s Tale
3.) Michael Vick Deserves a Pet… Rock
4.) Tell President Obama You Do Not Agree With Him Supporting Vick
5.) Vick’s Unpaid Dues – Why Advocates Are Not Moving On
6.) Position Paper On Vick’s Desire to Own Another Dog from the Director of Vick Dog Rehabilitation