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As Long as We Remember...

July 11, 2011

Controversial Spokesman Resigned

Derek Shackelford

Nike, Inc., is a sportswear company that specializes in apparel that includes sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, shoes, plus a whole lot more. When it comes to selling sports apparel, Nike is the leader. Its creativity in advertising its product is second to none.


The company has become a trendsetter in sports apparel with its billboards, commercials and slogans. One of their most famous is used in many facets of our everyday vernacular – “Just Do It.” Nike has captured something with this slogan. It doesn’t tell you what to do or how to do it. “Just Do It” captures the emotions of our athletic spirit.


This athletic advertisement model leads to the decision by Nike to re-sign Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, to an endorsement deal. Vick was a previous spokesman for Nike and one of the highest paid athletes to wear the Nike logo. Many people will remember Vick but not for his athletic prowess.


Vick was convicted of operating a dog fighting enterprise and subsequently served 23 months in federal prison. After his prison sentence, Vick was reinstated to the NFL by Commissioner Roger Goodell and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.


This past season Vick was awarded the Associated Press’ Comeback Player of the Year Award for his accomplishments on the field.


There are some who disagree with the signing of Vick by Nike, let alone that he should be allowed to play football in the NFL. Some animal rights advocate groups have openly staged protests against the NFL during games in which Vick played.


I don’t think anyone can – or will – condone the crimes that were reported in the killing and despicable treatment of dogs. People will say if you do the crime then you should do the time. Vick has served his time; so, should he be penalized further?


Yes, I do understand there is the court of law and the court of public opinion. So often they are not one in the same. People are entitled to their opinion in regard to the situation and whether or not they support an individual.


What also must be understood is the chance for all of us to experience some redemption. For the past week I have listened to people who vehemently oppose Nike resigning Vick to an endorsement deal. They are certainly free to express and voice their opinion.


To think that Nike is the moral police is certainly misguided. Nike is not entitled to that position. Nike is about making a profit and selling merchandise. Michael Vick sells Nike merchandise; thus the reason for the signing.


Side note to people who disagree – Uh, no one is making you buy Nike products!


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