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Alright, a little melodramatic, I admit, but I am upset.  

As you may have heard, Micheal Vick, quarterback (I believe) for the Falcons (a football team from somewhere), has been indicted for owning and operating a dog-fighting ring where, among other things, he allegedly brutally murdered several dogs that refused to fight.  Of course, in today's news environment, they shared the means of killing these dogs and yesterday those words overtook me and I started to cry at the brutality of it.  What is wrong with people?  I just cannot grasp the ability of human beings to be so cruel, to animals as well as to one another.  Sometimes I am awed by our capacity for kindness and goodness and other times I am driven to tears at the depth of our depravity.  

So, Nike has a shoe that Vick is endorsing that sells for $100 plus.  Nike is saying it is "waiting to review the information" about Vick's indictment regarding the buildings, equipment, and dogs, alive and dead, found on his property in VA.  (You can read more here:  

Okay, there is someone who potentially has been BRUTALIZING, neglecting, abusing, and murdering animals ILLEGALLY and for profit and all Nike can say is:  "we are waiting to review the information"????  How about something to the effect of:  "this behavior, if true, is unacceptable, inhumane, disturbing, and, ultimately, behavior we cannot have associated with our products."  I don't know why I expected corporate greed to submit to human decency.  (I am eternally the optimist--which of course lends itself to repeated disappointments in life, but I digress...)  

I have used Nike for my running shoes all my life.  I wrote them and let them know that neither I, nor my husband, nor my sons, will be wearing Nike shoes from this day forward.  Studies have shown women to be the primary shoppers in family households.  I assume Nike believes the targetted buyers of Vick's shoes will make up for the shortfall that Nike will (hopefully) incur as a result of the blood on Vick's soles, and those of his associates, in the woods of VA.  I hope they are wrong.

Originally posted to mydragonflies on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:10 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We should be boycotting all the major (6+ / 0-)

    corporations for one reason or another, but especially sneakers.  Not only because of Vick, but because of this

    I don't have young kids who clammer for brand-name products, but we should resist these offensive companies-period.

  •  I know (6+ / 0-)

    there are so many reasons to hate them but every now and again we need something to remind us and this is what reminded me.


    Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

    by mydragonflies on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:16:43 PM PDT

  •  I hope he didn't do it.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RabidNation, PsychoSavannah

    but if he did, he should be tied up and put in a pen with a bunch of very hungry dogs.

    •  Or every penny of his overinflated NFL salary (7+ / 0-)

      should be split between a pit rescue center and the human society.

      I rescued a pit-mix, Katie, and my best friend rescued a pit-mix, Diamond, and we come from DC, where pits are illegal b/c of the fighting.  This just hits so close to home.  I can't stand dog fighting.  

      Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

      by mydragonflies on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:31:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Recced because of the rescue (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RabidNation, marina, PsychoSavannah

        This is a labor of love. A good friend of mine enlisted me on a pit rescue after Katrina. You guys are the best.

      •  When treated right, they are (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RabidNation, Ice Blue, Noor B

        the SWEETEST dogs. My son has a pit mix. They're living with us right now, and I have fallen in love with her. I agree -- to think such a gentle dog could be treated so horribly just makes me sick.

        •  I KNOW! They are non-aggressive by nature (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RabidNation, el dorado gal, Ice Blue

          which is why they have to be beaten and starved to get to fight.  The reason they are so popular for fighting is b/c they are stubborn.  They have a quality called "gameness" (nice) which means that once they are committed to a fight, they will not stop until they feel they are no longer threatened; ie, they will fight to the death.  So there are other breeds that are more prone toward aggressive behavior BUT they don't have this "gameness", so people take the pits and abuse them enough to make them fight and commit to the fight.  It is absolutely disgusting.

          Our Katie is so gentle that, I swear to you, I could stab her with a fork and she would probably just lick me (I would never do that of course!  lol).  She just wants to be loved and it is heart-breaking how loving she is and to know that when we rescued her she would have been put down if we hadn't taken her just b/c she was a pit mix with an unknown history and open wounds.  But I could tell she was special and she deserved a second chance.  And I was right.

          Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

          by mydragonflies on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:06:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well not exactly (5+ / 0-)

            American Pit Bull terriers were originally bred to fight other dogs.  That's just historic truth.

            Like many terriers, they are genetically dog-aggressive, but this tendency was enhanced to create a dog that would keep fighting even when the other dog submits (most dog fights end when one submits).  You don't have to "train" a pit bull to fight.  You don't have to "abuse" them either (except to the extent that putting them into a fighting situation for OUR pleasure is inherently abusive.)
            But you can certainly train them to behave around other dogs.  And of course many pit bulls are ocmpletely "cold" towards other dogs.

            This means that, even today, responsible pit bull owners are very careful about their dogs around other dogs.

            Now, with people, it's a whole different story.  Pit bulls .. also by genetics.. love and are submissive to people however badly they are treated.

            •  I guess that is what I was thinking... (0+ / 0-)

              was in terms of people.  I know other breeds that are more "snappish" when it comes to humans but pits are SO anxious to have their human like them...  

              Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

              by mydragonflies on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 06:44:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Try finding a company you like... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mrcia, marina, frandor55, Ice Blue

    ...and stick with it.

    Preferably, of course, it's a company with a minimally or non-abusive relationship with its suppliers, treats its employees well, and doesn't do business with anyone who abuses their workers (either that, or specifically does business with the least abusive suppliers). And at the same time, preferably your favored company will be producing good shoes (definition: they're comfortable enough to wear, they provide enough support so your feet and legs aren't harmed by your activities, and they last at least five years) and the shoes won't be too expensive.

    No, I don't buy Nike shoes, but that's only partly because of their labor record. It's also because they make crappy shoes, and American shoe-manufacturers make better merchandise. (I won't buy an American car, but that's because they're ugly, fuel-slurping death-traps. The Japanese companies know how to make cars wherein I don't fear for my life.)

    I had a pair of Nikes that, worn hard, fell apart after two years. I had a pair of American-made walking shoes(!) that I wore even harder - walked up and down a couple of mountains, and neck-deep through a few rivers with them (I learned to swim with clothes on, wearing them), and wore them to school and to work, and so on, and they lasted me... I think six years, before the soles wore through. And the Nikes were more expensive, too. What kind of nonsense is that?

    Socialism: Aspirin for your social-welfare headaches. (Use in moderation.)

    by Shaviv on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:19:34 PM PDT

  •  I haven't bought Nike (5+ / 0-)

    shoes for at least 15 years....since the first reports of their sweatshop labor.  Their comment regarding the allegations against Vick is very callous, and I think your addendum is what SHOULD have been said.

    I cried the absolute savagery of those acts and some people in general.  I think as the economy sinks more and more for us "regular folk", we'll be seeing more and more of this kind of stuff.  People will do anything for money.  Robbery is already on the rise.  It happened during Reagan and Bush I's reign, crime dropped during Clinton because life was better for most, and it's rising again during Bush II.  Doesn't really take rocket science to connect those dots.

  •  Nike Already Backtracking On Vick Shoe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue

    It sounds like the thousands of emails and phone calls to Nike headquarters in Beaverton, OR have resulted in Nike postponing the August release of the new Vick shoe.

    'It's deja vu all over again'-Yogi Berra

    by frandor55 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 08:29:25 PM PDT

  •  good news, in part (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue

    Nike is holding off release of the new shoe.

    But their history with dogfighting images is disgusting so I don't expect much else

  •  Nike has been a company to avoid for years (0+ / 0-)

    Glad you're not buying from them now, but how did you miss all the other problems they have had for well over a decade?

    •  I have not been focusing on consumer issues (0+ / 0-)

      Then my past five years have been a blur b/c I have had five household moves (including Germany) with my children, the youngest of which was born with a birth defect and had special needs, followed by a year-long deployment for my husband.  This is honestly the first time in five years that I have had time to sit at the computer and read the news or blog, etc.  And prior to that, my focus was on gender issues exlusively; with my emphasis on violence against women and reproductive rights.

      Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

      by mydragonflies on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 06:36:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another angle on this - marketing (0+ / 0-)

    At last...something I can post on without being a total ignoramus. I actually got my Kos membership in order to reply to this thread and have been waiting out the no-post period. I've refrained from posting before because I figure I just don't know enough about politics to do more than have opinions but I have a special interest in this one, even if by now the thread has dropped off the radar.

    I'm a dog trainer, I live in Oregon (Nike is right next door in Beaverton), and my father taught journalism at the University of Oregon. I mention this only to show why the subject might be of some interst to me.

    So what's the other angle on this? Well, when our local paper (the Oregonian) broke this story it included this bit of info:

    "’In the broad scheme of things, this is probably going to get treated worse than it is just because of the symbolism," said Lynn Kahle, a professor who teaches sports marketing at the University of Oregon. "A lot of people have a pet dog they really love, and the idea of mistreating a pet dog is bothersome.’"

    Later in the article come these two paragraphs:

    "Compared with charges of doping or even sexual assault, the alleged details in Vick’s case will carry greater weight with the football fans, marketing experts said.

    "’It’s not better of worse in a moral sense," the OU’s Kahle said, "but better or worse in how it plays out with the market.’"

    Does anybody see anything wrong with that idea? If I understand Kahle right then using steroids on yourself and training, fighting, and elecrocuting dogs are moral equivalents, but more importantly, what really matters is how they play out in the market. Certainly, this is a great example of letting the free market approach solve problems. Does the U of O also have a sports ethicist? If so, what does he say? Is this really what they believe in the sports marketing department of the University of Oregon?


    •  Welcome (0+ / 0-)

      I am glad this post inspired you to join and post!  I am new on here myself.

      I totally agree with you that this "analysis" is outrageous. To say that brutalizing animals incapable of protecting their own right to a decent life is morally "no better or worse" than inflicting damage on your own body (eg, using steroids)(arguably a victimless crime) suggests, to me, an understanding of ethics that is based solely on whether or not an action is legal as opposed to whether or not that action was "moral".  And when it comes to morality, all things are NOT equal and there IS a spectrum whereby, arguably, some actions are MORE immoral or offensive than others and that hierarchy shouldn't be based upon how consumers within a particular market view the action.    

      Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

      by mydragonflies on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        While most of the comments I have seen on this issue (not just on Kos, but in general) are condemnatory towards Vick I have also seen some really odd stuff, such as a liberal bloggist tying himself in knots of political correctness about whether Vick is being persecuted because he is black. (For the record, I don't know squat about football, and I didn't even find out he was black until after I posted my comment here! I'm afraid my sports are archery and bicycling - just not macho enough, I guess.)

        Another was the idea that those of use who eat meat should shut up about this...whew. (Unfortunately, I can't remember where I came across that one.) While I actually think it would be a good thing for us meat eaters to have to kill a steer once a year in order to be able to buy meat (I bet we'd eat less meat, that's for sure) I don't get that sentence at all.

        But since this thread has long since dropped off anybody's radar, who would know?

  •  I come from a mixed race family (0+ / 0-)

    and I knew race would be brought up eventually.  However, in cases like this, I don't see how race is relevant.  I would be boycotting Nike (and all other sponsors) regardless of Vicks' race.  I wouldn't be less or more likely to believe he did it(based on race) simply because of the FACTS of the case so far (the equipment, houses, dead and live dogs found on HIS property, and the witnesses).  

    Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

    by mydragonflies on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 06:38:08 AM PDT

  •  Update: THANK GOD ... (0+ / 0-)

    Nike suspends Vick deal without pay  
    Associated Press

    Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Michael Vick on Friday, while Reebok took the unprecedented step of stopping sales of his No. 7 jersey.

    In another dose of bad news for the indicted quarterback, a top trading card company announced it was pulling Vick's likeness from any new packs.
    Facing protests from animal-rights groups, Nike announced it was suspending Vick's endorsement deal without pay, as well as halting sales of Vick-related shoes and other products at its retail stores.

    "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick, and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent," Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said in a statement.

    Reebok, the official uniform supplier of the NFL, said it would stop selling Vick's replica jersey at retail stores and through its Web site.

    Donruss, one of four major trading card companies, has decided to pull Vick's card from any future 2007 releases, according to Beckett Media, which covers the collectibles industry.

    All three hits came one day after the Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded not guilty to federal dogfighting charges in Richmond, Va. In the indictment, he was accused of sponsoring a gruesome operation that often shot, hanged, drowned or electrocuted losing dogs.

    Since Vick has not been convicted of any crime, Nike left open the door to resume its business relationship with the star player if he's acquitted. The company already had decided to suspend release of his fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V.

    "We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen in the United States," the Nike statement said. "Therefore, we have not terminated our relationship."

    Vick signed with Nike in 2001, the same year Atlanta chose him as the NFL's No. 1 overall draft pick. He led the Falcons to the NFC championship game during the 2004 season and last year became the first quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 yards.

    Vick is barred from the Falcons' training camp while the league investigates his actions for possible violations of its new personal conduct policy. He is set for trial Nov. 26 and faces up to five years in prison.

    The case began April 25 when investigators conducting a drug search at a massive home Vick built in rural Virginia found 66 dogs, including 55 pit bulls, and equipment typically used in dogfighting. They included a "rape stand" that holds aggressive dogs in place for mating and a "breakstick" used to pry open a dog's mouth.

    PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — called off its planned protest at a dozen Niketown stores across the country next week.

    "Regardless of Vick's guilt or innocence in a court of law, the facts in this case clearly support this decision," PETA said. "No company wants a spokesperson with a massive illegal dogfighting ring operating on his property, regardless of his level of involvement."

    The Humane Society of the United States said the companies couldn't ignore the overwhelming opposition to having any association with Vick. He said some 165,000 e-mails were sent to Nike through the group's Web site.

    "I think there's a direct relationship," said Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS. "We asked them to do this and the pressure continued to build, especially as the facts of the indictment came out. It simply became an untenable position."

    There was no immediate response from the Vick camp. An after-hours phone message was left with his agent, Joel Segal, while unsuccessful attempts were made to reach his new attorney, Billy Martin, by phone and e-mail.

    Although Reebok does not have a business relationship with Vick, the Massachusetts-based company serves as the official supplier of apparel and equipment to all 32 NFL teams. Through that deal, it holds the coveted rights to sell jerseys at the retail level.

    "We just find the allegations very upsetting and very disturbing," Reebok spokeswoman Denise Kaigler said. "While this is just the beginning of the legal process and we know that it has to have time to run its course, we felt that making this decision now was important and the right things to do."

    Reebok said it also was willing to take back any unsold Vick jerseys that are returned by retail outlets.

    Kaigler said she already had received numerous e-mails in support of the decision. Even though numerous NFL players have run afoul of the law, this is the first time Reebok has stopped sales of an individual jersey.

    "The number of e-mails and statements we're getting from consumers was pretty telling about how disturbing people find these allegations to be," Kaigler said.

    Beckett Media reported on its Web site that Donruss dropped Vick's card at the behest of owner Ann Powell, whose five dogs accompany her to work every day and have virtually free reign inside the company's headquarters.

    "If anybody who knows about the current Vick situation knows Donruss, they know that this is a decision we had to make because of Ann and her love of dogs," company spokesman Scott Prusha told the Web site. "This decision came straight from Ann."

    Donruss had an autograph agreement with Vick, and much of the company's plans for the remainder of the year included the insertion of both autograph and memorabilia cards bearing the quarterback's picture.

    Prusha said that "wasn't even a consideration. We met as a company and the idea was brought up to pull him. There was no opposition from anybody in the room."

    Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow. David Everett.

    by mydragonflies on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 06:23:01 PM PDT

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