The Humane Society of the United States will renew its call for companies using Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick as a spokesman to cut ties with him after a federal indictment for dog fighting was issued Tuesday.
"We're planning to make those calls first thing Wednesday," said Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society. The organization asked Nike in June to drop Vick, but the company declined.
Now, the organization plans to extend the call to companies such as Rawlings and Powerade. AirTran has already dropped Vick and Pacelle said that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has recently done the same.
"We don't have all the contracts or know what they're all worth," Parcelle said, "but we know that they have language in those contracts that allows companies to sever ties with an athlete after something like this happens."
Vick and three others were charged with competitive dog fighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines.
In 2005, NBA star Kobe Bryant lost numerous endorsement deals after he was accused of rape in Colorado. Charges were eventually dropped against Bryant and he later regained his endorsement deal with Nike.
The accusations in the indictment against Vick include extensive details about cruel treatment of the dogs, including the way dogs were killed if they were not deemed fit for fighting. Dogs were shot, strangled, electrocuted or drowned if they either lost or were considered unworthy.
In addition to the reflection Vick could cast on his sponsors, some companies could be afraid of protests from groups such as the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
- Humane Society
- Wayne Pacelle