Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, released a letter to Nike on Tuesday.
“We trust that Nike does not want to be associated with any celebrity who is linked to this odious form of animal cruelty,” Pacelle wrote.
“We recognize that Mr. Vick has not been charged with a crime,” Pacelle wrote in his letter. “But we know that Nike has high standards for its spokespersons.”
“At the very least, Mr. Vick was not vigilant enough and an unacceptable situation developed on one of his properties,” Pacelle wrote. “It remains to be seen whether all the personal accounts and information about his role in dogfighting are sufficient to connect Mr. Vick to the alleged dogfighting operation.”
Nike’s response to the Humane Society after the jump.
Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said the company planned to honor its lucrative deal with Vick, who worked with the company to design a line of athletic shoes and has been used prominently in advertising campaigns.
“There is no change in the status of the agreement between Nike and football player Michael Vick,” Stoyer said. “He is rightfully presumed innocent and afforded the same due process as any citizen, rather than be tried in the court of public opinion. Nike will continue to monitor the situation, but has nothing further to say at this time.