FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Michael Vick on Friday, while Reebok took the unprecedented step of stopping sales of his Number Seven jersey.
Facing protests from animal-rights groups, Nike announced that 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.
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.
Reebok, the official uniform supplier of the N-F-L, said it would stop selling Vick's replica jersey at retail stores and through its Web site. The moves came one day after the Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded not guilty to federal dogfighting charges in Richmond, Virginia.
Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike said in a statement, "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent."
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 said, "We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen in the United States. Therefore, we have not terminated our relationship."
Vick is barred from the Falcons' training camp while the league investigates his actions for possible violations of its new personal conduct policy.
While 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 N-F-L teams. Through that deal, it holds the coveted rights to sell jerseys at the retail level.