Nike will hold off on launching a signature athletic shoe named for Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback accused of allegedly running a brutal dogfighting ring, CNBC's Darren Rovell reported.
Vick was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury on dogfighting charges; Gerald Poindexter, the top state prosecutor in Surrey County, Va., told reporters the pro athlete "more than likely" will face state charges as well.
Nike had planned to put the Zoom Vick V sneakers on store shelves on Aug. 23; but the sports apparel company issued the following press release:
"Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship. We have however made the decision to suspend the release of the Zoom Vick V and related marketing communications. Nike will continue to monitor the situation closely and have no further comment at this time."
Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said pre-existing Vick-branded products, including four shoe lines and three shirts, will remain in stores.
Vick will be arraigned next week in a Richmond, Va., federal court.
Stoyer said Nike still has a standing contract with Vick but declined to speculate on his future with the company. He said Nike has no commercials or documentaries planned with the three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection.