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Michael Vick Joins Nike: A Story of Forgive and Forget Or The Combination of Two Evils?

Michael-vick-with-dog Michael Vick has signed a new endorsement deal with Nike. A few years ago, a player of his caliber would easily sign a deal with the sneaker company and it would go unheard. But in this case, Nike offered a contract to a man that was convicted of dog fighting charges. 

Nike spokeswoman Megan Saalfeld emailed CNN saying, "Michael acknowledges his past mistakes. We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field."

Vick was stripped of many of his endorsements before he returned to the National Football League in 2009. Nike provided him with equipment, but he was not a paid representative like many athletes than don the swoosh logo. 

Nike will most likely have control of the NFL's license on apparel and merchandise in 2012. Michael Vick put up great numbers in his first year as the starting quarterback for the Eagles and if he keeps it up, he could be part of the face of the NFL brand in 2012. 

This could be a story of forgive and forget, but there will be some people that view the move as the combination of two evils. Nike has been under a ton of scrutiny over the years for their source of labor and abuse in Indonesia. Vick's dog fighting charges took over headlines when he was in court.

Here's what the scenario could essentially be broken up into: A dog fighter decides to create a sneaker. A major company approves of it. A teenager in Indonesia creates the sneaker without any bathroom breaks and making little to no money. The company releases the sneaker. The dog fighter and company make millions off the shoe. Teenager in Indonesia makes nothing. 

Where is the justice?

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds over the next few months and years with Vick's long-term deal now in place. This will most definitely be a topic of debate for some in the next few days. 

If you want to look more into the Nike's Sweatshop history, please feel free to watch "Behind The Swoosh: Sweatshops and Social Justice" and look into Jim Keady's Team Sweat campaign

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