Upper Deck Discards Vick

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) _ Upper Deck has removed all Michael Vick
autographed memorabilia from its online store and will remove the
indicted quarterback's trading card from N-F-L sets that are
scheduled to be released in October.
The announcement by the San Diego County company came a day
after Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Vick and Reebok
took the unprecedented step of stopping sales of his Number Seven
jersey. Another trading card company, Donruss, announced it was
pulling Vick's likeness from any new packs.
Upper Deck's director of marketing, Kerri Stockholm, said in a
statement -- quote -- ``Of course we appreciate the fact that Mr.
Vick is innocent until proven guilty, but the allegations alone
have resulted in an outpouring of very strong emotion within our
organization and among the collecting community. We believe
collectors will agree and support this decision as being the best
course of action for our football business.''
Items pulled from the online store include autographed
footballs, helmets, jerseys and the company's line of ``Breaking
Through'' pieces. His card will be pulled beginning with the
Ultimate Collection Football set.
The latest hit to Vick came two days after the Atlanta Falcons
quarterback pleaded not guilty to federal dogfighting charges in
Richmond, Virginia. In the indictment, he was accused of sponsoring
a gruesome operation that often shot, hanged, drowned or
electrocuted losing dogs.
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) _ Nike suspended its lucrative contract
with Michael Vick Saturday, 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 -- quote --
``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 -- quote -- ``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.


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