October 2, 2009 / 4:37 AM / 10 years ago

Nike denies endorsement deal with Michael Vick

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who joined the NFL team this year after serving time in federal prison on a dog-fighting conviction, pauses as he talks to young people about ending dog fights at Covenant Baptist Church in Washington, September 29, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Nike Inc on Thursday denied it has an endorsement deal with Michael Vick more than two years after dumping the National Football League quarterback following his arrest for bankrolling a dog-fighting ring.

Nike said it was only supplying gear for Vick as it does with many athletes. In such deals, Nike does not pay the athlete.

“Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick,” Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said in a statement. “We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”

Nike terminated its endorsement deal with Vick in 2007.

On Wednesday, there were reports that Vick’s agent said his client has an endorsement deal with Nike but would not reveal terms of the contract.

Vick was once one of the NFL’s most popular and exciting players but he was jailed in 2007 for bankrolling a dog-fighting ring after police raided his country property in Virginia.

His fall from grace cost him an estimated $100 million in lost salary and endorsements and his old club, the Atlanta Falcons, relinquished their rights to his contract after he was released from prison in May.

Vick, who was sentenced to 23 months in prison, played his first NFL game on September 27 for the Philadelphia Eagles since getting out of jail and being reinstated to the NFL.

Reporting by Ben Klayman, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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