ATLANTA (AP) -AirTran Airways has ended its relationship with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who has been a pitchman for the airline since 2004, but whose image has been tarnished in several off-field incidents.
``Michael's contract expired May 8, and we decided to go in another direction,'' AirTran spokesman Tad Hutcheson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.
Most recently, Vick's name has been dragged into a Virginia investigation of dog fighting after authorities confiscated dozens of dogs at property owned by Vick and said they found evidence related to fighting.
Among Vick's other publicity problems, security screeners at the Miami airport stopped him from boarding a flight in January with a water bottle that turned out to have a hidden compartment. Vick said he used it to store jewelry, and police found no evidence of smuggled drugs.
Vick's publicist blamed AirTran when the quarterback known for his quickness failed to arrive in Washington to speak before Congress. AirTran said Vick had ample opportunities to get to his destination on AirTran but chose not to.
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