Vest CEO vouches for Michael Vick
"I guarantee he will not get hurt," Rob Vito, CEO of Unequal Technologies, told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
Vick suffered an injury to his rib cage when he sustained a hard hit during the Eagles' second preseason game. But despite taking only 12 snaps this preseason, he is set to start Philadelphia's season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 9 -- thanks largely in part to the protective vest created by Unequal Technologies.
"I'm looking forward to it to give me more protection and just to see what comes out of it," Vick told the Philadelphia Daily News after Tuesday's practice. "It's going to be custom-fitted and fitted to protect all across my sternum, across my ribs. I think it'll be a better fit."
Unequal Technologies, a 3-year-old Pennsylvania-based company, uses what Vito says is a military-grade, battle-tested composite material that has DuPont Kevlar to protect athletes from on-field injuries.
"What Michael is wearing was born on the battlefield and forged on the gridiron," Vito said.
Vito, who signed the first new endorsement deal with Vick after he returned to the league following his prison sentence, said his company fitted Vick on Friday with its "EXO Skeleton" compression shirt that has two rib protectors on either side.
Thanks to advances in technology, Vito said the material protects but still allows for a mobile quarterback like Vick to feel light. Each rib protector weighs approximately three ounces, Vito said.
Despite Vick's endorsement deal with the company, Vito said the quarterback was not wearing the company's gear when he bruised his ribs last week against the New England Patriots.
Unequal Technologies says it has 67 worldwide patents pending on its technology and currently has its products used by 24 of the 32 NFL teams and six NHL teams, and has designed body armor for Major League Baseball umpires.
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