200,000+ sign petition calling for Michael Vick’s removal as Pro Bowl captain
A petition calling for the NFL to strip Michael Vick of his designation as one of four “Legends” captains at the 2020 Pro Bowl has generated thousands of signatures in an overwhelming rebuke to his involvement in the event.
Posted by Joanna Lind on Change.org., the petition has over 200,000 supporters as of Friday afternoon, with 300,000 being the stated goal.
“Just saw this on Facebook and was absolutely disgusted,” Lind writes on the petition’s page. “When is the NFL going to take any responsibility for the behavior of it’s current and former players? To honor a man who had zero regard for animals is unacceptable and I would like your help to make sure he is NOT honored at the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl.”
Vick served 18 months of a 23-month sentence in federal prison due to his significant role in overseeing a dog-fighting ring at his Bad Newz Kennels operation in Virginia.
While Vick made efforts to rehabilitate his image both during and after his incarceration — including working with the Humane Society of the United States and supporting an anti-dog-fighting bill — he still has a toxic reputation among animal rights activists.
On the petition page, Lind also shares passages from the book, “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption,” a comprehensive accounting of the onetime NFL quarterback’s dog-fighting scandal, which features disturbing details of the operation.
The fallout from Vick’s incarceration and fall from grace resulted in him filing for bankruptcy, but he was later able to resurrect his NFL career following his stint in prison.
It remains to be seen whether Vick or the NFL will respond to the overwhelming backlash to his planned participation in the 2020 Pro Bowl. As it stands, Vick, along with Terrell Davis, Darrell Green and Bruce Smith, will serve Legends captains at the 2020 Pro Bowl, which will be held on Jan. 26 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.