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Vick to speak at event honoring NC athletes; thousands express outrage with the choice

vickTens of thousands are expressing their outrage online over the selection of Michael Vick as the main speaker at an “Evening of Champions” event in Raleigh.

The event, held to honor local athletes, is scheduled for Feb. 12.

Officials with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event, say they’re reviewing the complaints that have flooded in online about the appearance of the quarterback, who was convicted and served time in connection with his dogfighting operation.

But they say they have no plans to disinvite Vick.

“There is a group of folks, who are very unhappy with Mr. Vick for a variety of reasons — and they are passionate about it,” said Harvey Schmitt, president and CEO of the chamber.

But, he added, “Mr. Vick has an interesting story to tell. It is one of an attempt for his personal redemption.” Schmitt also stressed the event isn’t about honoring Vick, but spotlighting local sports stars. “The recognition is not for Mr. Vick,” he said.

The announcement of the event on the chamber’s Facebook page has drawn more than 1,000 comments, almost all of them negative.

“If you want a few Champions to speak to your little group, how about inviting the people who had to rescue and rehabilitate the dogs that survived their experience with Michael Vick? Or lets hear from the people that had to deal with the bodies of the ones that did NOT survive Michael Vick? THOSE are the true champions,” wrote a woman who identified herself as Sandra Melvin.

A group organizing a protest at the event has seen 1,600 sign up to attend, according to its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, a petition demanding the chamber remove Vick from the program has been signed by nearly 70,000 people on the website Change.org.

Organizers say the event is an opportunity to “learn the real story about his incredible NFL career, his meteoric rise from poverty to riches and fame, his downfall, and his improbable comeback.”

The program is being held at PNC Arena, with tickets running as much as $75 each.

Chamber officials declined to say how much Vick is getting paid for the appearance, according to WNCN, which first broke the story.

Vick,  currently a free agent, played for the Atlanta Falcons at the time of his arrest and, after his prison sentence, was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles.


Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time February 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

Vick has NEVER expressed remorse or regret nor apologized to his fans for his appalling, unbelievable violence. He and his supporters feel that “time served” is adequate redemption and reason for forgiveness. I truly hope that he is “hounded” by his violent, murderous personality for the rest of his life.

Comment from Michelle
Time February 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Vick should be beat with a stick !

Comment from laura tabaccki
Time February 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

What a sham and disgrace. Go ahead on with it, but you have angered many and you you all a bunch of pompous a$$$$es

Comment from J.L.Greene
Time February 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Any organization or company that supports this POS will NEVER have MY support!! Use you better judgement you dumbasses!! We HATE Michael Vick! Need a picture of the dog he hung to death for losing a fuking fight to remind you what a piece of shit he is???!!!!!

Comment from hey zus
Time February 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

this man served his time let him be

Comment from Jen Brighton
Time February 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Unfortunately, I don’t believe he did serve time for torturing dogs–only the gambling operation. He pled guilty to that, not the suffering he visited on the dogs he helped electrocute and choke to death.

Comment from Judith Pannebaker
Time February 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Here’s an excerpt from Jim Gorant’s book, “The Lost Dogs,” that chronicled what happened to Vick’s fighting dogs:
“As the Little Red Dog lay on the ground, fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its back legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground until, at last, the Little Red Dog was dead.”
I suggest that Chamber officials use this passage as the invocation prior to Michael Vick’s “inspirational” presentation at the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce event.

Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time February 7, 2014 at 7:51 am

This guy (Vick) is the poster boy for scumbags everywhere. I don’t understand how anyone with a soul can refuse to see that after all of the revelations about both his actions and his character.
And Jen Brighton (above) is 100% correct – Vick never served ONE SECOND of time for his disgraceful actions towards his dogs. The “He did is time” bit is both OLD, and WRONG!!!
Worst of all, Eighteenpaws is also correct in her assertion that Michael Vick has yet to apologize for his actions regarding the dogs he tortured and so mercilessly killed. The only thing he is publicly sorry for is that he made a mistake which ruined his career. A mistake is kicking over a can of paint, or spilling hot coffee on your new slacks, Not torturing and killing defenseless animals who want only to please their owner and be loved. That’s sociopathic behavior.
Geez, why wont this guy just go away?

Comment from Alexis
Time February 7, 2014 at 11:40 am

IMO our society is largely at fault for permitting this waste of planetary oxygen to continue to exist and moreover celebrating him and making excuses for him (“he did his time leave him alone”). The media is largely responsible for perpetuating the myth that he did his time for his crimes – what he DID serve time for was the result of a plea bargain dismissing the animal cruelty charges, and that was the lesser crime of bankrolling an illegal operation and doing so across state lines. Between society in general, sports fans in particular, and the media – unarguably – the only remaining surprise I contemplate is that no one whose head is actually on straight has taken him out for good. Or others that he has abused (human variety) haven’t done so. If there’s any astonishment left among moral responsible persons it is that Vick is still alive given how many he murdered.

Comment from Judith Pannebaker
Time February 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

I see it took an act of God to cancel Vick’s appearance in Raleigh. Long live snow!!!!