Animal welfare advocates are more than disappointed…they’re downright outraged that the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce has chosen a convicted felon who tortured, abused and killed countless innocent dogs through his Bad Newz Kennels compound to speak at an event that celebrates and honors local star athletes. Having Michael Vick featured as a role model at a chamber event that was conceived years ago to showcase sportsmanship and integrity is completely unacceptable and reprehensible, and shows that the chamber is out of touch with Wake County’s citizens, who are compassionate people and want the best for our animals.
On their website, The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce states that it “is the Triangle’s largest business membership organization—made up of more than 2,500 member firms representing two-thirds of the private sector employment in Wake County. The Chamber has been representing the interests of the local business community for more than a century.” The chamber’s decision to feature Michael Vick as a headliner at the event is insulting and degrading for our community and certainly does nothing to represent the business interest in our community. To elevate someone like Michael Vick, as if HE is a champion and have him speak to young, impressionable athletes is ludicrous. Our chamber is supposed to represent the climate of our community and uphold the values that we hold dear.
Area rescues, animal advocates and our local Wake County Animal Center have made an outstanding effort to become a lifesaving community for our companion animals. Wake County leadership and elected officials have embraced and upheld the notion that a humane community provides a better quality of life for all residents. For the chamber to bring in someone as polarizing as Michael Vick and hold him up as a role model is a blow to our reputation as a progressive and respected place to live.
The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce chamber has already made a mistake just by inviting Vick to our community and allowing him to be a part of an event that honors champions. Michael Vick is no champion. The cruelty to animals at the hands of Vick shows he values money over innocent lives. No time served (or impressive football plays played) will ever erase the images and words we all read about his actions.
Please send a personal message to chamber leadership and let them know that you disagree with their choice of Michael Vick. Request that they replace Vick with a distinguished athlete from among our own professional ranks in North Carolina. Some of the most revered and talented athletes in the country call North Carolina home. Request that the chamber put someone forward who is deserving of the speaker’s role and someone who will be a true example for others to follow.
Please tell the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Sports Council that having Michael Vick attend and speak at their Evening of Champions’ event is unacceptable in our community and to replace him immediately with a champion who is representative of what we value in a sports hero.
Supported by The Positive Pit Bull, Southern Belle Pit Bull Rescue, South of the Bully Pit Bull Rescue, and Merit Pit Bull Foundation, we stand united in the positive promotion of bully breeds and the protection of them against the brutality inflicted on them through dog fighting.
Michael Vick is no champion. Inviting him to be a part of this celebration is a disgrace to our community. He is a convicted felon who terrorized and brutally killed countless animals through his Bad Newz Kennels. Neither time served nor his impressive football moves can erase the images we saw of dead and suffering dogs.
Wake County is highly regarded as a wonderful place to live and is often ranked number one by publications for our excellent quality of life. We have made great strides to become a lifesaving community for companion animals thanks to advocates, rescues and Wake County Animal Center working cooperatively to put innovative programs in place. We believe that upholding and promoting this progress as a humane community further enhances a region’s quality of life. Your invitation to Michael Vick sends the wrong message to our community and especially to young athletes who need positive and honorable role models.
We respectfully request that you replace Michael Vick with an athlete who represents what we value in a sports hero.