- Stephen A. PerryPresident, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Keep Michael Vick Out of the Hall of Fame
On November 15, 2010, Michael Vick broke several NFL records in passing and rushing. As a result, the Pro Football Hall of Fame asked for his jersey to put on display.
Three years ago, Michael Vick was convicted of felony dog fighting. Many people still question whether he's sorry for what he did or just sorry that he got caught.
In the same presentation to kids where Vick admits to heinous acts of animal cruelty, he has stated that he misses having dogs. Kids in Philadelphia see him as their idol as dog fighting in the city is on the rise.
Vick's teammate, DeSean Jackson, told the AP that after a pre-game altercation with the other team, "We came back into the locker room pumped. We were like pit bulls, ready to get out of the cage."
Part of the Hall of Fame's mission is to "promote the positive values of the sport." Michael Vick continues to symbolize the cruelty of dog fighting, not only for animal activists, but for Philadelphia's youth, local dog fighters, and others.
Urge the Hall of Fame not to celebrate animal cruelty.
Photo credit: stephskardal
- President, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Perry
On November 15, 2010, Michael Vick broke several NFL records in passing and rushing. Media reports said that the Hall of Fame requested Vick's jersey to put on display.
Part of the Hall of Fame's mission is to "promote the positive values of the sport." Michael Vick continues to symbolize the cruelty of dog fighting, and not only among animal activists. The Philadelphia SPCA reports that dog fighting in the city has increased since Vick signed with the Eagles, particularly among youth who see him as an idol. On Monday, Vick's teammate, DeSean Jackson, told the AP that after a pre-game altercation with the other team, "We came back into the locker room pumped. We were like pit bulls, ready to get out of the cage."
While Michael Vick has reclaimed his career and fame with little remorse, the dogs who survived his dog fighting ring continue to struggle. Bill Plaschke of the L.A Times wrote an article after the Redskins game about why the owner of one of Vick's former fighting dogs will never be forget the quarterback's past:
"While Michael Vick was running for glory, Mel was cowering toward a wall. Every time the 4-year-old dog meets a stranger, he goes into convulsions. He staggers back into a wall for protection. He lowers his face and tries to hide. New faces are not new friends, but old terrors ... 'Some people wonder, are we ever going to let Michael Vick get beyond all this?' said Richard Hunter, who owns Mel. 'I tell them, let's let Mel decide that. When he stops shaking, maybe then we can talk.'"
The "positive values of football" should include only players who are role models, not those who stand for, and have been convicted of violent crimes. I urge the Pro Football Hall of Fame not to glorify animal cruelty and bloodsports by choosing not to honor Michael Vick.
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