Hundreds of thousands of people have signed online petitions advocating the NFL to revoke former star QB Michael Vick from serving as captain during the 2020 Pro Bowl, citing his previous egregious history with animal abuse.
Activists are teaming up online. Most prominently, petitions from websites Animal Victory and Change.org have gotten more than 160,000 and 200,000 signatures, demanding the NFL to revert its decision.
Brande Wood, an activist who started a separate Change.org petition, sharply criticizes the NFL, ESPN and Disney for “condoning the torture and murder of dogs by allowing Michael Vick to be involved in the Pro Bowl.”
Vick was a former QB for the Atlanta Falcons, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Jets. In 2007, he was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation that put animals through appalling abuse.
Since his release, Vick has given his time to anti-dogfighting campaigns and promoted the message of forgiveness. “The past is the past,” he said. “You gotta move forward and try to create ways to promote change.”
The Pro Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.