Someone named Roger Duncan has started a petition, “Stand with Michael Vick against his racist detractors” in response to the backlash over Vick’s selection as a legends captain for the 2020 Pro Bowl.
When news of Vick’s selection began to circulate, online petitions were started protesting his selection.
The animus and backlash aimed at Vick is due to his 2007 felony conviction for running a dogfighting ring, where he and his associates brutally tortured and killed several dogs.
At current count, the two online petitions protesting Vick’s selection as Pro Bowl captain have over 800,000 signatures and counting.
In the “Stand with Vick” petition Duncan writes in support of Vick:
“In a nation that claims to be built on Christian principles, I don't see the Christ in the people that continue to speak out against him and his ability to enjoy his life to the fullest, I and many others are tired of these racists disguised as animal lovers trying to control this mans every move, if they could, they would deny him the ability to simply breathe. Enough is enough, the NFL should in no way shape or form, bend the knee to these people. Stand with Vick as I am.”
There is no doubt that some of the backlash Vick received at the time of his release from prison and re-entry into the NFL was steeped in racism.
His defenders say he's served his time for the crime and should be allowed to move on without continued harassment or vilification.
They will often point to the double standard when it comes to the outrage over animal rights vis a vis a human’s. Specifically Black humans.
They will also ask where the outrage is when discussing someone like Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is white, and was twiced accused of sexual assault.
“There are many white athletes that have done a lot worse, Ben Roethlisberger, is one that comes to mind that these same petitioners still stand and cheer for,” wrote Duncan. “He is a man that was accused of sexual assault not once but twice and he has never been vilified the way that Vick has been and continues to be, Enough is enough!”
Vick’s critics point to the innocence and defenseless nature of the animals, and the abhorrent way he and his associates, tortured and killed them.
So far Vick and the NFL have been quiet regarding the backlash.
At last count the “Stand With Michael Vick” petition has more than 17,000 signatures and counting.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images