On November 26, 2019 the NFL announced it’s 2020 Pro-Bowl Captains. The Pro Bowl will feature a match-up between the AFC and NFC, with each conference led by two Legends Captains. Terrell Davis, Darrell Green and Bruce Smith were awarded this honor. The controversy begins with the final captain- Michael Vick.
Michael Vick was arrested in 2007 on dog- fighting charges. He was sentenced to almost two years in federal prison after admitting he bankrolled the dog fighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs that he felt were “underperforming”. Vick tortured and killed his victims through beating, hanging, electrocution, and drowning.
The announcement of Vick’s captain nomination has sparked major backlash online. Two large-scale petitions have emerged calling to strip Vick of this title. As of December 9th, 2019, Change.org’s petition “Do not allow Michael Vick to be honored in the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl” has over 400,000 signatures. The “Remove Michael Vick From Being A 2020 Pro Bowl Legend Captain” petition run by Animalvictory.org has over 350,000 signatures.
Joanna Lind, founder of the former petition, said, “When is the NFL going to take any responsibility for the behavior of it’s current and former players? To honor a man who had zero regard for animals is unacceptable and I would like your help to make sure he is NOT honored at the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl.”
While Vick has admitted his guilt, served this time, and reportedly volunteered at the Humane Society as atonement, this honor should not be his. Vick’s treatment of animals is a stain that should blot out his record and end his career. There are certain things one should not do- clipping a car battery to a dog and throwing it in a swimming pool is one of them.
If you wish to participate in the petitions, links are provided below.