A Community Outraged-Michael Vick To Keynote Raleigh, NC ‘Night Of Champions’

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Mr. Scott is a political junkie, and animal lover. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, career law enforcement executive and university professor. In addition he happens to own MadMikesAmerica which means he can write anything he wants, and often does.
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thevictim A Community Outraged Michael Vick To Keynote Raleigh, NC Night Of Champions

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Michael Vick, convicted of a felony for fighting, torturing, and ultimately murdering dogs, is scheduled to keynote Raleigh, North Carolina’s annual Night Of Champions in which local athletes are honored for their accomplishments and awarded scholarships.

According to the Raleigh Sports Steering Committee program page, part of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, NFL quarterback Michael Vick will be interviewed as a special guest at this year’s event. Here’s a quote from the program page:

“Learn the story about his incredible NFL career—his meteoric rise from poverty to riches and fame, his downfall, and his improbable comeback. His presentation includes what he learned from his mistakes and the consequences, and how he has worked to change his life.”

Well, not everyone in Raleigh thinks honoring Michael Vick among the local Champions is a good idea. Despite 75,000 names on an online petition, 1500 people signed up to protest the event, and local businesses canceled their Chamber of Commerce memberships. The national press, including The Huffington Post, ESPN and others, as well as the local press are covering the outrage attendant to this event.  Nonetheless, despite the controversy, Greater Raleigh’s Chamber of Commerce President Harvey Schmidt insists the show will go on while reluctantly admitting he expected a bit of protest from the animal protection community, just not this much.

So how did Raleigh get stuck with this embarrassing fiasco? How does an area that has created endless champion athletes and top coaches from UNC, Duke and NC State end up as the launching pad for Vick’s redemption tour?  Vick is hardly a native son, has no connections to the area, and, as protesters say, is far from a champion or role model. Enter Vick’s PR Firm, French West & Vaughn, Raleigh based crisis management specialists, part of the event steering committee. Michael Vick needs to land a job as the #1 guy for an NFL team. His PR team has to show he can successfully hold public events without the outrage that has canceled these events in the past. What better place to do it than Raleigh, North Carolina, where they have the Chamber of Commerce in their pocket.

The petition will soon close and the organizers will personally present it to the Chamber of Commerce. Plans are in place for full page ads from “Concerned Citizens of Raleigh” asking business owners:

“The Chamber of Commerce clearly isn’t concerned about the citizens of Raleigh.  Is their logo in your store window going to hurt your business when their agenda is not about Raleigh?”

A long time active chamber member wrote:

“There’s a political lesson for all of us in the needless maelstrom that has engulfed the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce: You get fleas or worse when you lie down with dogs and dog killers, and you can destroy your credibility in a flash of bad judgment and sloppy PR.

“The chamber has inexplicably invited convicted felon, dog abuser and pro football player Michael Vick to speak to an event honoring ‘champions.’ The chamber’s defense is that his story is about human failure and redemption … and the chamber apparently believes that going to prison for hurting and killing dogs is a life lesson for young people.

“Vick has retired from hooking up dogs to car batteries and returned to the comfortable life of multi-millionaire football player and after-dinner entertainer, so the chamber is counting on him to sell some tickets.

“But business leaders whose names adorn the chamber’s membership list count on the organization to advance their political agenda and to be taken seriously. Their tolerance – and silence – around this misguided speaking invitation is contributing to the erosion of the organization’s political credibility and effectiveness.”

Sarah Williams, who brought this event to our attention, summed it up quite well, and for all of us; parents, children, animal lovers alike:

“I don’t want the man anywhere near my home, state, in the minds of my kids, or celebrated in anyway.   If a football team wants to hire him because they need to win, so be it.  But don’t go after fixing your image if you aren’t ready to face your past.”

UPDATE: Check out the response from Erin Anderson, Sports Council Manager, of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

 A Community Outraged Michael Vick To Keynote Raleigh, NC Night Of Champions
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Posted by on February 9, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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148 Responses to A Community Outraged-Michael Vick To Keynote Raleigh, NC ‘Night Of Champions’

  1. Parnell Philipps Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I was considering moving my business to Raleigh, but I’m concerned that the Chamber of Commerce would even consider such an irresponsible action. Michael Vick? Really? Aren’t there real heroes in the nation who have also overcome adversity without killing and torturing animals? What about our veterans? Lots of heroes there. You had to pick a convicted felon as a role model for our kids? Yep. Seriously reconsidering my move.

  2. Rachael Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Michael Vick? Whatever are these people thinking? Shame on you Raleigh!!!

  3. Terry Dixson Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Have family near Raleigh. Visited there a couple times. Those will be the last that my hard earned money is spent there. I refuse to spend a dime in any establishment that is a member of this jack water organization. Snub your nose all you want at 75,000 signatures on the petition asking you to reconsider. Money talks and b.s. walks! Some lessons are learned the hard way. Just ask Subway, Barnes and Noble, Nike, Muscle Pharm…..just to name a few. Enjoy your self righteous night GRCC, you WILL pay the price for your ignorance. Karma is a wonderful thing………

  4. Bonnie Boduk Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Keynote speaker??? The only thing Vick deserves is to be shoved into a keyhole!! I hope the audience throws rotten tomatoes at him.

    • teri Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      I know I would not even attend….wouldn’t it be wonderful if Vick were to speak to an empty house??

  5. Mary Howe Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    He’s no hero. He’s just a sick son-of-a-bitch. Glad I don’t live in Raleigh. If you do and your kids are supposed to attend I’d suggest staying at home. If nobody shows up that should send a pretty strong message.

  6. Tammy Gordon Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Great article! Thanks for spreading the word about the terrible decision this Chamber has made.

  7. Sarah Williams Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I moved to Raleigh to happily be part of what would could the “progressive” south. The Chamber Of Commerce is a powerful old boys club famously burying their heads in the Sand. Very pathetic.

    • Jess Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks for letting people know though.

  8. Dawn Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you for writing an article that expresses the feelings of so many regarding this decision by the Chamber of Commerce.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Dawn, but we must also thank Sarah Williams who told me about the event and provided me with a lot of the details :-)

  9. Crystal Fortin Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I will never do business with a member of this Chamber…..ever.

  10. Lisa Verruso Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I have nothing but unending disgust for this aberration of humanity. For the people that believe one can redeem themselves, I say “BULL”. The only thing this specimen of abject evil can do is either disappear or spend the greater portion of every day at a rescue shelter that nurses, heals, provides medical care & love to abused dogs & cats. His crimes are against the living who all equally feel agony, torment, & scream out from the pain be they animal or human; if everyone wants him around let him clean out rescue dog cages, feed them, wash them, & donate a good portion of every dollar he has or makes for the rest of his life. Personally, I am not of the heart or mindset that believes a sociopath can ever be anything but what they have always been. I wouldn’t even let him clean out dog & cat cages without intense supervision. I do know one thing: the last thing that anyone should be doing is having this evil twist as a speaker at a champions of anything event & paying him to boot! What is Raleigh, NC & their CoC thinking?

    • RoseAnn Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Please do not think it is the citizens of Raleigh.We dont want him here.Hence the protest & signatures.I for one am embarrassed of the Co C for this.

      • RoseAnn Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        Please do not think it is the citizens of Raleigh.We dont want him here.Hence the protest & signatures.I for one am embarrassed of the Co C for this. Plus they say ““Learn the story about his incredible NFL career—his meteoric rise from poverty to riches and fame,” His Riches were the dogs!!!!

  11. James Smith Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    The NFL is a business and intends to make as much profit as possible. If a Michael Vick will help that goal, it doesn’t matter what he’s done. Think about the Dallas Cowboys a few years ago and how many of that team had legal problems. Role models? For whom?

    • Jess Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Let me correct you here, the NFL(umbrella org) is really a non profit, it’s the NFL teams that are businesses. Found that out this week when there was a huge kerfuffle about the NFL(umbrella org) not paying taxes where the teams and players have to. That being said, Vick needs to be shoveling shit behind Clydesdales and elephants forever, to even come close to making up for what he did to those dogs. Animals and children are the weak spot for me, regardless if dude has spent 1 day or many years in prison for what he did, forgiveness wise. Once you do something like this to an innocent, you will do it again when you think the smoke has cleared and no one is paying attention to you anymore.

      • James Smith Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        I do stand corrected and appreciate it. I do know who runs the NFL and it is the owners, who are definitely in it for profit.

        Shoveling shit isn’t so bad. I did a lot of it on my uncle’s dairy farm when I was a kid. Some clam I am still doing it, although a different variety. ;) Those early habits are hard to break, you know. :D

        • Jess Reply

          February 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

          Well yeah but that shoveling shit wasn’t your uncle punishing you coz you fucked his prize sheepdog right (unless that’s something you don’t like to talk about anymore, no judgment ;) He was teaching you to work the farm and be responsible. yeah you totally shovel shit when the freaks of the buybull come calling and I loves to sit back and watch. There I said it, I am a voyeur, no judgement remember.

      • Joe Hagstrom Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        Took my kids to the circus when it was in town years ago. The most impressive thing I saw wasn’t the lion tamer or trapeze artists. It was the guy that shoveled the shit. That guy worked his ass off and never complained. If there was shit he shoveled it. Probably wasn’t getting paid shit either. But that guy was as good an example of a man doing his job because that’s what he hired on to do as you’ll ever see. No glory. No hot chicks. No big money. Just shit. The Chamber should honor this guy and the millions like him doing the shit jobs. Not a piece of shit like MV.

        • Jess Reply

          February 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

          I’ve not been to a circus that I know of, clowns scare me and I don’t go to the zoo, caged animals, I don’t like it so I have never seen the shit shoveler at his or her job. I’ll take your word for it that person should be honored and think something else for Mr Vick to do horrible wise to make up for what he did to those dogs. Won’t happen any other place than in my mind, so I can think of something terrible.

  12. Sharon Shade Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Sharon ShadeReply
    February 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm
    Two important things to consider in my mind as it relates to this topic:
    1. IF Vick were not a major sports figure and IF the animal cruelty at Bad Newz Kennels had NOT been for the money, would those who support Vick still feel the same? If he were just Joe Blow run of the mill animal abuser would ANYONE BE STANDING UP FOR HIM???? If so, where are they on the Puppy Doe abuser story? Why aren’t they claiming he can be rehabilitated? (http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2013/11/07/puppy-doe-suspect-past-shrouded-mystery/sUTYeYzGcXK5SHUmAlXJKK/story.html)
    2. IF Vick is really interested in redemption, why have we seen no PSA by him telling kids that he’s a criminal, that he knowingly engaged in widespread animal cruelty and abuse of innocent animals that is so shocking most of the pictures can’t be shown on the evening news, that he did it for MONEY even though he was already a multi-millionaire with a great contract and promising future? Why hasn’t his whiz bang PR firm put him out there to OWN his past and stop letting him refer to “mistakes” like he took a wrong exit off the freeway? Letting him blame “immaturity” when he was a man in his twenties who negotiated and signed a multi-million dollar contract and men much younger than he are fighting and serving honorably in the war in Afghanistan? Where is his community service where he gets dirty rescuing bait dogs who have been fought to the brink of death and dumped in the woods to hide the evidence of the crimes? You will NEVER see it because Vick will never OWN his criminal conduct. He only pled guilty to one charge and he did that only because everyone else was prepared to testify against him. And why is he allowing strangers, including people like me, to pay to support, treat and care for the dogs rescued from his former business? He could afford to pay for their care, but never once did he step up to do it. Instead, he got a new dog.
    I believe in redemption and second chances. Everyone deserves one if they demonstrate that they want it and are willing to work to earn it. Mike Vick thinks he should just be given a second chance, and that’s just not the way it works. I don’t care how much money he makes or what pro sport he plays, until he earns that second chance, to me he is no different than the monster who abused, mutilated and was responsible for the death of Puppy Doe.

    • t.e.smith Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      you are showing your bias, first of all there is no honor in our military attacking small weak countrys to get oil for oil companys.
      I killed vietnamise for this country because the politicians lied to us but i dont hear folks like you calling for the jailing of those that sent us to kill innocent people.
      I dont remember PETA folks on the front line in the anti invasion protest when we murdered 10s of thousands of Iraqis for non exsistant WMD, how about folks like you calling for putting tho politicians in jail that murdered all those Iraquis?
      I suspect that this on going stuff about VIC is because he is BLACK, there i said it.
      I do not like corporate sports, nor do i watch any of it,base ball foot ball or basketball.

      • Jess Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

        I really don’t think it’s because he is black at all te. There is some kind of built in sympathy for animals, in a lot of people, no matter the animal. Look at the posting about the killed giraffe anywhere on these here toobs and you will see the same sympathy for the animal and hate towards the killer of said animal and it was a white dude killed him. Me myself, I don’t care what race or creed or religion you are, you hurt an animal or a child you are a very bad person.
        Oh and yeah there are lots of people calling for crimes against humanity charges against people like Kissinger, North and the newer ones for what they have done war wise, our voices are drowned out by the chickenhawk warriors of the 101st Keyboard Kommandos. I know the ‘rents protested back in the day against the Vietnam war and I will carry the banner they can’t anymore for any wars of choice.

        • Ada Blue Reply

          February 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

          Jess I love your remarks and I appreciate this story Mike. We need more people to speak out on these important topic. Thanks also to Sarah.

        • t.e.smith Reply

          February 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm

          what you say is cool, but I saw the amount of money the peta folks spent on ads against this one person.
          and in my 45 years of anti war activity i have NEVER seen PETA folks spend a penny towards stopping the american war machine.
          in my analysis there is a strong whiff of anti black male crusading going on here, the whole episode came to light because like most rich guys Vic moved into a wealthy gated community (white) the neighbors saw a lot of expensive cars driven by black men going to Vics house. the whites “naturally” assumed that he must be a wealthy drug dealer and called the police.the police arrived smashed in the door and searched for drugs, found non. but did find the dog fighting, so to cover their ass charged him with dog fighting.
          Normally this kind of law breaking gets a fine and maybe a few days in jail, but the Peta folks and fox tv hyped it to be a major crime.
          i am not supporting dog fighting and the cruelty involved, but the very same week a black man was killed by police for not paying a subway toll and were given a month suspension. Fox tv said nothing, PETA took out out no national ads decrying murder by police forces. what kind of society are we?

          • Jess Reply

            February 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm

            People for the ethical treatment of animals, does not seem to be the group I would want trying to stop the war machine since that is not their biggest issue. There are more worthy orgs doing that. FOX news is the last place I would expect to see anything news related at all. They are the place to go for a GoOper fix and nothing else, unless it’s to say Obama is bad and they start in with dog whistling the tune for Dixie. FOX never says anything sensible about anything.

          • Mark Willis Reply

            February 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

            PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It has nothing to do with war machines, police, or race. It’s an organization that speaks to the treatment of ANIMALS. This is why they spoke out against the actions of Michael Vick. There would be no reason for them to say anything about subjects that do not address animals because they are all about animals. That being said I don’t agree with what they do about half the time either. And you don’t need to worry about the police there are millions of people hating them pretty much all the time, and if you don’t think they don’t get beat up every time they move you haven’t been paying attention. America is filled with just as many cop haters as it’s filled with animal lovers I suspect. Anyway Mike Vick is a mindless killing machine who needs to be suffer like those poor dogs, along with all of those who had any part in his nefarious activity.

          • Michael John Scott Reply

            February 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

            T.E. You are making wild allegations against the police which speaks volumes to me. Clearly you are not in your right mind at the moment, which is unlike you as you’ve been commenting here a long time. I just hope you’re OK because upon reviewing your prior posts I see a different person writing here. A troubled one.

          • Aretha Best Reply

            February 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

            I too am dumbfounded at the amount of money PETA has spent against ONE person. I’ve been following this story and several threads and its does seem like there is more here than meets the eye – anger like I have not seen since Obama was elected for a second term. And God forbid that you don’t agree with them. They want everybody to lynch Mr. Vick. They shoot down ALL arguments and any opposition. Even call people ‘crazy’ and ‘troubled’. How soon we forget the history of this ‘great’ country. America created the good and the bad and now wants to ‘get rid of the bad’. Hypocrites.

            • Steff Reply

              February 9, 2014 at 11:19 pm

              That’s a load you’re trying to change the subject. How is this about Obama? You’re trying to make this about race. You’re just a troll who’s trying to change the debate to fit your own agenda.

              • Aretha Best Reply

                February 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm

                No, I just don’t agree with all you zealots. And because i don’t agree with you , YOU want to accuse me of changing the subject. Instead of attempting to dialogue about a very controversial subject, you want to accuse me of bringing up race. Let’s forget about race: WHAT IS THIS REALLY ALL ABOUT? Let’s just go after ALL the lawbreakers – I don’t believe in animal or human cruelty and I have the guts to say so.

                • Steff Reply

                  February 9, 2014 at 11:52 pm

                  I’m sorry but the only “zealot” I see is you. Almost all of the people on this thread are objecting to Mr Vick being presented to as some sort of hero or champion of the people. If you can’t understand what this is really all about I respectfully suggest you’re just being obtuse.

            • Jess Reply

              February 10, 2014 at 10:31 am

              Aretha, damn near every single person that contributes here or comments here is a big animal lover. Some of us have more than one rescue animal. You can go through old articles and see the same hate towards people that kill whales for sport, hunt dolphins and club them to death, agreed or did something about the shark fin ban and on and on. I cannot remember how many of us are against the death penalty but there are a lot of us think that is the ultimate cruelty too, so changing this to be about POTUS is just strange. Nearly all of us here is a big supporter of the President just so you know, because most of us are liberals. No one is saying lynch him, that is a disgusting remnant of barbarity that this country should be ashamed of itself for. Me, I can speak for, it’s the way he treated those dogs, no living creature should have had to endure the torture those dogs under Vick’s care did. That he is held up in such high regard is what is pissing me off.

          • Lou Tabor Reply

            February 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm

            I personally don’t care what color he is. He abused, tortured and killed dogs. He was never charged with animal cruelty. His jail time had nothing to do with the dogs.Do some research. He is not and never will be a champion.Almost all dog fighters spend time in jail. Michael Vick is nothing special.If this was my brother he would be white and I would feel the same way.

            • Aretha Best Reply

              February 9, 2014 at 11:52 pm

              Lou, I’ll just repeat what I’ve already said: Situations like this affords everyone at the table an opportunity to see others’ POV. Yet, I’ve only been met with people who want me to agree with their POV about Michael Vick and because I won’t do that, then I get labled and accused of race-bating. Well, name-calling doesn’t bother me – Ive probably been called worse. I am always open to dialogue and what I’ve seen so far is a lot of name-calling and hate. And I’m supposed to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘accepting’ and teach that to my children. Yes, I have taught them those things but I’ve also taught them to stand up for what they believe. I’ve taught them that everybody will not always agree with them and that’s ok. People that are passionate about causes are the ones who cause change to happen. So, I respect that from people. I am very passionate as well and I do not walk in the lines that other people have drawn. The same issues people in this country are passionate about, people somewhere else could care less. Why? Because we all have our reasons for taking the positions that we take. You have yours and I have mine.

              • Michael John Scott Reply

                February 9, 2014 at 11:56 pm

                In no way have you been rude or discourteous (passion is good) and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. You are welcome here, even if there are many who may disagree with your point of view. This is a public debate as I’m sure you understand, and with one exception everyone has expressed their opinion respectfully, and with that same passion you mention. Thanks.

            • RoseAnn Reply

              February 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm

              I agree.In a live interview he said”I have no regrets.And I wouldnt change a thing. Now you tell me.Another reported caught up with Vic & said “I adopted one of your dogs .” his reply “F&*K those dogs” No remorse!!

          • Jae Reply

            February 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

            I am wondering if you are aware that PETA is an acronym for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals??? You seem to be be a very confused and racist individual…..All of your arguments have no merit, because you have no facts behind what you are spouting. Michael Vick is the issue on this feed….Get your attention somewhere else. You are invalid!

          • Lisa Kay Kovach Reply

            February 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

            T.E. Smith, I think you are uninformed on the purpose behind PETA. Why would PETA protest wars? That is not PETA’s goal. I think you will find plenty of organizations that have protested against wars and crimes against humanity. I am old enough to remember every war beginning with Viet Nam and have personally experienced great loss due to Viet Nam.
            This protest against Michael Vick has nothing to do with being black or white. For anyone to use that excuse to justify what Michael Vick has done is way out of line.
            Do you realize that organized dog fighting is a crime no matter what color your skin is? Do a little research into modern dog fighting and you will find that it is a crime that crosses every color barrier. It is a crime that historically has spanned the entire world.
            Bottom Line: Michael Vick is not the person to speak to young athletes with great potential to be Champions. Michael Vick is not a life to emulate or use as a role model. He is the role model for lies, cheating, greed, corruption, cruelty, murder.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        That’s just stupid. This isn’t about PETA. Where did you get that information? You don’t even know what happened here and yet you’re making ridiculous assertions that aren’t supported by the evidence.

      • Anonymous Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        Racist prick

        • teri Reply

          February 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

          Ah yes. because he’s black we must all be racist. So “Anonymous” (wow, cojones the size of carrot seeds), are you saying that, because he’s black, he must be allowed to slide?? That being black is an excuse? NOW who is the racist??

      • Irene Johnson Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 2:46 am

        The old racism card had to raise its head as it does every time Vick is in the news. When are people going to judge him by the colour of his heart and actions instead of by the colour of his skin? His actions and his heart are FAR blacker than his skin could ever be. How can you slam a dog repeatedly into the ground till every bone is broken and not be moved by its cries of pain?He showed NO mercy and yet he expects people to forgive and forget. Not from me-EVER!
        .

      • Camille in Raleigh Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 6:20 am

        T.E. Smith, you’re drawing a false equivalency and setting up strawman arguments by throwing out comments about the Iraq “war” and Vietnam. Claims of racial bias are also unfounded, especially since you have done nothing to back it up. The man tortured and murdered animals for profit, and has stated clearly in the press that he does not regret and feels no remorse for any of it. His arrest and jail time had nothing to do with animal cruelty–it was for racketeering. Animal cruelty charges were dropped in exchange for his plea deal.

        Michael Vick is not a politician, and no politician has been asked to speak at this event–therefore, you cannot equate sports with war, and your comments about WMDs (and, for that matter, PETA) are irrelevant strawmen.

        PETA has nothing to do with this protest.

    • Dawn T. Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      Very well said,Sharon!I would only add, although he did the fighting for money which he did not need, the relentless and evil torturing he did aside from the fighting bothers me even more. I could never again trust someone with that potential.

      • Sharon Shade Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        Dawn T,

        The point I was trying to make is that some people seem to think that because he made money off of it that that somehow explains the animal cruelty – which is insane. So it you take those factors away from the story, NONE of those people would support him or somehow suggest that he “served his time” and “paid his debt”.

        Until I see some genuine understanding of the fact that he’s an abuser, and some genuine contrition, seeking forgiveness for the monstrous things he did and allowed to happen in his name, I do not believe that he has earned redemption or a second chance.

        If he’s going to speak at this event, let him READ Chapter 8 of the NY Times writer’s book, the Lost Dogs. Let him tell people how that was a “mistake”; let him tell people what made him think he had the right to torture those animals who only wanted to please and be loved. Let him tell people how OF ALL THE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY HE COULD HAVE GONE INTO he chose animal abuse and dogfighting – why not deal drugs to his buddies? Steal jewelry from his wealthy friends? Commit insurance fraud or run prostitutes or fix games or gamble on something where no innocent life had to be sacrificed for him to get his thrill? I’d LOVE to interview him where he couldn’t dictate the questions in advance and where he would have no way to answer except with the truth. But his handlers will never let something like that happen.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      I am not standing up for Vick, for from it, but he has done PSA’s about what he did and that it was wrong. He has also made numerous appearances on behalf of the Humane Society telling audiences what he did and that it was wrong and that he was ashamed of it. I cannot vouch for what is in his head only for the fact that he did those things. With all of that I would never let him near my dog.

  13. Bill Formby Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    There is no doubt that Michael Vick did was despicable, horrible, and personally he should have had dogs unleashed upon him. But there is a point where we as human beings must ask ourselves when and what is enough for Michael Vick? I would not pay a dime to watch or listen to him. However, I have long put that aside because he went to prison and, to best of my knowledge, has fulfilled every request made of him by the Humane Society. When someone commits a wrong and society assigns a punishment for that wrong, when is it enough?
    This is like millions of people who commit a crime, some of them atrocious, but pay the price is assessed and is paid. But then it is assessed again, and again at every turn. At every job application, every application for a place to live. Everyone who learns of you transgression shuns you for the rest of your life. For the average person who commits a crime and is imprisoned the rest of his/her life is still a type of prison that can not be escape.
    Michael Vick is special. He had and to a lesser degree still has a special talent that has earned him millions of dollars. He was put up on a pedestal and his arrogance drug him off it, cost him money, threw in in prison, and has caused him disdain from millions.
    But, the question still remains, how much, how long before some will allow him some level of redemption.
    I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am working on it.

    • Aretha Best Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Mr Formby, thank you for your honesty: “But, the question still remains, how much, how long before some will allow him some level of redemption.
      I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am working on it.”

      I respect you for that.

      You raised some very important points and caused me to reflect on some of my own feelings about certain things. It caused me to attempt to understand why the protesters to this event feel so strongly especially since this man has served time for his crime.

      You wrote, “personally he should have had dogs unleashed upon him” – Wow. This made me think of slavery in America and the civil rights era of the 60’s. But I guess you’re saying we should make an example of him so the other dog-fighters will be scared enough to stop?

      The answer still remains to this one: “When someone commits a wrong and society assigns a punishment for that wrong, when is it enough?” I sometimes feel the same way when it comes to America and slavery. I am just being honest. Like yourself, I am working on it.

      I remember unpleasant stories from my great-grandmother (she would be 134 if she were alive today)about her great-grandparents who were probably born in the early 1800’s about the brutal institution of slavery in America and I ask myself, how much, how long before I will allow America some level of redemption. My response: I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am working on it.

      Perhaps the protesters will never understand why their vicious comments about Michael Vick are not shared by everybody, but these comments evoke feelings that I carry as an AA that some of them have never felt or understand. And I understand that. But I DO believe in redemption.

      I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am working on it.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        Aretha I respect your thoughts and your words but allow me to ask: Have you read the book “The Lost Dogs?” How much do you know about what Vick did to innocent animals? Did you know he burned them, shot them, electrocuted and hung them? Did you know he and a friend pulled one little puppy up by its front legs and played jump rope using the legs as the “rope?” Did you know these things or are you just being Christian, and I mean that respectfully? Thank you.

        • Aretha Best Reply

          February 9, 2014 at 11:20 pm

          You’re the second person that have asked me if I’ve read this book so…I’ll read the book. So after I’ve read the book, do you want me to come back and give an opinion? It’s probably evident that I hold some ‘feelings/opinions’ of my own about all of this but believe me when I say this – I am really trying to understand the outrage. It just seems over-the-top. This one person went as far as to send me a picture of a tortured dog.

          I LOVE dogs and animals. I don’t believe in animal OR human cruelty. It just all seems so hypocritical being an American citizen and knowing the cruelty inflicted upon humans by this very same country that I call home. Hear me out – the same people that recited “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal” are the same ones who enslaved and killed people. And yet some people I have dialogued with want me to ‘believe’ that the two are separate. I appreciate honest dialogue because I believe it allows all of us to be open to the ‘other’ side. But I have gotten the opposite. The ‘other’ side in this discussion DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT ever plan to see any other POV. They just want Michael Vick lynched. Read the comments. I can’t remember seeing this level of outrage in awhile. Just makes me wonder what the REAL issue is. At least you were honest in your comments.

          I almost feel like these people expect people like me to just KEEP QUIET and not oppose them. They have to understand that “When you hold people up for ridicule, you have to take responsibility when other people act on it.”(Jay Asher).

          I have to teach my children tolerance, acceptance and redemption in the light of the REAL world that we live in, to be honest. Yet, I’ve been met with such intolerance because of my position in all of this.

          I’ll read the book.

          • Jess Reply

            February 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

            I’m not answering you specifically Aretha.

            This is going to the idiot that sent you the photo. STOP IT. No one needs to see mutilated animals just because you might think they do. That was not a nice thing to do to anyone, when they never asked for it.

      • Bill Formby Reply

        February 11, 2014 at 12:03 am

        Thank you for your response. I work with criminal defense attorneys who defend indigent people accused of capital murder. With my current case load I will soon reach my 60th case that includes only two white defendants. I have met young men and women who range from innocent people (8) to those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, to those who made really bad decisions but were not really evil people, to those who were indeed those with dead eyes. I have stood beside 4 young men as they were sentenced to death, two of them are now dead. It is odd that I remember most are those who I helped prove innocent and those who were sentenced to death. Most of the others become but a blur. Most will some day get out of prison because they were over charged to begin with but their chances for any quality of life are slim. Society never forgets a mistake, even if it was simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even those that we have proven innocent have had negative effects on their lives. I could understand it a little more if it were a racial issue but its not. Most all of these have gone through systems dominated by African American Prosecutors, police, judges and juries, and communities. These were the lucky one because the attorneys I work with are very good and work as if they we million dollar attorneys. Many others are just walked through the system fro arrest to the prison doors. And even those who pay the “price” to the system never pay the life long price to society because society will not let them.

    • Camille in Raleigh Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 6:22 am

      No. Michael Vick has flatly said that he feels no remorse and no regret for what he did to the dogs that he tormented and killed–until he expresses some genuine remorse (and no, doing PR crap with the paper-tiger Humane Society is NOT a display of remorse), then I will not forgive him.

      Period.

      • RoseAnn Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

        His only remorse he said Camille is that he lost his sponsors & had to go to jail.People dont forget things like that!!!

    • Jae Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 9:07 am

      But, he has not paid for the crime. He was only found guilty of gambling and racketeering. He never served time for cruelty….not one day. He has gotten away with what he did to those dogs. He will never pay for that crime. He has never shown sorrow for what he did. He just make excuses for how it wasn’t really is fault. This is why, in my opinion, there is still so much hatred for this POS. He tortured these dogs for his own enjoyment and to line his own pockets, and he has never and will never pay for that crime.

  14. t.e.smith Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I find it very interesting that some people are so outraged about vic and the dogs but at the very same time they have nothing to say about police brutality towards the community. example: i remember that during the time of the vic dog trials a guy was killed by subway police for not paying the fare, and another person who was handcuffed in the back of a police car was shot dead by the police and non of the animal rights folks said a single thing. and does any one remember the bride groom in n.y. that undercover police shot 200 times because they “thought” he may have broke some law ( he had done nothing )but the animal rights folks had nothing to say.
    I think these folks are trying to unfairly ruin a mans life for their pet peeve.with a hidden “attitude”

    • Timmy Mahoney Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Maybe people are talking about this on THIS thread because THIS thread is about THIS subject. If you want to talk cop hate go somewhere else. This is about Michael Vick and his behavior toward dogs, animals for which you clearly have no affection or care. So stop telling other people what they should think.

      • Jess Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Timmy, I really don’t think is as much about cop hate as it is that in certain communities the police officers act differently. I “pass” for white and have been treated way nice when I have been popped for civil disobedience things but I have seen things in the groups I can be part of treated differently to where if I was a little darker I would be treated way differently. That being said, I’ve made a suggestion to te he should write something up and be a guest contributor.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      This comment is not on topic. Please remain on topic or I will delete your remarks. Please see the comment policy.

    • Jess Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      There has been a lot written here and elsewhere about police brutality. We talked about stop and frisk just this past week. May I suggest to you, if you want to talk police brutality against any community ask Mike if you can be a guest contributor, write your story and we’ll discuss it then. I’m thinking, you will see more people agree with you than not, that brutality is happening more and something needs to be done about it. It’s the what can be done about it is the problem, when you have one group saying it does not happen to us when we do (insert whatever here) and the other group saying, I’ve been in the middle of it myself. I am guessing that Mike will even agree with you and he’s a retired police officer.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm

        I do agree with you Jess.

      • Bill Formby Reply

        February 11, 2014 at 12:12 am

        I agree here. The is about Michael Vick. A man charged with a crime who served his time in prison, and who has met every single additional circumstance place on him by the courts including doing PSA’s about what he did and the wrongness of it and making personal appearances for the Humane Society doing the same. He has held meetings in low income areas talking to you boys and men telling them about he wrongs and has told them he was wrong and ashamed. I still have accepted him as being clean yet but I am asking at what point is it enough for him to no longer be considered a outcast to society whose very name elicits such hate?

        • Irene Johnson Reply

          February 14, 2014 at 8:57 am

          Bill- I will try and answer that question for you. This is my opinion of the situation and I am not saying I am right but for me its a question of sincerity. I live an entire continent away from the States and I came across this story purely by accident. I have read the court transcripts, newspaper articles,The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant,The true Story of the Micheal Vick dogfighting Case by Kathy Strouse. I have followed many threads on Facebook, blogs etc -in fact anything and everything I can find relating to this story. There are two sides to it- the dogs story-from their rescue and their ongoing rehabilitation, and then there is the Micheal Vick side-the court case, jail and life thereafter.What has been very evident to me is that Micheal Vick comes across as the most insincere person.He did himself enormous damage from the outset by lying time and time again about his involvement. Not once has he ever said he was sorry for what he did. He has apologised to his family and the NFL but never once said he was sorry about what he did to the dogs.He has never shown any interest in the surviving dogs well-being, he wont allow questions in TV interviews and his PR company vetoes all questions that are deemed too hot. This smacks of insincerity and has completely damaged his credibility.The fact that he never got one charge of cruelty against him because he cut a deal with the prosecutors still rankles the Vicktory dog supporters. Part of his deal was also that he would give up the names of others involved and that did’nt happen either. So remember that although the courts have sentenced him and he has done the time for what he was sentenced for, the court of public opinion is another matter entirely. When people start to see that he has made some sincere effort to admit his wrong-doing and in doing that he has to show some kind of remorse for his victims and not his own circumstance, then maybe he will find life a little easier and people more forgiving.The Vicktory dogs themselves have had much coverage and still today there are those who have not been adopted due to there particular problems caused by Vick and his cronies.But much good has happened to many of them, seven of them went on to be therapy dogs, others are helping to advertise various rescue efforts and others are loving family pets.Do I personally think Vick cares about the dogs at all- sorry no I don’t and to me that makes him a despicable human being.I think people should continue to talk about this case because it keeps the spotlight on this vicious sport and if Micheal Vick has to pay for it for the rest of his miserable life then so be it. He made his choice and he gets to live with it.

    • Dawn T. Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Wow, t.e., you make a lot of unfounded assumptions there. Vick is certainly NOT the only evil I’ve stood up against. My ‘attitude’ is not hidden. I express it quite clearly. It is evil to needlessly and relentlessly TORTURE an innocent being.

    • Lisa Kay Kovach Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      T.E.Smith: Humans have voices. They have the ability to organize and protest for themselves. Humans can write words and speak them before a crowd in protest. Humans can read.
      Animals do not have that privilege or ability. Animals are at the mercy of humans. I am proud as a human that I care enough to speak for the helpless. You can call me a racist, which I am definitely not, a radical, unforgiving or any other label you prefer, but I will always speak for the animals.
      This protest is about animal abuse. Nothing more.

  15. t.e.smith Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I do not watch or follow professional sports, but i say they are entitled to every penny the get.
    why? because of the amount of work that athletes required to attain the elite status.
    I run and bike and i know that 90% of us would not or could not work that hard.
    I suspect that some of the umbrage is because lots of pro athletes are working class Blacks, and just like all working class folks they do the stuff that working class folks do (talk to some of my country boy / red neck white friends!!).
    but in america, when blacks and whites do the same stuff, folks seem to think worse of the blacks

    • Timmy Mahoney Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Now you’re talking about racism. Why don’t you take a hike dude? It’s pretty clear to me the only racist here is you or such comments as yours would never have been made. Now go away.

      • Camille in Raleigh Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 6:23 am

        Making allegations of racism does not make one a racist, no matter how much you may want to whitesplain it that way.

    • Sharon Shade Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      T.E. Smith,

      This has nothing to do with race. Please don’t make it about race. It’s about the fact that he is an unrepentant animal abuser who only got the lenient treatment he did because he’s a professional sports player. If he weren’t, not one of his supporters would give a damn about him. They only care because he is in a position to make money for the NFL teams. Black, white or purple, I don’t care. It’s the conduct that I am concerned with. I feel equally strongly about the white man who abused Puppy Doe. Is that about race as well in your mind?

  16. rowdy62 Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    The football fans don’t care about what Mike Vick did as long as it doesn’t hurt the game. Just yesterday the Philadelphia Eagles said that he will be playing for them next season:

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/2107/michael-vick

    Although, as Jess pointed out, the NFL doesn’t make money the teams do and so do the cities that sponsor them. The fact is Michael Vick is big business. Will I ever forgive him? Never. Why is Raleigh NC doing this? Look at all the publicity they’re getting. I’ll bet they have their supporters as well. Good post Mike. Keep up the fight to protect our animals.

  17. Laura Balem Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Mr. Vick is not a hero. He is neither loved or respected. He is neither upstanding or outstanding, He is an abuser. He will do this again…abusers usually do..he has been in prison for horrific animal abuse…What on God’s green earth would posess Raleigh to make this man a keynote speaker!!!and why cant Mr. Vick see he is not wanted on the podium by its citizens??

  18. Dave Wren Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I haven’t commented in a while because I’ve been so busy but I have to comment on this subject.

    Killing an animal by torturing it doesn’t begin to resemble stealing a car, robbing a bank, or shoplifting a toaster. This is about hearing a living creature scream in pain and about watching blood flow. This is about standing in a circle with your buddies and saying: “Look at that motherfucker kick. Listen to it scream” while all the while drinking beer and laughing. It takes a special kind of killer to enjoy torturing animals and no amount of bullshit rehabilitation talk is going to change that.

    The Chamber of Commerce in Raleigh is endorsing that behavior. They are now part of the blood lust, part of that circle enjoying every minute of the cruelty in front of them. For shame. I will make a point NEVER to go there.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Dave you got my attention with this one. I’m picturing these guys all hanging around, laughing like fools every time a tortured animal screams. I can hear their kicks as they brutalize these poor dogs. I can hear my thoughts as they whisper to me about what I would really like to do to them while laughing all the while.

    • Lisa Verruso Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you David Wren. You have stated very clearly & concisely a small portion of what I continue to tell people constantly about this torturer of dogs, this sick & cruel twist of an aberration of humanity.

    • Jae Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Exactly!

    • Bill Formby Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Dave, do you remember Aaron McKinney, Russell Henderson and Chastity Pasley (who lived with Henderson) and Kristin Price. I doubt it without looking it up but any of them individually could probably get up to make a speech about repentance and not be as hated. And no Mike, this is not about cops.

      • Jess Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        Nah mang, they would be hated just as much, because they left Matthew Shepherd on a fence to die all alone coz he was gay and no I didn’t have to look them up I remember them because of my LGBT activism. They could even have taken the cowards way of dropping him off at a hospital entrance but they chose to torture him to death. Same thing happened with those idiots that dragged James Byrd behind a pick up truck in Texas years ago, no they would be still hated. They were monsters that tortured that man to death for the simple fact he was a black man. Anyone that treats a living being as a piece of meat is a despicable excuse for a human and a waste of oxygen.

        • Bill Formby Reply

          February 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

          I knew you would know them Jess.

  19. Stephanie Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I don’t care if someone is black, white, magenta, or forest green. Trash comes in all different colors. Anyone who is capable of drowning, hanging, electrocuting, or slamming an animal into the ground hard ebough to break its back is evil pure and simple. Think I’m exaggerating? Do the research. I am utterly embarrassed for the city of Raleigh. I also believe that anyone supporting this debacle and/or Mike Vick is either sick, ignorant or both.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I don’t think you’ll find much disagreement on this thread Stephanie. This has long been a hot topic for me, and anyone who spends time over here knows how I feel about animals. Glad you stopped by.

  20. Marcy Townsend Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    If Micheal Vicks name is printed, shut it down because he is worthless in my eyes what he did to those poor innocent dogs, then hung the ones that didn’t win, buried animals alive and was cruel and mean all the way around. Never will I support anything that he is involved in or watch the football team he plays for! He still needs to be in prison for his actions, not making millions again!

  21. Nikki Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Who ever gives him awards or honors him you are just as guilty as this waste of a life piece of shit.

  22. Margaret Knight Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    OMG. I didn’t know about this and I live in Raleigh!!!!! How did I not know about this? Does McFarlane know about this? Has she commented? What’s her position? Michael VICK!!!!!!!

    • Dawn T. Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Please help us by contacting locals you know! Thank you!!!

  23. Leslie Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    First of all let me say that I am an animal lover. I have a home with 6 dogs, several of them rescued. However, I feel sad for a society that doesn’t allow for rehabilitation. I don’t know if Michael Vick is changed but I do believe that he deserves a chance to prove that he is. We have all done wrong things and maybe some of us are glad that our “sins” aren’t publicized like Michael Vick’s and what he did is totally horrible!!! But is it possible that he has changed? And is it possible that he deserves a second chance? Don’t we all? Even animals deserve a second chance and yes, I know that he didn’t give the animals in his care that but I do believe he deserves a chance and maybe he can help someone else not go down that road. I know that many of you will not feel this way and to be honest, I didn’t either until my SON, yes my son pointed out to me that everyone deserves a second chance and I realized that he was correct.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      There are different levels of criminal behavior, and those involving the sort of psychosis demonstrated by Michael Vick as he went about the business of torturing and murdering animals does not deserve any measure of forgiveness. This is a man gone amuck and no amount of “rehabilitation” is going to change that. Sorry. Just my opinion. I will not forgive anyone for doing something like this.

      • James Smith Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

        from some of the description I have heard, this almost sounds like a ‘roid rage episode. I would be very surprised if Vick were not take steroids in some form.

        That does not excuse him in any way. If he was taking steroids, he was doing so by choice.

        I’ve always thought that, “I was drink and didn’t know what I was doing,” was not an excuse, it’s a confession. The same applies to taking drugs. If someone had a brain injury, say from an accident or disease, that I can understand. They didn’t choose those things. But drugs, including alcohol (as I sit here sipping my scotch) are not forced upon us, we do it because we want to do it and choose only to ignore the risks.

      • Lisa Verruso Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

        Michael John Scott, I couldn’t agree with you more. This filth exhibited the behavior of a sociopath, devoid of empathy & compassion. No one & I mean no one could commit the atrocities & tortured abuse that this slime committed even once & not take their own life in disgust. Not him; he continued over & over & over again to listen to & clearly enjoy or could care less about the blood curdling screams,the faces of defenseless dogs terrorized & in agony from the cruel abuse they suffered & endured at his & his cohorts own hands. I will never forgive him no matter what. There are actions or crimes that are beyond forgiveness in my book. That is my opinion and it will never change.

        • Michael John Scott Reply

          February 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

          Mine won’t change either Lisa. This man should never be forgiven for what he did. Not ever.

    • Anonymous Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      No body on here is God. So stop judging this man. Everyone deserves a second chance.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        February 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm

        Don’t tell us what to write or how to express an opinion. Secondly, please don’t mention god around here. This is no place for such mythology. If there were truly a god he would never have allowed Michael Vick to torture his creatures.

        • Bill Formby Reply

          February 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

          Mike, fire me if you wish, but you only allow folks who express agreement with you. I know how you feel about Vick and I feel about the same but I am working on not leaving this world hating anyone. It doesn’t bother them but it gives me heartburn. But this has always been an open forum as long as people were expressing themselves with decorum. The person mentioning god should not bother you since to dislike or hate something it must first exist. I think my hero Zeus probably did exist.

          • RoseAnn Reply

            February 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

            He had one and blew it.If your up to date!!1 Yes do not bring God into this.It is not about religion .

      • Sarah Williams Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

        I believe when this man openly confronts and admits to his psychotic past, people will be open to his need for redemption. He’s just not willing to do it; in the mean time the unspeakable acts cannot be forgiven
        https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/1623344_677910638918680_1650055877_n.jpg

    • Jae Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

      I’m sorry i just can’t agree with you. The things this man did were so heinous and vile, there is no rehabilitation on this earth that will make him ever worth anything.

  24. Sarah Williams Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    A big part of the problem is that many people don’t know how bad Michael Vick’s story is. If you ask the average NFL fan they’ll say he got caught with DogFighting, went to jail, and now he does good things and plays ball and doesnt dog fight. If you can get anyone of those same people to read Sports Illustrated Editor Jim Gorant’s book The Lost Dogs it changes their tune every time. Its not the dogfighting, which is a reprehensible illegal sport. Its the fact that Vick went on a psychotic rampage with his dogs that horrified everyone involved in the case – a level of abuse that gives any rational person doubt to this man’s state of mind (then and now). For the record – every member of the Raleigh Sports Steering Committee and Premier Sponsor, as well as the Chamber of Commerce President was sent the book with a simple note – “If nothing else, please read chapter 3 so you might appreciate why thousands are so offended. It’s only 8 pages”

    • Leslie Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      You are spot on; people “know” what happened, but they really have no idea of the magnitude and atrocity of what he did. They know the short/sanitized version. I’m glad the book and note was sent to each of them. That fact makes this even more ridiculous; they either didn’t care enough to read it, or they read it and still stand firm, somehow… UGH.

    • Irene Johnson Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 3:03 am

      The old racism card had to raise its head as it does every time Vick is in the news. When are people going to judge him by the colour of his heart and actions instead of by the colour of his skin? His actions and his heart are FAR blacker than his skin could ever be. How can you slam a dog repeatedly into the ground till every bone is broken and not be moved by its cries of pain?He showed NO mercy and yet he expects people to forgive and forget. Not from me-EVER!
      .

    • Irene Johnson Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 3:13 am

      Agreed. There is also another book out by Kathy Stroud which deals with Vicks arrest , court case and just how very close it came to him not being convicted. With the insights given in this book one can appreciate just how incredibly hard it was for Vick to even get sentenced.People lost their jobs because they dared to go up against him.It also gives a very disturbing insight into the world of dog-fighting which will churn your stomach.The book is called The untold story of the Micheal Vick Dogfighting case.Believe me once you have read this and then read The Lost Dogs which focuses more on the dogs story it will change the way you perceive this person.

      • RoseAnn Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        They should remember this: Vick was the mastermind behind his dogfighting operation. He bankrolled it, gave it a home base, encouraged it.

        In the backyard of his Virginia home were mass graves of pit bulls that had fought for him or had been torn apart serving as bait dogs in practice sessions. The surviving dogs were found barely alive, beaten, starved, tortured and chained to concrete slabs.

        There was Georgia, a caramel-colored beauty who had all 42 of her teeth pried from her mouth so she wouldn’t fight during forced breeding. There was Ellen, who managed to retain her fuzzy cuteness even when half of her face drooped because of the nerve damage caused by fighting.

        There was Cherry, a black-and-white tiny ball of fur, with a craggy pattern of thick, deep scars from chemical burns on his back. When I visited him and 21 other Vick dogs at the Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary in 2008, he continued to tremble even as I petted him gently for more than an hour.

        And those were some of the lucky ones. Dogs that did not perform well for Vick were drowned, electrocuted, shot. He admitted to holding dogs while a noose was placed over their heads, then dropping those dogs to their deaths.

        Once, he and a friend grabbed the paws of a little red dog and held it over their heads, like a jump rope, slamming the animal on the ground again and again until it was lifeless, according to “The Lost Dogs” by Jim Gorant, a book about the dogs in Vick’s ring.

        Teams evaluating Vick should think about those horrors before offering him a chance to wear their jersey. They should say, “Can’t we give our fans someone better to cheer for?” Fans should demand someone better.

  25. linda sormanti Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I find asking Michael Vick to host anything but a dead man walking segment ludicrous. Instead of aRaleigh’s Chamber of Commerce being desperate enough to hire him mb a third or fourth grader from their own area would have been a better choice. No wonder Raleigh’s citizens are outraged.

  26. Lynda Patton Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Michael Vick did what was required by the law in his sentencing and no more. He has not offered, either behind the scenes or out front, to defray the costs of keeping the dogs he ruined at Best Friends in Utah. Best Friends depends upon donations, they do not make millions of dollars as Vick does. The cruelty he showed is still there. Redemption? Not for this. No more would I forgive a child molester. To me they are on the same playing field of immoral behavior. I wrote the Chamber and posted a photo of a bait dog, but of course that was removed quickly. I am appalled by the C of C’s reckless and reprehensible judgment in inviting this man to be held up for children to idolize. Shameful behavior for those whose first concern should be the reputation of their city and citizens.

  27. Kimberly Slone Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you so much Michael and Sarah for saying everything I wanted to say and also for recommending Jim Gorants book The Lost Dogs, (which I have also recommended to the chamber members), and the other article, which I am gearing up and getting tissues for reading. Just wanted to say that I didn’t know Vick was black until last month when I saw a picture, and I’ve been adamantly against him since the beginning.
    Also, this is not about getting a second chance to be a productive member of society! He could do that quietly, just get a job without looking for honor and fame. Vick is being HONORED for cruelty and he stated very recently that he HAS NO REGRETS!!! He is NOT sorry, he is NOT rehabilitated, he is just SAD THAT HE GOT CAUGHT!

  28. anonymous Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Vick is a no good who knew how to throw a football. That’s it. As long as the All American Male embraces monsters like this there will always be monsters like this.

  29. david Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Im not a vick fan but can tell we have so PETA nuts above. They are no better than Vick. Looney rich people what have nothing better to do. Vick shouldn’t been allowed back in football but wishing a human dead is just as sickening as the dog fights. PETA people are nuts….

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/04/09/peta-takes-heat-over-claims-it-killed-90-of-animals-dropped-off-at-virginia-shelter/

    • James Redford Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      I don’t see where anyone but you mentioned PETA. What has PETA got to do with this, or the almost one year old article link you posted? I’m no fan of PETA nor am I a fan of Michael Vick. As to him being dead you mention a “human” and I’m not sure he qualifies.

  30. carol Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    seriously, we have real hero’s fighting for you me and this country everyday….!! and you want to honor a athlete???? a someone who has no respect for life!! fine okay, he has done his time.
    But what kind of a human being could commit such a heinous act of abuse to life!! something is wrong in this country!!
    I this we the ppl need to clean house, and bring back to this country to morals values, justice integrity love respect!!
    seriously ppl???? Michael Vick

  31. Tracy F. Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I wonder if the people who talk about redemption and forgiveness would feel the same if Michael Vick had committed these crimes against humans. They talk about people deserving a second chance, but I bet they wouldn’t feel the same if a convicted rapist or child molester had served his time and moved in next door to them and their children. They definitely wouldn’t consider him a champion. Michael Vick is a murderer, but because his victims were dogs some people want to forgive him and say he just made a mistake. Any crime of such brutality is a lot more than just a mistake. The torture and murder of any being (whether it’s a human or animal) is unforgivable.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Very good question Tracy and you are right. It would be different because he only killed animals after all and they are expendable, at least this is how some feel.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      February 11, 2014 at 12:23 am

      You need to read my posts Tracy. I think you will find that I will look for second chances for most people. I gather you are the type that would execute child molesters and rapists. If you are then ask yourself this question. Why does a molester or rapist not kill their victims after they sexually assault them. The answer lies in Jeremy Bentham’s work, “the basic Rules in Making Laws”. Laws and penalties should be designed to cause the least amount of harm to be done. If the death penalty were there for a rapist or child molester then there is no good reason to leave the victim, a live witness to identify them, alive is there. If the don’t kill the victim they don’t get the death penalty. The law is objective, not emotional.

  32. Marci Gifford Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I would not care if the bottom feeder that committed the ATROCITIES on these innocent animals was neon green. Color has nothing to do with my opinion on this subject, although the subject we started with seems to have gotten lost, which is the way I see so many of these threads end up. I will say that I am filled with anger and despair when I see what is happening to our planet, to the human race, and to our oceans, atmosphere and wildlife. That being said, those subjects could be better discussed in another forum, as was mentioned multiple times. Now, as for Michael Vick and his “mistakes”, and the fact that he has “served his time” and is deserving of “redemption”, (don’t you HATE people who use “quotation” marks?) I feel like puking. Redemption carries with it the implication of rehabilitation. Vick knew what he was doing EVERY time he tortured and killed a dog. He could watch these things and participate in these things and SLEEP AT NIGHT. That in and of itself is proof positive that there is something fundamentally wrong with him. There is no redemption on this earth, and I can’t speak for his maker, but I doubt there will be any when they meet up either.

  33. Anonymous Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 1:00 am

    What esle can we expect from the south. Animal rights don’t exit there.

    • linda Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 1:54 am

      Whoa there. Please don’t damn the entire South!
      This Southerner is driving 4 hours each way to join 1500 other folks, mainly Southerners, to peacefully protest the C ofC holding Vick up as a role model. Southern businesses have dropped their CofC memberships over this highly embarrassing episode. Everyone i associate with here in the South would take you down if you tried to harm an animal, so please refrain from your negative sterotypes and judgements.

    • Jess Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Hey now, you cannot and should not blame the southerners. Here in CA they have cock fights that get broken up all the time and dog fights. This is not just a southern thing at all. Animal torturers are everywhere, all around this planet we call home.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      February 11, 2014 at 12:26 am

      No entirely true. Alabama now has an animal abuse law that is a felony. Maybe we are not as perfect as you might be but we are gaining ground.

  34. Melissa S. Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 1:44 am

    For over a month, there have been petitions circulating with about 75,000 signatures, Facebook pages made, emails, phone calls, letters written nicely asking the CoC to replace Vick as speaker. So far, the ONLY supporters of this horrendous decision that I have seen are those that booked him for this. I can’t see that this will be a positive outcome for the businesses that are members of the CoC, many of whom will be more innocent “victims” of Michael Vick’s cyclone of misfortune and abuse. Very sad, and unnecessary, situation. I hope the peaceful protestors will not be harassed. And my wish? That those businesses that have voiced their outrage and disappointment at Vick being asked to attend will boycott the event, and stand with the protestors. I think that would be a much better way to advertise than associating oneself with an unremorseful animal abuser/killer.

  35. Michelle Burbo Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 3:52 am

    I’m not going to post a long winded comment. No need for that. Just a few thoughts for his “supporters”. The Super Bowl just came and went. It’s NFL’s off season. Lots of free time in the players hands. What ever will Mr. Vick do with his free time? Will he volunteer at any animal rescues to lend a hand? -probably not. I don’t think any respectable one would let him. Will he donate any of his money to a rescue or ASPCA? Or a humane society? Definitely not. Help any organization in any way be it financially or otherwise? Nope. I’ll tell you what he will do. Get bored. And he now knows how to hide “properly” so not to get caught. He’ll be out fighting dogs again. If he’s not already!! And society knows it!! That’s the problem. Any man that can sit there and promote animals ripping each other apart, pocket the assets with a smile on their face and then go to bed comfortably in their huge house every night with some poor animal being left for dead out back, is a disgrace to HUMANITY!! If we were talking about anyone else who was busted for the same thing, they’d be shunned for the rest of their existence. We wouldn’t pay them a million dollars a month nor would they be able to be employed any where for that matter!! But if the NFL wants that kind if a person playing for them, so be it. But I’ve educatedy children about this heartless man and taught them to spread the word. Iay be a bit more bias then most on the subject as I’m a pitbull advocate, but none the less, this is NOT THE PERSON I’d want announcing the hopeful youth of our nation. Nor is he any one to look up too. If he felt he wasn’t making enough money, he should’ve taken that up with the NFL. Not taken it out on hundreds of innocent animals. >out raged in Vermont<

  36. Tired Of The Wyning n Crying about Vick Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Lol….cmon people damn….LET IT GO !!!! Its old news …he done his time…life goes on…GET OVER IT !!! He is not the only person to ever fight dogs in this country. …It use to be an actual sport damn….

    • Jess Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 10:51 am

      He did no time for animal cruelty. THAT is what this is all about. He did his time for racketeering and gambling which is NOTHING compared to torturing and killing a live being.

    • mig Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      U most not own a pet… so our input in this matter does not concern u… move on…

    • Lisa Kay Kovach Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      LET IT GO? When that pedophile, rapist or murderer moves in next door to you, after “serving their time”, let me know how you like it. Are you going to invite them over for Sunday dinner to discuss their crimes?
      Cockfighting, bear baiting and dog fighting is, or has been a sport for barbarians. People who enjoy cruelty of the helpless. Modern, educated people, do not accept these as a sport.
      It was once an accepted sport, to throw humans into a ring and make them fight to the death, for the enjoyment of a crowd.
      We have evolved as a society. Oh yes, and I hug trees, fight pollution of our water and air, human trafficking and slavery.

  37. darlene Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Michael vick is an asshole who will burn in hell for his crimes. I can’t believe people are still supporting this asshole as a great athlete. He is a piece of scum!!!

  38. Beth Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Listen, if he had been a thug kid in high school that got caught fighting dogs and some guidance counselor stepped up and sent him on the right path that lead to graduating from high school, going to college, and ultimately a hero in the NFL then I would say BRAVO!! That would be a truly great story of learning from your mistakes and the power to overcome his consequences.

    Let’s face it; that’s not the story. He was a thug that began making a lot of money and he thought he was above the law. He was old enough to know better, and there is no excuse that he can give that would make me believe he didn’t. This isn’t a story of redemption; it’s a story of getting caught and not having a job. He’ll say whatever it takes to get a job.

    • Shelley Smith Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      He was a thug in high school…….and college……and his brother is a thug too……
      Repulsive!

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

      I’m not surprised and left a comment on the page and updated the story. Thanks Tammy.

  39. JACINDA Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Michael Vick is a very sick person to have commited the crimes he did against animals….he treats them as objects ( hmmm…serial killers share his interest in torturing animals for fun ) I don’t care what he has accomplished …he is evil and will likely harm other innocents …maybe 20 years from now we can hear what he did to his own children. I will never support someone who has done this crime as I wouldnt a “reformed” child molester. Ask yourself one question……how many people do you know who have dont this to animals ? The only ones I am aware of are ….serial killers…. and sociopaths……

  40. Shelley Smith Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Does anyone have a list of the businesses that have removed/cancelled their memberships from the COC? I would like to patronize their establishments in support of their decision to withdraw their memberships.
    Thank you

  41. Prayforlove82 Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Michael vick is a human being and those dogs were just filty animals. The Bible says that man shall have dominion over all the creatures in the sea and earth and that includes smelly dogs, so Mr Vick could do anything he wanted. Even if he did wrong you should be good Christians and let him be forgiven on this eartch because he has found Jesus and will be going to heaven.

    • Jess Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      ooooh boy, this is not going to end well for you. I’d introduce you to James but he’ll be along at some point and will introduce himself to you and I shall sit back, popcorn in hand on the lazy chair and just admire his handiwork.

    • Shelley Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Pray you should definitely pray to the depraved god in your life because what you said is not founded in any of Jesus’ teachings. Nothing MV did was Christlike and what you said was a simple statement of ignorance intended to agitate individuals like me. Enjoy your time rotting in hell along side of your hero!

    • Lisa Verrruso Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Sewer Sludge (aka as vick the prick) is not human but an aberration of humanity. You are out of your mind stating the drivel that you have to defend that filthy piece of garbage.Sewer Sludge actually gives garbage a bad name! There is no way that sewer sludge is going anywhere good and I my only hope every single day is that I awake to the news that sewer sludge has been a spine severing accident & is a quadriplegic. The euphoria that would come over me is indescribable!

      • Lisa Verrruso Reply

        February 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm

        Sewer Sludge (aka as vick the prick) is not human but an aberration of humanity. You are out of your mind stating the drivel that you have to defend that filthy piece of garbage. Sewer Sludge actually gives garbage a bad name! There is no way that sewer sludge is going anywhere good and my only hope every single day is that I awake to the news that sewer sludge has been in a spine severing accident & is a quadriplegic. The euphoria that would come over me is indescribable!

        **Had to make corrections in grammar that auto-correct messed up…if you are going to say it, say it properly!!

    • Bill Formby Reply

      February 11, 2014 at 12:35 am

      You my friend have a serious problem: First of the Bible is just a book made up of a bunch of characters trying to justify there own behaviors on the face of the earth. You know, like saying that God send his wife’s maid to me for sex, or that God told me to kill my own son as a sacrifice to him, for just a few. You are on the wrong page to talk about man having dominion over all the animals. Is that why man had to developed powerful guns to kill animals for no good reason because he was wrong, the animals were actually more powerful than were we. You go tell the invisible guy in the sky that he screwed things up with most of his human creatures and he needs to straighten them out before this planet ends up exploding. Either that or you need a shrink

    • Anonymous Reply

      February 11, 2014 at 2:35 am

      Really- Prayforlove82-are you freaking serious? You really need to go back to your “Christian roots” and understand that while God gave us dominion over animals there is no written bible verse that says you get to be cruel and unjust towards them. As for Vick maybe the term what you sew, you reap should be applied here.And no honey he aint found Jesus- because if he had he would have confessed his sins-which he didnt. So please stop spouting rubbish and take your skewered version of Christianity somewhere else.

  42. Jutta Blackwell Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Michael Vick???? Really???? They should beat him up and hang him from a tree, just like he did with his dogs…stupid asshole

  43. Barbara Smith Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I can’t believe that this man still making news I’m sick of seeing his face. A “mistake” is not a deliberate hanging of a dog until he almost died and then taking him down and holding his head under water until he stops struggling and dies torturously. This is from the testimony in court by his accomplices who witnessed this. Electrocuting dogs!!!! this man is a sociopath and I wrote to Wayne Pacelle president of HSUS and I told him that by him supporting Michael Vick getting a dog if anything happened to that dog the blood would be on his hands also. This sociopath should not be speaking anywhere. It’s bad enough that he still has stands football fans that refuse to stop being a fan..now he’s doing public speaking??!! Please…this is horrendous.

  44. Darla Kamp Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    It’s not about the dog fighting which is bad enough it’s about the unbridled cruelty and those who reveled in it. Those being Vick and Company.

  45. bridget arredondo Reply

    February 11, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I am so glad there are so many people as appalled as I am that any business or organization would consider offering this man a chance to speak! He is not a role model, he is a disgrace. There is no excuse for his actions. Look what happened the last time he was suppose to sign autographs! No one cares about his career or life experiences. The only sad part is he lived when so many innocent lives died by his hand. I will be among the others who have posted here, I will never spend any more of my time or money in this city if They allow that man to speak! I also definitely support anyone who is reconsidering opening a business there…this is certainly not what one would expect from the chamber of commerce.

  46. Anonymous Reply

    February 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    This is sickening, this man is one thing and one thing only AN ABUSIVE MURDERER. what he did to those dogs is unhuman. Shame on every one of you who have glorified him. NFL and every other group. He is not sorry for what he did, only that he got caught.

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