The NFL has announced that Michael Vick will be honored as one of four legends captains at the NFL Pro Bowl, but not all fans agree with the decision. A petition on change.org has received more than 435,000 signatures from people who think the former Falcons, Eagles and Jets quarterback should not be honored.
The petition hopes to get 500,000 signatures.
“Just saw this on Facebook and was absolutely disgusted. When is the NFL going to take any responsibility for the behavior of its 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,” writes Joanna Lind, who started the petition.
Vick was arguably the most entertaining and culturally impactful player in the NFL during his career. He made three Pro Bowls in his first six seasons with the Falcons and set the quarterback rushing record with 1,039 yards in a season.
After setting that record in 2006, Vick was arrested and served 18 months in a federal prison for participating in a dogfighting ring. He also served an NFL suspension, and filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
Since returning from prison, Vick has apologized for his wrongdoings and attempted to stay in good favor. Vick made his fourth and final Pro Bowl and won NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 after leading the Eagles to the playoffs. He played five seasons in Philly, and threw 57 touchdowns with a 20-20 record.
Vick has been an animal rights activist since his release. In 2014, he supported the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which made it illegal to attend an organized animal fight. He also met with Pennsylvania lawmakers in 2015 to support the pets-in-cars bill, which allows officers to rescue pets in unsafe temperatures.
As a Legends captain, Vick would be on the sideline mentoring players and be obligated to attend special events during the week. He would be joined by former NFL players Bruce Smith. Terrell Davis and Darrell Green. The Pro Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 26 in Orlando.