Controversial former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will be the subject of his own "30 for 30” documentary starting at the end of January, ESPN has announced.
Titled Vick, the documentary will air in two parts, on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6. Both parts will air at 9 p.m. on ESPN on their respective premiere dates.
Directed by historical documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Vick will focus on the former quarterback’s upbringing in Newport News, Va., and will follow his career through his time with the NFL, as well as his prison sentence for his role in the Bad Newz Kennels. As Nelson said in a statement, the film will work to place Vick’s life “within larger historical narratives — narratives about race and sports, poverty and power, and about the criminal justice system.”
ESPN’s announcement of Vick’s “30 for 30” comes about a month after backlash erupted over the NFL’s inclusion of the retired football star in this year’s Pro Bowl as a legends captain. Following the league’s announcement, an online petition made its way around the internet, gaining about 680,000 signatures to date from people who want the honor rescinded due to Vick’s infamous involvement with a dogfighting ring that resulted in an 18-month stint in a federal prison in 2007.
Petition organizers wrote that for the NFL “to honor a man who had zero regard for animals is unacceptable.” Despite the backlash, however, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicated last month that Vick would be present at the Pro Bowl.
“Over the last nine years or so, I have supported Michael and his, I think, recognition of the mistake that he made,” Goodell told reporters at a news conference last month. “He’s paid every price for that. He has been accountable for it. He has worked aggressively with the Humane Society and other institutions to deal with animal rights and to make sure people don’t make the same mistake he made. And I admire that.”
Following his release from prison, Vick publicly apologized for his role in the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring, and joined the Eagles in 2009. Throughout his five seasons with the team, he threw 57 touchdowns, and was named the NFL’s 2010 Comeback Player of the Year after leading the Birds to the playoffs.
After his time with the Eagles, Vick went on to play for the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers before officially retiring from the league in 2017. He has not played in an NFL game since 2015.