There’s a lot of controversy about Michael Vick coming to New Jersey this Sunday to sign autographs at Butler Sports Cards on Main Street. I’ve been reading opinions about Vick that run the gamut – from unbridled hate and disgust to rabid fan adoration.
The creators of a Mike Vick dog chew toy have started a facebook public event page to organize a protest in front of the store. On the other hand, the Seattle Dogspot reports the store owner saying, “He’s the most desired autograph in all of sports…and Michael Vick has fans, period.”
There’s no denying that Vick and his cohorts have committed unthinkable atrocities against too many defenseless pups (and other bait animals as well). The questions arise when you begin to observe and assess his actions from the point at which he was “caught”. Has prison time changed the man? Is he going through the motions or is it truly atonement? Is Vick doing enough to try to rectify his actions? Are his recent HS commencement speech and autobiography just attempts at trying to regain his fan base and replenish his bank account with some good old fashioned PR or is he motivated by “trying to make things right”? Why is this autograph event stirring up opposition, when other recent signing events barely were noticed by folks other than Vick’s fans? Where’s the money from this event going (at $90 per signature . . .)? What’s next for Mr. Vick – will his purported passion to “own a dog someday” become a waning interest once the spotlight fades?
There are so many questions unanswered, yet I remain an undying optimist – I believe at some point Michael Vick can attain true redemption. And, let’s look at the positive side of this controversy. Isn’t it capturing attention – and once again raising awareness – about the unresolved problems of uncontrolled breeding and fighting of dogs?