CORTLAND, N.Y. – Michael Vick has a new team and a new city, but some college students don’t want him around.
Vick’s new team, the New York Jets, train on the SUNY Cortland campus each summer. This week, Cortland students started a petition on the website Change.org to ban quarterback Michael Vick from taking part in those training sessions.
The petition suggests Vick’s participation in dog fighting should never be forgotten, despite the fact that the quarterback served 19 months in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from his five-year operation of Bad Newz Kennels as a dog fighting ring.
Vick has also issued a serious of public apologies and has given both his time and money to The Humane Society of the United States, a preeminent charity that fights for the humane treatment of animals.
Apparently none of those atonement-seeking efforts were enough to stop the students who started the petition from continuing to hold Vick’s past transgressions against him.
“We MUST send the message that we won’t be party to the torture of animals by conveniently forgetting what he has done,” the petition states. “If we welcome Vick onto our campus, we are complicit in his crimes. We are sending the message that, for money and publicity, we will turn a blind eye to the horrors of dog fighting. I don’t want to be that person, and I don’t want SUNY Cortland to abandon its principles so easily.”
As of Thursday morning, over 14,000 had signed the petition.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory when an organization’s association with Vick has elicited outrage. The owner of a sports memorabilia shop Pennsylvania cancelled an autograph signing session that was set to feature Vick last year after he said he received “dozen of death threats against me and my family.”