Fanatics want to kill Michael Vick.
Vick, the embattled Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, was forced to cancel his book signing tour this week because of mounting death threats.
His book is called “Finally Free,” but apparently some people still want Vick to pay for his previous mistakes.
The bigots won’t leave Vick alone. He paid his debt to society and now it’s time for the radicals to get over it and let Vick get on with his life.
But sadly, the hatred toward Vick has only gotten worse and is now beyond ugly. Here are some recent comments from the Barnes & Noble Facebook page:
“I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals.”
“hope your kids don’t fall in a pool with a battery.”
“I would snap your neck if I met you, your [sic] a piece of trash.”
In 2007, Vick was sentenced to two years in federal prison on felony dog fighting charges – a punishment I believed never fit the crime. In fact, it was a waste of taxpayer dollars to incarcerate Vick; the brother got a raw deal.
But since his release from prison in 2009, Vick, I believe, has turned his life around. He signed a lucrative contract with the Eagles and has played four seasons in the NFL since he’s been free. His coaches say Vick has an impeccable work ethic and he has emerged as a team leader in the locker room and a role model off the field.
Meanwhile, his publisher said there are too many bigoted people who may want to hurt Vick, which forced the cancellation of book signings at Barnes & Noble stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Atlanta.
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances,” Byron Williamson, president of Worthy Publishing, said in a statement. “We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities.”
What a shame. Why is it so hard for some people to give Vick a second chance?
Football fans gave Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a pass when he was accused of rape on 2009. There were no major protests, booing at games, or death threats. It’s like it never happened.
Andrea McNulty filed a lawsuit in 2009, claiming Roethlisberger lured her into his penthouse suite and forced her to have sex. The suit also named a list of Harrah’s employees, claiming they covered up the alleged sexual assault.
McNulty claimed that Roethlisberger asked her to come to his suite to fix his broken television, the suit said. Once in the room, McNulty said he forced her on the bed and raped her, the suit said. The suit was dismissed and it was never clear if Roethlisberger paid McNulty.
In 2010, Roethlisberger faced similar allegations in Georgia when a 20-year-old college student accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her at a bar. Georgia police investigated the allegations, but no charges were filed.
What we do know is this: Despite an alleged pattern, fans allowed Roethlisberger to move on while Vick is still being persecuted. It’s a double-standard – and the difference between being black and white. What if Roethlisberger had been charged with dog fighting and Vick accused of rape?
“Michael Vick has millions of fans and has countless letters from teachers thanking him for inspiring students to make positive changes,” said Chris Shigas of French/West/Vaughan, a public relations firm, told PhillyMag.com. “It is disturbing that a few extremists would threaten Vick’s family and store employees.”
According to Vick’s publisher, “Finally Free” is about Vick’s complex life.
“One of the most talented and polarizing athletes of our generation, Michael Vick’s rags-to-riches, ridicule-to-redemption story has captured news headlines across the nation. Finally Free chronicles his years growing up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, his success on the field and his rise to stardom in the NFL. The book also details how a gifted athlete spiraled out of control under the glare of money and fame-and the brokenness that brought his redemption.”
The bigots should leave Vick alone and let him live free.