More than 220,000 sign online petition to remove Michael Vick as honorary Pro Bowl captain

While the NFL seems content to ignore his dogfighting past, thousands have signed a petition to have Michael Vick removed from the Pro Bowl. (AP/John Bazemore)

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick is set to be a Pro Bowl legends captain in the annual game next month at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

At least 220,000 people, however, aren’t happy about it.

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Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a new online petition on asking the NFL to have Vick removed from the game entirely due to his role in a dogfighting ring during his playing days.

“Just saw this on Facebook and was absolutely disgusted,” petition founder Joanna Lind wrote on the page. “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.”

Lind then added an excerpt from “The Lost Dogs,” a book written by Jim Gorant about the dogfighting ring that Vick ran.

Vick served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting operation and lying about his involvement in it in 2007 after an impressive six-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons. Investigators found that dogs in Vick’s care were tortured, electrocuted, drowned, hanged, shot and beaten to death, among other things.

Vick returned to the league in 2009 and played seven more seasons in the NFL before retiring in 2015, and has worked as an analyst for Fox Sports since leaving the NFL. 

The 39-year-old will join former Washington cornerback Darrell Green, Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith and Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis at the Pro Bowl, rounding out the four legends captains for the game.

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