Has it really been six years since Michael Vick was convicted of running a dogfighting ring, and four years since his release from prison? The most successful NFL quarterback to have spent time in Leavenworth still wears his past like a, forgive me, heavy collar, as evidenced by this little bit of news from York, PA.
It seems that Vick was scheduled to make an autograph appearance at Buffalo Wild Wings in York — $75 per signature, kids — on Oct. 30. But cyber-protests by the animal advocacy community led to Buffalo Wild Wings, and the event organizer, getting a ton of negative response, and the event was canceled.
The organizer of the event, co-owner of JJ Cards-N-Toys at the York Galleria Mall, Jamie Bartolo said she had to cancel the event due to death threats against her and her family.
Bartolo said she received thousands of death threats on social media for planning an event to bring Vick into town.
Now an ex-MMA fighter and dog rescue activist is renewing his challenge for Vick to fight him in the ring, saying that the only path to redemption for the quarterback is through blood. Gordon “Shotgun” Shell donated the entire purse from his final fight in 2012 to the Michigan Humane Society, before he retired due to a heart condition. But now he says he’d get back in the ring if Vick would agree to fight him. Sounds wacky, but a more entertaining collection of words you’re not likely to see:
“If you truly want redemption, if you truly want to be free, people want to see you bleed,” says Shell. “At the end of the fight, I’m going to grab the microphone, and just announce to all the animal advocates, OK, this man has actually stepped up. We’re both bleeding. He’s bleeding. He’s felt like what it’s like to be a dog. Except he’s still alive, we haven’t electrocuted him. But he’s stepped up. Now we have to let him finally be free.”
OK, maybe we shocked him just a little: but that was the taser to get him into the ring. Now he’s fine.
— Jaime Daughtridge (@banksruption) December 10, 2012
The promoter of the proposed Buffalo Wild Wings signing, JJ Cards N Toys, at first said that they would reschedule the event to another venue, keeping the location secret until the day of the event. Now however, according to the Huffington Post, JJ Cards N Toys says the event will not happen. Huffington Post:
We asked JJ Cards to respond to Vick’s spokesperson’s statement. Here’s the unsigned email from JJ Cards we received in response:
“We had an agreement with a third party who was bringing him in all we were doing was selling tix and helping promote the event. Nnow all we are doing is getting negative,hateful, hurtful and threatening comments towards our family . So since you and everyone that has reported this event, it is not and never going to happen, so leave us alone now.”
This isn’t the first time a Vick appearance has been canceled due to the threat of violence. Apparently some people want a ritual bloodletting before they’ll forgive him. But isn’t that what the NFL is?