Michael Vick is in the news again, but this time it is because his scheduled appearance at a North Carolina “Evening of Champions” is being protested by thousands in a petition on Change.org. Vick is scheduled as a guest speaker, and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO, Harvey Schmitt, says that although the evening is not to recognize the controversial athlete, he does have an interesting story of personal redemption that is worth hearing.
In 2009, Vick was released after serving 19 months for his personal involvement in a violent dog fighting ring, and his road to redemption has been a rocky one ever since. Animal advocates along with over 66,000 other citizens are disappointed in the choice to bring Vick in as a keynote speaker after his sordid past, claiming that having him featured as a role model for impressionable youth at an event that celebrates sportsmanship and integrity is inappropriate and disheartening.
Everyone loves a comeback story, but will Vick ever be able to redeem himself in the public eye and in the hearts of animal advocates everywhere for his past transgressions? There is no doubt that the professional football player is polarizing. Let’s hope that personal redemption is possible and that Vick’s past experiences will create some future good.