Michael Vick’s Upcoming Raleigh Chamber Of Commerce Appearance Draws Protesters

News & Views | Bené Viera | 02/05/2014 | 10:45 AM EST

Michael Vick still can’t catch a break for his dog-fighting past

Michael Vick’s theme song should be JAY Z’s “Can I Live?” because some people refuse to let him, well, live. Five years after serving his time for dog fighting, Vick is still a target for protesters who will never get over his past.

The NFL star’s upcoming appearance at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Evening of Champions has been met with opposition from those who feel young athletes don’t need to hear anything Vick has to say. Over 66,000 signatures have been collected on a Change.org petition urging the Chamber of Commerce to replace Vick with someone else.

The petition states:

“The chamber’s decision to feature Michael Vick as a headliner at the event is insulting and degrading for our community and certainly does nothing to represent the business interest in our community. To elevate someone like Michael Vick, as if HE is a champion and have him speak to young, impressionable athletes is ludicrous.”

The Chamber is sticking to its guns despite the critics. According to its Facebook page, the committee knew selecting Vick would cause some disagreement, “...but our steering committee felt that his career story offers our guests an informative perspective about the excesses of fame and money in celebrity culture.”

Chamber President and CEO Harvey Schmitt spoke to NBC affiliate WNCN and said, “There is a group of folks, who are very unhappy with Mr. Vick for a variety of reasons — and they are passionate about it.” He added the Chamber is reviewing all concerns with Vick’s appearance.

The Chamber sticking to its decision is applaudable. To avoid controversy many would’ve conceded to the opposition. Vick served his time. Allow the man to move on with his life.

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