When the Jets signed Vick this offseason, most NFL observers focused on his quarterback battle with Geno Smith. Many, however, will never forget the horrific details that prompted Vick to plead guilty to a federal dog fighting conspiracy charge in 2007. He served 19 months in federal prison and lost millions of dollars.
Now there is a petition to ban Vick from SUNY Cortland’s campus, where the Jets will hold training camp this summer. The Jets have held training camp at SUNY Cortland every season since 2009, except for the lockout year in 2011.
So far, the petition has nearly 3,000 supporters.
Here is the explanation of the petition:
I love SUNY Cortland, and cannot abide welcoming this sociopath onto our campus with open arms. We need to stand by what is right as a university by barring him from the grounds. I don't want him anywhere near my beloved college or community. We MUST send the message that we won't be party to the torture of animals by conveniently forgetting what he has done. If we welcome Vick onto our campus, we are complicit in his crimes.
According to NYDailyNews.com, the Jets and SUNY Cortland have not commented.
Animal rights groups routinely protest games outside of stadiums Vick appear in, so the current outcry is nothing new.
Jets owner Woody Johnson reached out to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell prior to signing Vick. Goodell, who previously suspended Vick indefinitely because of the criminal activity, supported the quarterback during the recent NFL owners meetings.
"I’ll refrain from sharing anything about the conversation, but I’ll be happy to talk about the general views toward Michael," Goodell said. "Michael is a young man who made a tragic mistake. He paid a very heavy price for it, but I’ve seen him, in everything he’s done, exceed expectations. He has worked very hard to be a positive force in a lot of different areas. That’s something I admire about him. When we went through the process of reviewing whether he would come back into the league, he demonstrated that he was somebody who was committed to saying, ‘I am going to do this the right way. I am going to be a positive force.’ He has, and I’m proud of the work he has done. I think that’s the kind of thing we should have."
As we see with this petition, not everyone agrees with the commissioner.
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