August 14, 2009
Even though they now share a city, Jen Utley isn't afraid to take a bite out of the Eagles' signing of Michael Vick.
We might not be able to say the same for Vick and the Eagles.
An active board member of the Pennsylvania SPCA, Jen Utley had traveled to the event with other SPCA officials in hopes they would be able to attend the press conference and start a dialogue.
However, they were turned away at the gates by security, leaving Utley "dumbfounded." She also said the group is upset that the Eagles did not contact the group before making the controversial signing. (Watch video of Jen Utley here)
"I think if you're planning on being conscious of a very sensitive issue it might be positive to (contact us)," she said.
Utley's activism doesn't come as any surprise, of course. She's always been very vocal about animal rights and both she and Chase have formed Utley All-Star Animals, becoming Philadelphia's versions of Bob Barker in the process.
Utley declined to comment (Thursday) night specifically on the Vick signing ...
"My goal has always been and always will be to prevent cruelty against animals in the city," said Utley, who adopted a rescue dog.
So could things get frosty this fall around the Philadelphia Sports Complex? Might lines be drawn? That's certainly an interesting dynamic to consider, especially since many of the athletes who support Jen and Chase's charity might also publicly support Vick's second chance if asked by the Eagles or the media.
Of course, it also might get awkward if their paths ever cross on the doggie trail and Vick is earnestly doing the work he's expected to do for the humane society.
Whatever the case, I admire Jen's willingness to stand up for a cause that she (and I) believe in, even though her husband holds such a lofty status in the city. Michael Vick is certainly entitled to a second chance in life, but she's just as entitled to say that she thinks that second chance should come from elsewhere. If Vick and the Eagles are really serious about making strides, they'll fix Friday's slight and give the SPCA a meeting very soon.
Elsewhere on the Yahoo! Sports Blogs:
• Surprise: Michael Vick signs deal with Philadelphia Eagles
• Advice to those who might protest Vick or the Eagles
• Belichick to NFL: I'm afraid the Death Star is fully operational
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