Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday that animal rights group P.E.T.A (people For The Ethical Treatment of Animal) has decided against shooting a anti-dog fighting commercial with ex-footballer Michael Vick after his attorney sought assurances that P.E.T.A. would support Vick’s bid to return to the NFL.
The group’s president Ingrid Newkirk was quoted as saying, “Saying sorry and getting his ball back after being caught enjoying killing dogs in hideously cruel ways for many years doesn’t cut it. Commissioner Goodell knows that he has an obligation to the league and to millions of fans, including children who look up to ballplayers as idols, to make sure that Michael Vick is mentally capable of remorse before he can touch, let alone wear, an NFL uniform again.”
In addition, Newkirk fired off a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting that Vick not be reinstated into the league before he undergoes a psychological evaluation.
Michael Vick was convicted in December 2007 and sentenced 23 months in Leavenworth prison for bankrolling a dogfight ring. He also pled guilty in November ’08 to animal cruelty charges for the killings of dogs involved in the fights. He is scheduled to be released from prison on July 20.