Despite protest and online petitions, former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, will serve as a captain during this season’s upcoming Pro Bowl game.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell discussed the his support for Vick during a press conference, saying the once celebrated QB had “paid a heavy price” for his mistakes, “Over the last, what is it, nine years or so, we have supported Michael in his recognition of the mistake he made… He’s paid a heavy price for that. He’s been accountable for it.”
Vick served 18 months in prison in 2007 after admitting he participated in illegal dogfighting.
Shortly after it was announced that Vick had been chosen to be one of the NFL Legends Pro Bowl Captains, a change.org petition was created demanding the NFL reconsider the choice.
“Just saw this on Facebook and was absolutely disgusted. When is the NFL going to take any responsibility for the behavior of it’s current and former players? To honor a man who had zero regard for animals is unacceptable and I would like your help to make sure he is NOT honored at the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl.”
According to CNN, Goodell said Vick has worked to secure animal rights since his release from prison. In 2015, he met with lawmakers in Pennsylvania to support a bill that gave police officers the right to break into cars to free dogs and cats. But Goodell admitted he realizes a lot of people still haven’t, and won’t, ever forgive Vick.
“I know there are people out there who will never forgive him. He knows that. But I think this is a young man who’s really taken his life in a positive direction, and we support that…”
The 2020 NFL Pro Bowl will be played a week before the Super Bowl in Orlando, Florida.