Ever since Michael Vick served 18 months in jail for dogfighting, he’s become a productive member of the NFL, playing for the Eagles from 2009-13 and the Jets in 2014. He’s also become a supporter of the Humane Society, and he’s spoken out against animal abuse and dogfighting.
But to some Steelers fans, his apparent contrition isn’t good enough, and though he signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh on Tuesday to back up starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, they want him off their team and out of their lives.
That, at least, is how the person who started this Change.org petition and the 26,844 people, as of 3pm ET on Friday, who have signed it must feel.
As Nancy Lindell, who started the petition just before the signing became official wrote, “Michael Vick is a convicted felon and no-class piece of crap. He is also a terrible QB which is why he has no team. Let’s unite as Steelers fans — as NFL fans — and stop him from playing on our team! Steelers fans united! Sign to keep Vick from ever wearing the coveted Steelers uniform!!”
What this petition might conveniently forget, though, is that Roethlisberger has been accused twice (though never charged) with sexual assault in 2008 and 2010 (he settled with a woman who claimed he forced her to have sex in 2008). The difference, of course, is that Roethlisberger never had to go to trial for any alleged assaults, while Vick served his time.
It’s also worth noting that neither seemingly have been in legal trouble in the past half-decade.
This, though, isn’t the first time Vick has been targeted by upset fans of the home team. When he was with the Jets last year, fans began a petition calling for the team to release him, and PETA wasn’t happy about his inclusion on the New York roster either.
But the Steelers’ front office most likely won’t be impacted by the desires of a relatively small subset of the NFL fanbase.
“Obviously we’re sensitive to those potential things but we are going to do our due diligence,” coach Mike Tomlin said after the signing, via USA Today. “Rest assured that we’ve done that, but rest assured he’s done a lot since he’s gone through some of the things he’s gone through and his track record at this point in that regard speaks for itself.”
Photo via daveynin/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)