Once the scourge of the sports world, Michael Vick has done a tremendous job rehabilitating his image in the years since his 2007 arrest for felony dog fighting charges (Vick subsequently spent 21 months behind bars). Today, almost all the talk surrounding Vick is centered on his on-field performance and the frequent injuries that prevent him from winning games as quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Not everyone has forgotten about the fact that Vick used to fund and host dogfights in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, though, nor the fact that he killed a reported six to eight under-performing dogs by hanging, drowning and even electrocuting them.
Vick told his story — and painted himself as a reformed man — in his autobiography, Michael Vick: Finally Free. He planned to promote the book on a small tour of Barnes & Noble stores in Atlanta and a few cities in the northeast this month, but he has been forced to cancel several appearances due to threats against himself and bookstore employees.
Facebook pages for the bookstores had been flooded with comments protesting the scheduled appearances. “I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals,” one angry person posted.
The president of Worthy Publishing, the publishing house behind the book, told Phillymag.com that “we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances.”
About 1,000 people had RSVP’d to attend Saturday’s signing in Atlanta, where Vick was drafted in 2001 and played until his time in prison.
Last month, Vick agreed to a restructured contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. He is expected to compete for the team’s starting quarterback job under new head coach Chip Kelly.