The NFL recently announced that one of the honorary captains for the 2020 Pro Bowl game is Michael Vick. The event will happen in January.
However, fans do not just know him for his football skills, but also in his involvement in a dogfighting ring.
Back in 2007, the NFL star was charged with running a dogfighting ring. And while it has been over 10 years now since he pled guilty, fans are still angry with him.
In Surry County, Virginia, authorities found dozens of dogs at Vick's Bad Newz Kennels property. He was linked to illegal gambling, illegal dog fighting, and brutal torturing and killing of countless dogs.
These animals were then forced to take part in a deadly and bloody sport before being killed horribly, including electrocution, drowning, and hanging.
After making a deal with the prosecutors, Vick served a 23-month prison sentence for his crimes.
While his crimes were a huge deal due to brutality and cruelty involvement, the football player got off easy.
When his actions were discovered, he immediately denied direct responsibility for the torture and killing of multiple dogs. But as evidence grew, Vick changed his tuned and admitted that he directly participated in the brutal actions.
An investigator said he uttered these words after taking a polygraph examination administered by the FBI.
"Yeah, fine, I killed the dogs. I hung them. I slammed them. I killed all of them. I lost fucking millions all over some fucking dogs."
This came from a 2009 book, "Badd Newz: The Untold Story of the Michale Vick Dog Fighting Case," published by Kathy Strouse, who was a lead investigator with the Virginia Animal Control Association who helped uncover the footballer's dog righting ring.
According to ESPN's reports, Vick thought that it was fun to watch his pit bulls injure or kill other dogs. He even reportedly often used family pets as bait for his dogs.
When he felt unsatisfied with his pit bulls' performances, Vick would brutally execute the animals. Sometimes, he shot them, hang them. Sometimes, the event organizers electrocuted them.
Moreover, according to reports, Vick enjoyed it because he likes torturing dogs and watching animals suffer. He also enjoyed making dogs fight to the death.
In response to the difficult decision to honor Vick, several petitions have already sprung up, asking to reverse their morally indefensible decision.
Thousands of activists are banding together online, calling for the NFL to strip Vick of the honor.
There are two petitions that are getting a lot of attention.
Since Vick's release from prison, he worked to rebuild his professional football career and reputation.
In a 2016 interview, Vick said in a statement, "The best thing to do was make amends for what I did. I can't take it back. The only thing I can do is influence the masses of kids from going down the same road I went down," he continued, "That's why I work with the Humane Society and affecting a lot of kids' lives and saving a lot of animals. We've had a lot of progress. We've been able to change some laws and do some great things I'm proud of."
He played for three more NFL teams after finally retiring in 2017.