Michael Vick’s star continues to rise in the NFL with his tremendous performances on the field. Some protesters say Vick’s dogfighting past still haunts them, but they’re hesitant to continue to confront fans.
Some protesters say their absence from the most recent home games doesn’t mean they’ve forgiven Vick. Instead, they say some protesters no longer felt safe after having slurs, insults, and elbows directed their way.
“You’ve gotta sort of picture it, we’re standing on the corner of 11th and Pattison,” said Peter Bentivegna, one of the protesters. He says as Vick’s time on the field has increased, so has the threatening behavior of some fans.
“When the street lights change–we have literally hundreds at a time of Eagles fans crossing the street toward us in a giant wave of humanity,” said Bentivenga. “So we literally have at any given time dozens of people shouting at us or disagreeing with us. There was incident in particular where they threw an object and hit one of us right in the face.”
A judge prohibited Michael Vick from owning another dog. Vick said recently he would like to again someday, and that it would a “big step” in his rehabilitation process.
“I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care,” said Vick in a video posted to thegrio.com. “And my love and passion for animals. I think it would be, you know I think it would be outstanding,” he said.
Even people without a history of animal abuse can find it tough to adopt a pet. Some animal rescue groups have strict eligibility rules that require a home visit.
Melissa Levy, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, says before adopting from her group, people are asked to fill out a short application.
“That just gives us the information that we need about your home situation, who you live with, whether you have other pets at home, and what your experience is with pets in the past,” Levy said. “That’s a way to enable us to ensure that we’re matching you with a animal that kind of fits your lifestyle, fits your household, and fits your level of experience dealing with various behavior issues and that sort of thing.”
Since getting out of prison, Vick has worked with the Humane Society and has spoken to students about his mistakes.