Across the region, Eagles fans anxiously await the return of Michael Vick from injury. Over the years, the controversial quarterback has spoken out against dogfighting. But for one Philadelphia bar owner, that’s not enough.
Just the mention of Vick is enough to bring Patty Brett to tears.
“I rescue animals and I’m an animal advocate,” she said. “And I’m probably going to get upset.”
Brett owns Doobie’s, a bar at the corner of 22nd and Lombard streets in Center City. Sitting inside the small space Friday, she looked up at the TV perched in the corner behind the bar. She said she bought the TV to watch the team but she has now banned Eagles games from Doobie’s until the team releases Vick.
Before he played for the Eagles, Vick was convicted and served time in prison for his part in a dog-fighting ring which housed and trained more than 50 pit bull dogs, staged dog fights and killed dogs.
Brett said she can’t help but think about the dogs Vick once owned and what he did to them.
“Because of what Michael Vick has done to those animals, I can’t in good conscience support the Eagles while he’s a member of the team,” she said. “He murdered and tortured animals and I can’t forgive him for that.”
Brett said she knows some people believe Vick has paid enough for his actions by serving 21 months in prison and deserves a second chance. But she said her customers have been fairly supportive of her no-Eagles policy.
Neighborhood resident Stean Wilborn, seated at the bar, said he has a different take on Vick.
“I’m past it,” he said. “I think what’s done is done and he’s paid his debt and he just wants to move on.”
Wilborn said he has a lot of friends who care for animals, “and a lot of folks are still upset. I have cats too, I’m an animal lover, but for me I feel a little bit different. I feel what’s done is done, it’s passed.”
Still, Wilborn said, he respects Brett’s ban on Eagles games. He said he’ll watch the games elsewhere and continue to patronize Doobie’s, the corner bar he loves.
Brett said fans of other teams are welcome to come to her bar: She’ll be happy to put their games on.