Michael Vick has cancelled an upcoming appearance at an Atlanta-area bookstore following multiple threats of violence to store employees, store property, his family, and himself.
The Eagles quarterback was scheduled to autograph copies of his book, "Michael Vick: Finally Free" at three Barnes and Noble locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Atlanta. All three have been cancelled due to safety concerns. Vick was originally slated to appear in Atlanta on Saturday.
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances,” said Byron Williamson, president of Worthy Publishing. “We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities.”
The bookstore's Facebook page has been littered with comments protesting Vick's appearances.
Here are some examples:
“I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals.”
“hope your kids don’t fall in a pool with a battery.”
“I would snap your neck if I met you, your [sic] a piece of trash.”The much-maligned signal caller has been the target of plenty of hostility since re-entering the public forum following a 19-month prison stint for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring. While he now faces less opposition overall, the tone has become more violent recently, according to a source close to Vick.
Vick stirred up the proverbial pot in October after admitting that he had become a dog owner again after his probation was up.
“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet,” said Vick back in October. “As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”
Nearly 1,000 people had placed their reservations to attend Saturday's signing in Atlanta.
Via Philly Mag