The Atlanta Falcons have invited former players to take part in a ceremony for Sunday game against the New Orleans Saints, the last regular-season game to be played in the Georgia Dome.
This petition calls Vick a convicted dogfighter who profited from cruelty to animals for years. The petition reads the following.
“Please sign this petition and let the Falcons know that NFL fans do not support Vick and do not condone his actions.”
25,000 supporters signed the petition by Saturday, just two days after it was created. It remains to be seen how the organization will react to the petition.
The Falcons acknowledged the ceremony, but they did not release a list of the invited players per AJC.
— Zesty NFL News (@zesty_nfl) December 31, 2016
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that fans are on the fence about Vick. Some fans were quoted saying that the Falcons should not honor a felon. Meanwhile, other fans said Vick paid his debt to society via the same article.
It was assumed that Vick would be in attendance for Sunday’s game. Vick played for Atlanta from 2001 to 2006. The Falcons registered a 74-67 overall record with Vick there. He completed 53.8 percent of his passes for 11,505 passing yards, 71 touchdowns, and 52 interceptions during his time in Atlanta.
Vick went to three Pro Bowls as a member of the Falcons. He lit up the Georgia Dome with moments like this.
The 2001 No. 1 overall pick ended his career with the Falcons after he pleaded guilty in an August 2007 federal dogfighting investigation.
Vick spent 21 months in prison for those crimes, and he has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and Pittsburgh Steelers since his time in Atlanta.
The 36-year-old free agent quarterback said earlier this month that he identifies his football career with the Atlanta Falcons. Vick said he would like to retire with the Falcons per Sporting News.
He called retiring with the Falcons awesome but admitted that it could be problematic. In the same interview, Vick said there were some conversations that need to be had per Falcons Wire.
During this season, Vick has been connected to various teams that have quarterback injuries. However, he has not played a snap this season. This means retirement could be imminent.
Either way, when will Falcons fans start embracing him again? Further, is this petition even an accurate reaction from Falcons fans who will attend and watch Sunday’s game?
Don’t forget that another famous Falcons and Virginia Tech alumni recently died unexpectedly. Keion Carpenter was a teammate of Vick’s from 2001 to 2005. Carpenter died at age 39.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) December 29, 2016
Carpenter’s death could serve as a reminder that life is short for NFL players. Granted, there is no telling if Carpenter was invited either. However, it shows the mortality of a player from the same era as Vick.
Vick helped the team reach the 2004 NFC Championship game and the historic 2002 playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers. Will Atlanta Vick’s legacy Sunday?
Otherwise, Carpenter’s death proves that Atlanta may not get another opportunity. Plus, it has been 10 years since Vick’s dog fighting investigation.
— Pete D. Camarillo (@Petecertified) December 31, 2016
Either way, let me know if you think Vick belongs at Sunday’s game via the Twitter poll above.
It remains to be seen if Michael Vick will be in attendance for the Georgia Dome’s final regular season game. Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Wade Payne/AP Images]