Michael Vick was trending on Twitter recently – and not because of the notable philanthropy he currently does. Instead, fans on social media were defending the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback from those who continually hang his past over his head every time he appears on Fox Sports or gets recognition for his stellar football career.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, Vick announced he would be interviewing Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray about his career and charity work on the network. It didn’t take long for the usual crucifixion of Vick’s character to begin.
“Vick’s crimes lasted for years & would have continued if he had not gotten caught. The pain, agony, caused those dogs should never be forgotten or forgiven. He is a monster & criminal,” user @BamasLadyJ commented with a hashtag “#BoyCottMichaelVick.”
Social media lit up with the “let’s cancel Michael Vick for crimes he’s gone to jail and publicly repented for” crowd. They continued to bash Vick for his role in a dog-fighting ring which was discovered in 2007.
Vick’s fans did not let the critics go unanswered, however. Not only did they remind them the former baller pled guilty, served nearly two years in prison, went to therapy, showed true reform and does advocacy work for animal rights to this day, they also pointed out the hypocrisy of Vick’s critics who have no problem with police killings of Black people and hunting.
“Why are people more upset at Michael Vick getting a tv gig than the police that kill unarmed Black people transferring to new jobs out of state? Keep that same energy. Until then …” Twitter user @notcontraChava tweeted.
“Michael Vick is trending because he’s enraged the people who think Kyle Rittenhouse is a hero,” writer David Dennis Jr. tweeted, referencing the white teen who crossed state lines and killed two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“And Michael Vick apologized, did his time, took classes, did therapy and did amazing volunteer work here in Philly for people and animals, (even when the cameras weren’t around),” added Twitter user @jeaniegirl7.
“White people are just silly. They are still mad at Michael Vick over some funky dogs. Meanwhile their parents and grandparents did this to black people, while smiling and laughing,” user @KareemBanks6 tweeted, along with a graphic photo of a lynching of a Black man.
Still Vick’s self-described haters did not let up. “Funky” dogs? He beat, strangled, electrocuted, drowned and mutilated countless dogs,” wrote user @WhiteHousePups.
Another user challenged @WhiteHousePups and said, “Your ancestors did this to black ppl but I’m sure that’s fine with you huh.” @WhiteHousePups replied, “No, my ancestors didn’t. But if they did no wouldn’t think ok. Once again..they are not interdependent. Believe it or not, you could actually hate both.”
Another user @silkyanajones asked Vick’s critics to explain themselves. He posted a meme with a caption that said, “White people: Mike Vick is a monster and needs to die! Also white people:,” he continued before a group of photos he posted of white men and women posing with bears, lions, rhinos and giraffes that had been hunted and killed.
One user @b_davis03 said he wasn’t “a Vick hater” but would try to explain. “People spend A LOT of money to travel to hunt these animals. The animals they kill are animals that are threatening other animals of their kind. All of the money that’s spent to hunt the animal is then dumped back into preservation,” 2b_davis wrote.
Vick’s fans weren’t buying it. “Rhinos and giraffes, both endangered species, are threats to their own species?” asked user @nhat. When another user chimed in to explain how hunting helps nature and the environment, another user replied, “Bruh the logic is unreal.”
“And people hunt animals all the time. All types of animals for sport. Humans do stupid stuff to animals. He [Vick] served his time 13 years ago,” added user @mrscorie.
One user asked the question many of Vick’s defenders wanted those who continue to call for his cancellation to answer. She also articulated the underlying role many believe race plays in some people’s hatred of Vick.
“In your opinion, what does Vick need to do to be forgiven? Or is that possible?…I think what ppl are getting at with their responses to you is that we experience Whites as humanizing animals more than Black ppl,” user @Tzmocha wrote.