Vick, citing scheduling issues, scraps football camp
ATLANTA -- Reacting to the ongoing investigation of Michael Vick, and to the perceived fatigue that has set in on fans here as the almost daily news updates surrounding the team's star player continue, Atlanta Falcons officials on Friday dispatched a letter to season-ticket patrons asking for patience, prudence and understanding.
In addition, Vick announced on a Web site that he is canceling his annual football camp, scheduled for June 30-July 3, because of "scheduling issues."
The letter, signed by Falcons' owner Arthur Blank and team president/general manager Rich McKay, stressed that fans should permit the investigation to play out and not jump to any conclusions. It is essentially in line with a message Falcons management has publicly urged since the investigation, which is focusing on potential dogfighting on property that Vick owns in Virginia, but on which he does not reside, began in late April.
In part, the letter reads:
"Any time a player in our league -- and especially a Falcons player -- shows up in a negative light for any act, it is disappointing to us. While unsubstantiated to date, the current public situation concerning Michael Vick puts us in a particularly difficult spot because of the daily attention it is receiving in the media, and our inability to respond because we don't yet have all the facts with which to deal.
Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, ESPN's Kelly Naqi says many wonder whether federal involvement in the Michael Vick dog-fighting case is really about cracking down on the violent activity.
"We hope you understand it would be inappropriate and premature to make any definitive statements or take any action until we know the facts. Therefore, we are awaiting the outcome of the investigation just as you are. For the benefit of our fans, the Falcons and Michael, we hope there will be a quick and clear resolution to this matter so that we all can move forward.
"In the meantime, we want you to realize there are many examples of our organization impacting our community in a very positive manner."
The letter then delineates the many charitable functions in which Atlanta players participate, and points out that the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation has to date provided more than $10 million in grants to Georgia-based nonprofit organizations.
"Over the past five years," the letter finishes, "we have worked hard to build a winning team and a respected franchise for our fans and the Atlanta community. You have responded in a positive manner, and we thank you for your support and loyalty. We respectfully ask for your understanding as we work through our current situation."
Vick's annual camp, which he has held for the past several years, was to have taken place at the Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. On the Web site, which was shut down late in the afternoon, the cancellation of the camp was announced, with a statement that deposits and refunds would be processed immediately.
"To all campers, Michael Vick and his staff apologize for any inconvenience," the short announcement said.
Calls to Vick's private attorney, Larry Woodward, were not returned.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
- Fathead Michael Vick Wall Graphic