Anti-Vick demonstrators say Vick should be suspended
NEW York -- Roger Goodell met with animal welfare officials inside NFL headquarters Friday and about 50 people demonstrated outside, urging the NFL commissioner to suspend Michael Vick following his indictment on dogfighting charges.
"Sack Vick!'' chanted the demonstrators, organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as they walked peacefully in front of the Park Avenue building. Many held dogs who had the "Sack Vick'' signs on their backs and one woman brought a pit bull, the breed associated with the dogfighting operation the Atlanta quarterback is accused of sponsoring.
Goodell met with officials from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The leaders of the demonstration focused on Goodell's one-year suspension of Tennessee's Adam "Pacman" Jones under the NFL's personal-conduct policy, though Jones has not been convicted of any crime.
"We think they should do the same with Michael Vick,'' said Dan Shannon, an assistant director of campaigns for PETA. "We don't think their 'wait and see' attitude goes far enough. If they suspended Pacman Jones, they can suspend Vick.''
After the announcement Vick had been indicted Tuesday, the NFL said it would monitor legal developments in the case. Vick is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in federal court in Richmond, Va.
On Friday, though, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said:
"We agree with them that dogfighting is cruel, degrading and illegal. The alleged activities are very disturbing and we are extremely disappointed Michael Vick has put himself in this position.
"We are having extensive dialogue with numerous groups and individuals, including the ASPCA, and are reviewing all of our options to deal with this as quickly as possible.''
Sherry Ramsey, a staff attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, said she was disappointed in the league's stance.
"There is a precedent in the Jones suspension,'' she said.
Two letters written June 21 by the NFL to the Humane Society, provided to The Associated Press by the league, said warnings on animal fighting and animal cruelty are now being included in the annual briefings by the league security staff to players. Those briefings will take place at all 32 training camps this summer.
But two letters written June 21 by the NFL to the Humane Society, and provided to The Associated Press by the league, said warnings on animal fighting and animal cruelty are now being included in the annual briefings by the league security staff to players. Those briefings will take place at all 32 training camps this summer.
"We are in total agreement that there is no place for animal cruelty and illegal animal fighting and take very seriously the allegations of dogfighting against Michael Vick,'' Peter Abitante, Goodell's personal assistant, wrote nearly a month before Vick's indictment.
"We certainly do not condone this activity and will not tolerate cruelty or mistreatment of animals. If Mr. Vick or anyone associated with the NFL is found to have violated state or federal law, the commissioner has stated publicly that he will impose significant discipline under our personal-conduct policy.''
Earlier this year, the NFL began working with the ASPCA on programs and public service announcements to educate players and the public on the importance of caring properly for animals.
In Washington, Sen. John Kerry said he would introduce legislation aimed at eliminating dogfighting and sent a letter to Goodell asking him to immediately suspend Vick."On behalf of millions of sports fans and dog lovers, I urge you to treat Mr. Vick's dogfighting indictment with the very serious attention it deserves and suspend him from the league until the resolution of legal proceedings,'' Kerry said in the statement. "I look forward to working with you on this issue to ensure that dogfighting and other illegal activities have no place in professional sports.''
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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VICK SENTENCED TO 23 MONTHS
Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and three years' probation for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy. The suspended Falcons quarterback is looking at a scheduled release of July 2009. Story
Update• GM: Falcons will attempt to trade Vick
• Lawyer: Vick might move to halfway house
• Former Vick estate fails to sell again
• Vick house fails to sell at auction
• Vick files for bankruptcy protection
• Prosecutor: Vick's Virginia trial can wait
• Vick ordered to repay Canadian bank $2.4 million
• Judge denies NFL motion to reverse Vick ruling
• Report: Vick not playing organized football in jail
• Report: Vick passes time with prison-yard football
• Vick's state dogfighting trial to begin June 27
• Munson: Vick yet to enter drug treatment
The sentence• Vick sent to Kansas to serve rest of sentence
• Vick asked judge for leniency before sentencing
• Vick sentenced to 23 months | Document (pdf)
• Poll: What do you think? | What they're saying
• Clayton: Sentence puts career in jeopardy
• Munson: Tough sentence by displeased judge
• Teammates show support at Falcons game
• Can Vick return to playing in NFL?
• Pasquarelli: No longer top of mind in Atlanta
• Last Vick co-defendant sentenced
• Podcasts : Cossack | Schlereth | Munson/Naqi | Pasquarelli
• Chat wrap: David Cornwell
Post Plea• NFL wants court to reverse Vick bonus ruling
• Victory for Vick: QB can keep $20 million bonus
• Fifth defendant in Vick case receives probation
• Vick's house for sale for $1.1M
• Some Falcons to visit Vick in prison
• PETA unveils new e-card
• Former Virginia estate fails to sell at auction
• Out of Falcons' sight, almost out of mind
• Judge's casework offers look at possible sentence
• Remaining dogs placed with rescue groups
• Source: Feds may push judge to up sentence
• NFLPA argues Vick should not lose roster bonus
• Vick co-defendants get 18, 21 months in prison
• Vick agrees to put up almost $1M for dogs' care
• Vick given April trial date on state charges
• Vick surrenders to begin serving sentence early
• Home at center of Vick dogfighting scandal sold
• Vick fires one of his lawyers in dogfighting case
• Man who sold Vick pit bull pleads guilty
• Man connected to Vick dogfight ring pleads guilty
• Third bank sues Vick, claims he defaulted on loan
• Arbiter: Falcons have right to reclaim bonuses
• PETA: Vick had class on animal cruelty
• Evaluations show 48 of Vick's dogs placeable
• Vick tests positive for marijuana
• Vick supporters turn out for town meeting
• Vick's apology notes fetch $10.2K at auction
Vick's Plea/NFL Suspension• Vick pleads guilty to federal dogfighting charge
• The plea (PDF) | Statement of facts (PDF)
• Vick's statement: Watch it | Read it
• Roger Cossack explains plea deal
• Poll: Vick should be banned
• Va. Tech, Beamer continue to support Vick
• Vick supporters drown out protesters
• NFL suspends Vick indefinitely | Goodell (PDF)
• Chris Mortensen on Vick's suspension
• Vick files plea agreement admitting to dogfighting
Indictment• Marbury's about-face: Vick 'is 100 percent wrong'
• National NAACP: Vick 'not a victim' | Audio
• Atlanta NAACP: Vick should be allowed to return
• Falcons come to terms with 'ex-teammate'
• Vick timeline | What they're saying
• Helyar: Even Atlanta turns against Vick
• Goodell: Vick not overshadowing season
• Vick co-defendant pleads guilty to charges
• Tony Taylor: Summary of Facts | Plea agreement
• Hometown residents stand by Vick
• Falcons had planned to suspend Vick
• Commish tells Vick to avoid camp
• Vick indicted | The indictment (pdf) | Civil arrest warrant (pdf)
Town Hall meeting• Town Hall chat wrap: Chadiha
Previous columns/analysis• Munson: Q&A on Vick reporting to prison early
• Munson: Looking at Judge Hudson
• Vick's high school learning lessons
• Bryant: Confounded by race issue
• Munson: Q&A about local indictment
• Munson: Next focus for Vick is length of sentence
• Schlabach: Vick an afterthought on VT campus
• Chadiha: Vick not running from truth
• Hill: Coverage means bigger issues ignored
• Wojciechowski: Pay attention to the fallen star
• Bryant: Vick's plea deal comes with baggage
• Bryant: In failing Vick, NFLPA fails itself
• Munson: Vick plea means surrender
• Forde: Vick's epic fall
• Pasquarelli: Major blow for Falcons
• Chadiha: Lots of lessons to be learned
• Wojciechowski: Punishment with teeth
• Easterbrook: Little sympathy?
• Clayton: Vick's NFL future might be bleak
• E-Ticket: A history of mistrust
• Chadiha: Vick's bad choices