LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)– A football camp that had been scheduled to come to Lexington is stirring up strong opposition after it promoted that former quarterback Michael Vick would be making an appearance.
Vick is a convicted felon because of his role in a dogfighting operation, and while he was a talented football player, animal rights advocate Melissa Bowman with Kentuckians Vote For Animals doesn’t think he is a good role model for children.
“We were concerned just because of Vick’s history with dogfighting and his conviction, and just wanted to stand up for his victims,” she told LEX 18.
The flyer for the event caught her eye. There are two football players expected to make appearances, but she is focused on Vick.
She sent letters to officials with Jefferson and Fayette County Schools, expressing concern about the children attending the camp, and the belief that it is adding to the stigma of Kentucky’s animal rights history.
“Kentucky is last in animal laws and has been for over a dozen years,” she said.
Gordon Miles with the Factory Elite Skills Football Camp said that he feels that Vick’s story, from conviction, prison, to his return to the NFL, is one worth sharing with kids.
“Nobody’s perfect, so we preach that tremendously that when you get a chance to right a wrong, then you do so,” Miles said.
“It’s not up to me whether he has a second chance, but I will say that many of his animal victims did not get a second chance,” she said.
While he was disappointed in the protest, Miles said that the camp will go on, but it will not be in Lexington. Instead, it will take place at a church in Louisville. The camp is free.
“And we believe in second chances. He’s someone that has been at the very bottom and the very top,” said Miles.
Bowman said that since the event is not taking place on publicly-funded grounds, there are no plans for her group to protest.