The animal rights activist group PETA took to Twitter to express its displeasure with the New York Jets for the signing of quarterback Michael Vick. The new Jets back-up infamously served almost two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to running an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring.
Vick apologized for his actions and was released in 2009. He has since found a mentor in the form of highly respected former NFL coach Tony Dungy and a new team in Philadelphia, where Vick has spent the past five seasons.
PETA doesn't care about any of that.
Has the statute of limitations on wholesale Vick-bashing run out? Michael Vick's brother Marcus seems to think so.
As a broader litmus test for the durability of the public apology and the meaning of second chances, the results are mixed. There's still a cheap laugh to be had:
If Vick can stay healthy, learn to pocket pass, take a sack, turn in his guns & not kill any dogs, the @Jets will have made a great move!— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) March 22, 2014
ESPN's Michelle Beadle isn't having it:
Looks like mama is on the market for a new football team....— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) March 21, 2014
But despite Vick's baggage, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell didn't find it politically unpalatable to wish him well.
Thanks 2 Mike Vick 4 many thrills 4 being great leader and teammate. Also 4 your great work with school kids. Good luck with Jets!— Ed Rendell (@GovEdRendell) March 22, 2014