As a petition aiming to remove Michael Vick from being a Pro Bowl captain picks up steam, a 2017 op-ed written by a dog-lover, who forgave and defended the former NFLer’s dog fighting ring, has resurfaced.
The petition has received over 500,000 signatures from dog enthusiasts, but Beth Sherouse’s Op-Ed, originally published on Medium, “If You Still Hate Michael Vick, You Might Be Racist,” is back in the news, Pop Culture reports.
“We can’t consider the story of Vick’s rise and fall with understanding the context of the systemic racism that informed his life at every step, including his interaction with the criminal justice system and an American public intent on punishing people of color far more harshly than they do white people,” Sherouse wrote.
“There is no shortage of evidence showing the profoundly racist double standards our society applies to black boys and men, particularly those who have found financial success or have any sort of public platform,” Sherouse wrote.
The resurfaced op-ed is gaining recognition again with audiences who may or may not have read it the first time around when it was published three years ago.
Not everyone shares Sherouse’s forgiving nature about Vick.
In 2007, Vick was convicted on felony charges for running a dogfighting ring, where he and his associates brutally tortured and killed several dogs.
A petition defending him called “Stand with Michael Vick” has also been created in response to the current backlash is Pro Bowl captain status is receiving.
The petition states, “In a nation that claims to be built on Christian principles, I don’t see the Christ in the people that continue to speak out against him and his ability to enjoy his life to the fullest, I and many others are tired of these racists disguised as animal lovers trying to control this mans every move, if they could, they would deny him the ability to simply breathe. Enough is enough, the NFL should in no way shape or form, bend the knee to these people. Stand with Vick as I am.”