USA Today reported (March 13) that Michael Vick’s publisher has canceled book signing events relating to Vick’s autobiography Finally Free, due to violent threats against Vick, his family and employees participating in the event.
Sadly, animal rights fanatics (as opposed to animal lovers) have once again made their point with threats of violence and deserve only condemnation.
Now, I’m no fan of Michael Vick. A New York Giants football fan, I despise the Philadelphia Eagles and Vick as a player for my least favorite team. But, I’ll fight to the death for his right to publish his autobiography and be able to conduct a book tour. Vick has paid a hefty price for his transgressions (19 months in prison and the loss of countless millions of dollars when his contract with the Atlanta Falcons was voided). We are a society that offers second chances (in the case of Lindsay Lohan, for example, dozens of second chances).
We have something called peaceful demonstrations in this country, which sets us apart from many third world nations where protests can lead to jail or death. Animal rights fanatics (along with peaceful animal rights advocates) could have picketed outside stores Vick was to appear at and generated publicity for their cause. It’s a right granted by our Constitution and an appropriate response. There is no excuse for threats of violence, especially against employees of stores who were not culpable in Vick’s crimes. We have recently engaged in discussions to end bullying in schools. The sad fact is that bullying is not relegated simply to schools. Those who threaten violence to force the cancellation of a book signing are nothing more than heinous bullies who deserve our scorn.
I have no interest in reading Michael Vick’s autobiography but my protest against those who preach violence will be to purchase the book . . . and then donate it to my local library without reading it.