Organizers plan Vick 'celebration' in Newport News


Some residents of Michael Vick's hometown are preparing a "celebration" for the former NFL quarterback, and Vick is expected to make an appearance at the event, an organizer said Friday.

The event is being sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The SCLC chapter president in Vick's hometown of Newport News, Andrew Shannon, said Vick is scheduled to speak at the event intended to promote Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings of nonviolence.

"We believe (Vick) has made atonement and we are hopeful that the public at large gives this young man a chance to move forward with his life," Shannon said.

He said he expects anywhere from 500 to 1,000 people to attend the family oriented event, which will feature face painting, pony rides, music and other festivities. Retailer DTLR was also among the organizers.

"It was his idea," John Eley, one of the organizers, told The Associated Press on Friday. "Vick wanted to give back to the community, like he always does."

The Aug. 8 event will include Vick, who grew up on the city's tough east side, Eley said. He said the city was providing a tent and chairs for the "Michael Vick Community Celebration."

Andrew Shannon, the local SCLC president, did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press. Calls and e-mails to Vick's attorneys and his family also were not returned.

Vick has been conditionally reinstated in the NFL after completing a 23-month federal sentence for running a dogfighting ring.

Eley said many in Newport News have remained loyal to Vick, who he said donated toys and sports uniforms to needy children in the community as his fortunes rose in the NFL.

"He's an awesome guy," said Eley, a hair stylist who described himself as a friend. "I think he deserves a second chance. We all make mistakes."

Eley said Vick's interest in the celebration was inspired, in part, by a "Community Hug for Michael Vick," a July 2007 event that was intended to show the city's solidarity with Vick. About 100 people attended.

It was held the same month Vick and three others were charged with federal dogfighting charges.

Posted to: Newport News News

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Ah, my hometown

Making me proud again! With the Shaun Gayle story on Dateline tonight, and the Ron Mexico celebration.....

Bad Newz repruhshent. :-/

Like Dr. King, I too have a dream.

I dream of a day when we as a culture stop looking up to those so undeserving of adoration. I'm sure Newport News is full of scientists, teachers, firemen and police who are infinitely more inspirational to the youth in the community. Shameful.

One-way ticket

Vick should be provided with a one-way ticket to a third world country, as far away as possible...celebration for an ex-con...you've got to be kidding...have you lost your minds?


Celebration????...dont really care.....Using tax dollars to provide a tent and chairs is a joke and all residents should oppose this!!!

"Awesome Guy"? PLEASE. STOP. NOW.

"Teachings of non-violence"? Is this a joke? Ever seen a dogfight? Non-violence? GIVE ME A BREAK. Keep Vick away from the ponies!!!

Pony rides?

Seriously, a rally for Michael Vick with pony rides in the summer heat in the middle of the city. Who came up with that one?

Why would Anyone Honor Michael Vick?

This man was involved in dogfighting, a brutal treatment of animals. He admitted it and served time in federal prison. The NFL reinstated this man with little consideration for his past crimes. He does not deserve to ever play professional sports again. He sure doesn't deserve to be "honored" by any group. We must consider the brutal nature of dogfighting and the treatment of animals by this man who was given every chance in the NFL and paid an enormous salary and still could not leave the ghetto attitude behind him. I would hope that PETA and all animal lovers available would show up to protest any event honoring this punk.

At aboy....

...You'd think Mr. Vick would lay low, get his life together and concentrate on career.

I'm wondering why this was first announced as a MLK celebration and now it's about Michael Vick. Well, it's good to see the church in Newport News hoist yet another troubled athlete as the paradigm of virtue for the kids living in the crime-ridden, God-forsaken sections of a city under extreme stress.

Yeah, finding and using the collective wisdom of the unified conference of churches to really implement a system of getting help to the children is just too much work. So, let's put a pro ball player on our shoulders and do absolutely nothing about the stagnant conditions infesting life there.

Oh, I see....this is business....!!! (My bad)

...- "He said he expects anywhere from 500 to 1,000 people to attend the family oriented event'.................." Retailer DTLR was also among the organizers."

Yeah, I wonder how much the "organizers" are going to charge these families to gawk at Mr. Vick.

...."It was his idea,"

...."It was his idea," ????? I agree with ApprxAm "lay low, get his life together"! I can think of many other deserving people that the youth of today should look up to or emulate..... not someone who is blowing his own horn so soon after serving time for such a cruel crime!

I had to check my calendar...

To make sure today was not April 1st when I saw this story. This is why I just don't trust fish people...


I thought I heard a massive frustration scream from the PETA building this morning. Wait until they get ahold of this.


Eat some cheese with your whine....

In America, you did your time for your crime, you repent and ask Jesus into your life for salvation and you are forgiven...it is called grace...not that you deserve it.

Now all you judgementalists out there....God has not resigned.

Michael Vick....

Was just wondering if Obama will attend and I'm sure he wouldn't think "it would be stupidly" either.

We all need to get a life and thank God for all of our many blessings and move on.

Vick's return

Aha, kill the fatted calf! The story of the prodigal son still resonates, even with grumbling older brothers left in the field. Put a ring on the finger of the repentant wastrel and celebrate that mercy and hope rule in Newport News!


You people that are complaining are just jealous of this man. Get a life and let him live his. Its really non of you business.

Vicks big day

Why not plan a day for all felons of Newport News. Go to a City Park and invite them all to speak........What a family outing that would be. Get autographs of all your favorite felons, hear their lifes stories, watch the news broadcasts of there capture, hear about what life is like in prison.

T-Shirts with pictures of your 3 favorite felons will be on sale, have your picture taken with all the felons past and present.

What better way to spend a day then attending a "Felon Freedom Function" at the News.


So say this jokingly--but someone from NN is reading and thinking 'Yes!! It's what the people want!'

This is SO pathetic and disappointing.

Late Breaking News just in!

There will be judges present to determine how the ponies do. If they don't meet Michaels expectations he will demonstrate his patented "Pony-Slam". All attending will be expected to place their bets early!

Don't forget the special entertainment

He said he expects anywhere from 500 to 1,000 people to attend the family oriented event, which will feature face painting, pony rides, music and other festivities. Don't forget The DOG FIGHTS will be in the adults only tent in the back.

Sometimes I wonder!

I think that Michael Vick is a much kinder and compassionate person than many of you up here! I now understand why so many great nations fall. This forum is like a feeding frenzy of starving sharks with a taste for blood. This is not about Vick anymore, it's about the hatred of a perceived threat. I am not going to identify the threat but it's there and will one day cause this country to fall.

Kind and compassionate?

Are you kidding? Have you ever read any of the court transcripts of what this man did to those animals. What he did was evil and sadistic. Spin it how you will. I believe the man should have the chance to rebuild his life. But to serve him up as a hero ?

And please. Do fill us in on this so called " threat " you speak of. I am sure many here would be interested to hear about this.

Why do so many people set

Why do so many people set the bar so low in their hero worship? Very sad story.

Let he who lives in glass house

Other than Kenneth's, not one positive post yet. Let's hope Vick doesn't turn out to be truly changed; how foolish we would all look then.

There goes that "mistake"

There goes that "mistake" comment again. People are just bullheaded on thinking before they speak, let alone proofreading their own words for accuracy. Is committing murder of a human a mistake? Is driving drunk a mistake? Is smacking an infant in the head causing lifetime nerve and other health problems a mistake? No, none of the above is a mistake, including dog fighting. They are all heinous CRIMES. Crime is the operative word here, not mistake. And I forgot another big one. Is supplying drugs to a Michael Jackson (aka celebrity) or a regular citizen a mistake when it culminates in death because the combinations and highly prescribed doses are so over the top of the available data on good doctoring? These are all vicious crimes that should have the perpetrators (yes, including doctors and pharmacists) punished to the nth degree and stripped of all their old rights and freedoms for life. It is way past time to stop coddling the truly sub-human among us while villifying those guilty of actions not against persons. We are so off track in this country.

Bad Timing for Bad News

Vick has done his time and deserves to be given a second chance but he has to earn it and he definitely doesn't deserve a community pass.

Having an event for and putting him up as a hero when the dust hasn't even settled yet is sub-moronic.

Vick--I hope you get picked up; I hope you earn back the public trust; I hope you work hard to one day attain role-model status. However, right now I don't want to see you glorified at some event when you've done nothing of late to earn it. If anything you've taught us what not to do.

Pass on the event and keep a lower profile.

To me, this just shows you

To me, this just shows you that MV is still out there to promote himself, disguised as "giving to community." This event is his idea? If he really wants to give back to community, I am sure that SPCA needs a lot of animal cages cleaned and needs a lot of volunteers to walk and play with the dogs that they have; do that and I would believe him more rather than going out there to speak.
Why doesn't Newport news honor the really deserving folks, like others mentioned, I am sure that there are teachers, firemen, police officers and volunteers who truly need to be honored.

Nothing positive to say...

The reason there are no positive posts, is because there is nothing positive about Vick. Vick hasn't done anything since getting out that is deserving of any praise. I bet he hasn't stepped foot one into the Boys Club since being released from Fed custody. How many of you out there would get your job back if you were convicted and did time for the same crime...or something even less severe? If you were a police officer, teacher, military..etc...you wouldn't get your job back and you would have a hard time finding work because most companies don't hire ex-cons (felons). Funny, VB cancelled their tribute to Bruce Smith over a DUI conviction and now NN is rolling out the red carpet for Vick. Let Vick prove himself FIRST, then throw a celebration after. I don't see how they can tie MLK and Vick together with a "non-violence" message. It's a disgrace to MLK. Vick is far from being "non-violent." It takes a cold heart and demented mind to do to animals what he did.

Has he paid for his crimes?

Why yes, I believe that by the laws of the land he has. He has served his time in jail. Does everyone think that just because he is trying to move forward in life he is not reminded everyday of the laws he broke? Vick, just like us, have to put up the childish little cartoon dogs on the back of trucks that are peeing on "Vick." You all know what I am talking about... just look around when you are stopped at a traffic light! Trust me, he is reminded everyday.

Should he curl up in the corner of his home and be so depressed about the world he lives in now that he should self destruct? Who are we to even condemn a man to such a life who has "paid his debt to society?" Why so much hate for a person that you/I do not even know?

How many of us break the law but has just not been caught yet?


All part of the plan to get Vick back into the millions of the NFL. His agent is smart enough to know that when no NFL teams are biting, you need the positive PR. It would have been wiser for the NFL to reinstate him a year after his release. That would give everyone the opportunity to see who he actually is. Seeing what he does and how he copes with no money or job would tell us a lot about who he really is now.

He's the same he's always

He's the same he's always been. This whole interlude has been just that. In his mind, an unfortunate derailment to his do whatever I want mentality. It's all about me and my immediate gratification. The fact that he is a psychopath doesn't enter the radar of those who are helping his return to polite society. As has been said so many times, money talks. This is a prime example. God help us.

Celebrate what?

What exactly is there to celebrate here? What he did was vile and disgusting. I personally believe anyone that would torture an animal in the way Mr. Vick did is a sociopath that should be monitored for the rest of his life. That being said Mr. Vick went through a court of law and served his debt to society. He deserves to be able to continue to live his life and work again. But a hero? Someone to be celebrated? Here is a man that had everything and now he is a convicted felon that is bankrupt. I hope he is rehabilitated. But to celebrate anything in this mans life is a travesty. I would think the so called " leaders " of the black community would want better for this for their children. There are so many role models around us in every day life. Mr. Vick is not one of them.


Soooo it becomes

FELON Day..hmmm wonder who came up with that one and how much its going to cost the taxpayers???? Yeah it might be free, but who is going to pay the OVERTIME for the extra police on duty? Thats right, those citizens get to pay to go see the felon. Good call...what a bunch of tards....

Felon Day

Felon Day. Thats too funny!

Felon Day

Felon Day. Thats too funny!


Hurry up and give this speech...always knew that you would be back in the NFL. Can't wait to see ya playin again.....GO VICK...Don't worry about all the haters, they're just pissed that you got back in and they did'nt want to see ya there.

Unanimous agreement among the comments.

For the first time EVER!

Unanimous agreement among the comments.

Not ONE person thinks this is a good idea.

Another Iverson day? Sad

That is just what the peninsula needs, another day to celebrate someone who is a terrible roll-model

No wonder

The state of our society is crumbling; Good values, morals, ethics, and principles are stirring in the toilet these days. Firstly people do not change overnight. Secondly, prison is mandatory once convicted not a voluntary action. MV didnt say "I will step up to the plate and pay for my cruel behavior and criminal activity by going to prison. No, he HAD to go.

What has he done VOLUNTARILY to redeem his character. Has he had any contact with animal orgs that cleaned up his horrific mess? Has he initiated any true effort to change perspectives? He sat behind bars for a duration of time...what did he contemplate? Actions deem a person right or wrong, good or bad. His first action pretty much showed the world a violent, cruel, selfish, non-compassionate human being. What has he initiated to show he has changed thus far? Celebrate his mandatory pay back and re-sign to dream opportunity? People like Goodell and others accepting him this fast poorly conditions our society.

Now MV needs to do something, without mandates, to show he has a productive not destructive, compassionate not incompassionate, valuable not violent, truly good not falsified character. Until then, he is not w


What exactly are we supposed to celebrate? The idea of this guy killing dogs or fighting for profit????

Pony rides around an animal abuser?

Pony rides ??? If a convicted child molester isn't allowed to be around children, why is a convicted animal abuser allowed to be around animals?

Why not let it go

This is what's wrong with the world today nobody wants to forgive the next person for a mistake.Everyone is coming down on Vick about some dogs what about the other football player the rape the women or another that kill a HUMAN driving drunk but make a mistake with some dogs and people put you down for life. Why we just can't let it go.

It is no mistake to torture

It is no mistake to torture and kill animals for fun and profit. What Vick did to those animals was not a one time "mistake", it shows a patern of violent uncivilized behavior that should not be forgiven nor forgoten. Did Vick spend his prison time thinking about how he could have avoided getting caught for his numerous pre-meditated mistakes?

It is no mistake to torture

It is no mistake to torture and kill animals for fun and profit. What Vick did to those animals was not a one time "mistake", it shows a patern of violent uncivilized behavior that should not be forgiven nor forgoten. Did Vick spend his prison time thinking about how he could have avoided getting caught for his numerous pre-meditated mistakes?

Michael Vick

I think this is a wondeful ideal this young Man has served his time and he has the right to pursue his life as with any one else.I wish him well and hope he has learned his lesson.

Community Hug for Community Thug

What is next? Adopt a felon day? Get real! No other felon that gets out of prison gets a celebration day or their jobs back. Why can't we just treat this piece of scum like anybody else instead of continuing with the preferential treatment.

Everything about this is just WRONG

Vick is a VIOLENT criminal, by the way. Making a mistake is letting your tags expire on your car or saying something stupid in public... Viciously torturing and murdering companion animals takes a lot more than that. I can't believe our state has an entire community sick enough to "celebrate" this felon. I really, really hope no taxpayer dollars are being spent on the whole backwards shindig.

Are you kidding me???

How about the money that it will take to put on this "show" be donated to the local SPCA instead?? Really, what genious came up with this one??

Are you kidding me???

This is an free Country and Michael Vick is entitled to particpate in his Hometown of Newport News at the First Michael Vick'S Community Celebration being put on by the SCLC.
Now with that said someone must be idiotic in my opinion for advising him that there would be an benefit of attending this event. That is if he consulted advisors on this participation.
I am in agreement that any money splent on this event could be put to an better use than an Group Hug.


When's O.J. Day? If it's your idea, it can't be a celebration for you. How about calling it "Bad Newz Cuddles Day" and make it less a Vick event and more a giving back to the community event. In keeping with the religious fanatics and their "Let those without sin cast the first stone" philosophy, I recommend y'all have plenty of rocks on hand for this event. I'm going...and can I bring my dog? ;)-

vick's day

Well what will happen to the pony rides if a pony gets sick?

Will Michel beat it into submission to make it let more children ride ?

What a sick idea the community is trying to do.
Think the city already has a bad rep? This just makes it more evident.


I am glad to see, for once, the posters on this thread have some sense of sanity and context.

This is about MONEY.

Anybody who thinks they can hold Vick up as a role model or redeemed former felon doing good is in it for the ego and greed.

SCLC leadership, you have shown your depth. Suckers.

Somebody in that community needs to stand up and say this is not what we are about! If not, it's already to late for its members.

What Is This Country Going To?

What is this country coming to? When we celebrate a convicted felony and his dog killing. Michael Vick is not the type of role model for my kids.
How can he speak on King's non-violence when in fact he "Bank Rolled" the killing of animals.
This celebration is out of place just like "Cash for Clunkers" program by the federal government.

NN Taxpayers

Follow the money trail...are your tax dollars helping to "celebrate" MV's miraculous change-of-heart? No, folks, it's not about race - it's about right and wrong.

I wouldn't walk across the street to hear what MV had to say just like I would avoid Ben Roethlisberger, if we discover he is a rapist! If Tom Brady would have an alcohol and gambling problem, I wouldn't blindly idolize him either.

There's got to be better ways to invest this money than celebrating now. Let's give the guy time to prove his sincerity before we throw him parties!

Just my humble opinion...

Vick's Celebration

I wonder if Alan Iverson and Bruce Smith will be in attendance? They are wonderful "role models" also. Not in my humble opinion.

M. Vick is scheduled to speak

Vick is scheduled to speak at the event intended to promote Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings of nonviolence! You have to be kidding! This is a dog killing sick individual and felon. I don't think that someone like Vick should have so much news coverage and attention paid to him.

I have defended MV...

on these blogs as far as his right to pursue his profession, but this is beyond the pale! Celebrate what? Non violence? What part of murdering those dogs escaped the organizers here? This SCLC is going to quickly become an absolute joke if they go thru with this. MV has a golden opportunity here to state as such, and announce he doesn't feel he's earned this, and that he won't be participating in any such thing! If he were to 'man up', he would say as much!

celebrate after score, the game is won

Got God Gang


quarteback celebrate after you get the job back, after you score after the game is won go acc

fast forward

gangsters it cost to do a crime and do little time

( ( ( ( ears on ) ) ) ) eye (s ) open

beep beep beep this vehicle is backing up

peace on earth

please put everything on hold

you say al qaeda and we say arcadia we're on the same page yall

we're all trying to defend the fatherland from the carpetbaggers

seek fidelity

more later....


Let me get this straight. Virginia Beach cancels a ceremony honoring Hall of Famer Bruce Smith for being accused of a DUI. Newport News holds a ceremony honoring convicted felon Michael Vick, who can't even get into the Hall of Fame without $18 that he has to hide from his creditors. Lets put Bruce Smith in Newport News and Michael Vick in Virginia Beach.

Why is this news?

I was no longer even going to read any more stories about Vick and I messed up when I saw this had the most comments. When are people just going to give Vick/news stories about hime a rest and move on? Vick committed a crime. He went to prison. He is now a felon on probation. Who cares what he does with his life as long as he is no longer committing crimes? Why waste more of our energy or time on this guy?

What's wrong with this country?

The only thing I can say is that anyone who celebrates someone like michael vick is that they are the same kind of person he is ...period!


I am not sure what is being celebrated. Is it for Michael Vick or is it to promote Martin Luther King's teachings of non-violence. If the SCLC wishes to have a rally promote non-violence, that is great and I if Michael wants to attend and give support that cause, that's great too. But if you call it a Michael Vick day or a celebration of Michael Vick then don't reference Martin Luther King. I just think how you title this celebration adds to the creditability of this event. I want Michael to make it back to the NFL. Perhaps when he makes it back to the NFL and wins a Super Bowl, then the city can have a parade for Michael and celebrate not only a Super Bowl winner but a man who changed his life around...now that's worth celebrating.

P.S....there are no haters out here, we are all entitled to our opinions!

Celebration for MV

Oh tell me they aren't!!! They aren't celebrating Michael Vick when there are so many good role model atheletes to celebrate. The ceremony honoring Bruce Smith was cancelled because of speeding and DUI(and yes DUI is bad) but there is to be a celebration honoring Michael Vick. A felon. A man who has done MANY WRONGS through the years. We honor Scum but not honorable atheletes. That's absolutely crazy. What is wrong with everyone? If and When he is picked up by a team(and yes some not to smart team will pick this 'person' up) and starts earning $, I do hope and pray his wages get garnished like anyone elses. And this is not about race. Get over that!! I do not care what color you are. My best friend is black. Rather you are black, white, yellow, green, whatever..this is wrong. How much is this costing us? I want my money to go to something worth while!!!


Finally, Vick plans to speak or does that mean his attorneys plan to speak for him? Another PR move on Vick and his Attoneys part to satisfy one of the conditions of his probation. Hopefully the City of Newport News will distance themselves from this event including the use of any taxpayers money. Enough of the city and state taxpayers money has already been spent on convicted felons in Virginia the past 2 to 3 years.


Celebrating MV's return to NN is wrong on so many levels. If they want to welcome him back, it should be done in a "Forgiveness" service at some church.

This is a con"vick"ted felon, and should be treated as such. He needs a great deal of psycotherapy -- and medication -- to keep him from further abusing animals and people. He does not need to be celebrated by a small faction of the community. Remember, he's not just an animal abuser, he's also a high-stakes gambler who places illegal bets. What's to keep him from betting on football?

Celebration for Michael Vick

Let me get this straight. Newport News citizens are celebrating MV. Tell me that isn't so!! The
event honoring Bruce Smith was cancelled because of Speeding and DUI violations. And yes I know they are bad. Esp. DUI and driving with speed. A celebration is being held celebrating a felon. Oh My! This just is not right. There are so many really good, honorable atheletes to celebrate. MV is not only a felon but has wrong doings a mile long. Wrong doings over some years time that are a mile long. Celebrate someone worthy. Please reconsider. Pick someone worthy of celebrating. How much is this going to cost us? Is Andrew Shannon and the SCLC going to pay for everything? I do not want my tax dollars to go towards this. I can better use my $ elsewhere. Believe me I can. And this is not racial. So get that thought out of your mind right now. My best friend is of color. I could care less if you are black, white, red, green, or yellow. It's the person I object to celebrating.

A "Tribute" to Michael Vick?

I had to read the headline twice! I wholeheartedly believe in 2nd chances--and I believe someone should pay for their mistakes. However, what Mike Vick did was so abhorrent, so sickening, that only a person of monstrous character could have carried it out. And, now, 23mos later we are to believe he is a completely NEW person? I don't see how. He is a convicted felon... not a petty criminal. His crimes were vast, and his crimes were ongoig for a very long time. There are so many REAL heroes to celebrate. What's this all about? This is a terrible message to send to youth! We tell them crime doesn't pay, stay out of trouble, you'll not get anywhere in life leading a criminal's life... yet now we're thinking of celebrating that very thing. Now, that is inexplicable.

Mike Vick

Michael Vick went to jail for the crime he committed and lost his priveleges of playing football and endorsements.His reputation was tornished. Now this is his opportunity to redeem himself. If he becomes caught up in the negative attitudes towards him, he will never take his first step. I say go for it because there are so many untold sins in other peoples that they continue to do on a daily basis and if it got published for the world to judge, woe is he!Our tax money is going to institutions to keep people locked up with no intervention so they can be functionable citizens, therefore its an endless cycle of modern day slavery. When people have no help or support its almost inevitable that they will not succeed on the right path for their lives.

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