Once again, Michael Vick has failed to honor a commitment.
Vick was scheduled to appear today on ESPN First Take, which is being filmed in front of a live audience at ESPN the Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But near the end of the show, First Take host Dana Jacobson said Vick wouldn’t be coming.
“We have some bad news,” Jacobson said, speaking both to the assembled fans at ESPN the Weekend and the viewers at home. “We were supposed to have an interview with Michael Vick, we’ve been telling you about it, and sadly the Eagles actually pulled the interview, is what I’m being told. In all honesty, we were looking forward to talking to Michael about what has been a turnaround season for him and what has been a rough few years and getting to some other stuff.”
With that, the fans in attendance booed. Jacobson’s co-host Jay Crawford said, “We’ve been Oprah’d,” a reference to Vick pulling out of an interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.
Jacobson’s phrasing was interesting. She said, “The Eagles actually pulled the interview.” When Vick pulled out of the interview with Winfrey, it was clear that the Eagles didn’t want him to do the interview, even though everyone tried to spin the decision as Vick’s alone. Jacobson didn’t hide the fact that the Eagles were the ones who canceled this interview.
But it’s hard to understand why the Eagles would tell one of their players to bail on a commitment to ESPN, a company that’s preparing to pay the NFL roughly $1.5 billion a year, which translates to about $47 million a year to the Eagles. The money ESPN pays to the NFL for Monday Night Football doesn’t necessarily purchase better access for ESPN, but in general NFL teams like to maintain good relationships with ESPN. Apparently the Eagles think shielding Vick from questions is worth potentially angering the league’s biggest business partner.
This is at least the third recent instance of Vick bailing on a commitment, including the Oprah interview and the failure to show up to a charity event this week. For all the talk that Vick is a changed man since getting out of prison, it sure doesn’t seem like he’s become a man of his word.
UPDATE: The Eagles say the Maxwell Club booked Vick on ESPN without his or the team’s consent, and the team calls the claim that they pulled Vick off ESPN “ridiculous.”