Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has canceled plans to appear at several book signings in the next week after organizers received death threats.
Vick had been planning to sign his autobiography, Finally Free, at bookstores in Atlanta and Philadelphia, but his publisher said all of his appearances were canceled out of concerns for safety because Vick was the target of violent threats.
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances,” Byron Williamson, president of Worthy Publishing, told PhillyMag.com. “We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities.”
Facebook pages publicizing the book signings were flooded with vitriolic messages toward Vick, who served 21 months in prison for his role in orchestrating a dog-fighting ring. “I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals” and “I would snap your neck if I met you” were among the comments.
Vick has now been out of prison and back in the NFL for four full seasons, and based on the reception he typically gets in NFL stadiums, football fans seem to have forgiven his past misdeeds. But outside the football world, there are a whole lot of Vick haters who will never forget.