As a winter storm scraps a wide range of events in the Southeast, including the Duke-North Carolina men’s basketball game (you can now watch the Olympics on NBC instead), a controversial appearance by soon-to-be-free-agent quarterback Mike Vick in Raleigh has been canceled.
Per Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com, Vick was due to appear at the Raleigh Sports Council’s annual Evening of Champions. The event has been moved to February 27, but the group staging it announced that Vick won’t be able to attend on the new date.
The move comes at a time when a pit bull advocacy group had mustered more than 74,000 signatures to an online petition protesting Vick’s appearance. A protest had been planned, with 1,500 people declaring an intention via Facebook to show up.
As Vick prepares to become a free agent and sign with a new team, the franchise that chooses to pursue him needs to be ready for a local reaction that could be far more vocal and negative than the reaction five years ago when Vick signed with the Eagles.