A Philadelphia Eagles spokesman denied the team ordered quarterback Michael Vick to postpone his upcoming appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Philadelphia Sports Daily reported Thursday.
A representative of the Pro Bowl quarterback also debunked reports the Eagles directed Vick to skip his interview with the queen of talk shows.
"Not true," said the Eagles spokesman, according to Sports Daily.
"The Eagles were supportive of Michael’s decision both when he agreed to do the show and when he decided to cancel," added Chris Shigas, a spokesman for Vick.
Reports on Tuesday said the superstar quarterback had canceled his interview for "personal reasons." A spokesperson from Harpo Productions confirmed through an emailed statement that read, in part, "Mr. Vick’s representatives called last night to cancel his appearance for personal reasons."
Earlier Thursday, Fox 29 in Philadelphia reported that Vick’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was canceled Wednesday at the team’s request. Vick was scheduled to tape an interview which was to air later this month.
In a statement, Vick said: "After careful consideration, I will need to postpone the taping of the Oprah Winfrey interview scheduled for Feb. 22. I admire and respect Oprah and hope to be able to participate in an interview in the future.”
Vick spent nearly two years in prison for his role in a dog fighting operation. Since he got out of jail, Vick has spent time off the field speaking against cruelty to animals.
The interview had been scheduled to air on Feb. 24. No reason was given for the cancellation.
Vick, 30, was supposed to discuss his history in dog fighting as well as his upbringing and NFL career. Vick has appeared on local radio and television in recent weeks to discuss his future.
The veteran signal caller has made it clear that he wants to return to the team next season. The Eagles used their one-year exclusive franchise tag designation for Vick on Tuesday.
Winfrey had to pull out of a bet with fellow talk show host Piers Morgan to land her interview with Vick, showbiz news agency WENN reported Tuesday.
But in order to land the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, Vick’s agent told both the TV personalities the quarterback did not want to be associated with gambling and that they would have to withdraw their friendly bet that Winfrey would land the interview first.
Morgan enticed Winfrey into the £200 (US$320) wager when she was a guest on his first show on CNN.
On Tuesday, Morgan said the bet no longer stood.
"I feel absolutely gutted … although I haven’t technically lost," the Brit said.
"Here’s what happened: I bet Oprah £200 for this interview, and then a mysterious thing happened at the end of last week, where Michael Vick’s agent rang us both up and said, ‘He can’t be party to gambling so he’ll only do an interview with either of you if you withdraw the bet.’"
Morgan said Winfrey, "quick as lightning," went on Twitter and posted: "Dear Piers, I’m withdrawing the bet, I don’t know why I let you talk me into it, I still love you, Oprah."
"The moment I saw that, I knew what that meant was, if she did that on Twitter, she was in the clear and she had him in the bag," Morgan said.
"You shouldn’t pick a fight with Oprah Winfrey, right?"