A petition calling for quarterback Michael Vick to be banned from the college campus that hosts the New York Jets training camp has collected more than 1,400 online signatures.
The petition on the Change.org website is addressed to Erik J. Bitterbaum, president of the State University of New York at Cortland, the upstate school that has hosted four of the last five Jets camps. The school has not confirmed the team’s return to Cortland this summer.
Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2007 following an investigation into a dog-fighting ring. Following a prison sentence and two years away from football, Vick returned to the NFL and played five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The petition page, which was posted late last month, shows a graphic picture of a mauled dog next to a photo of Vick, who signed with the Jets in March. The petition refers to Vick as "a monster and a disgrace" and inaccurately asserts that the quarterback has never apologized for his actions.
A portion of the petition states:
"We MUST send the message that we won’t be party to the torture of animals by conveniently forgetting what he has done. If we welcome Vick onto our campus, we are complicit in his crimes. We are sending the message that, for money and publicity, we will turn a blind eye to the horrors of dogfighting. I don’t want to be that person, and I don’t want SUNY Cortland to abandon its principles so easily."