RALEIGH: Chamber's pick of Vick as speaker draws criticism - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Raleigh Chamber's pick of Michael Vick as speaker draws criticism

Posted: Updated:
Michael Vick is the prime speaker at the annual Evening of Champions event at PNC Arena. (AP Photo) Michael Vick is the prime speaker at the annual Evening of Champions event at PNC Arena. (AP Photo)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is catching heat over its selection of football star Michael Vick as its prime speaker at the annual Evening of Champions event this February.

The program, scheduled to take place Feb. 12 at PNC Arena, costs as much as $75 a person to attend, and will "salute the stars of local sports," event organizers said.

Vick, who is currently a free agent, played for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. However, in 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal dog fighting ring, for which he pleaded guilty and served time in prison.

What do you think? Let us know on Facebook

Animal rights activists are protesting the Chamber's decision to include Vick in this year's event.

In fact, a petition to remove him from the program has been signed by more than 15,000 people on the website change.org.

Organizers say attendees of the event will, "Learn the real story about his incredible NFL career, his meteoric rise from poverty to riches and fame, his downfall, and his improbable comeback," according to the event's website.

Harvey Schmitt, president and CEO of the Chamber, told WNCN Sunday that the Chamber was aware the pick would be controversial but made the decision to invite Vick anyway.

Schmitt said Vick will be the "prime" speaker.

"He has returned to society, repaid his debt, and has been involved in a variety of efforts to rectify his wrongs," says Schmitt.

Vick has spent the last few years reshaping his image.

In fact, Raleigh public relations firm French/West/Vaughan was hired to repair Vick's image in 2009.

Jonathan Carlson

Jonathan is an investigative reporter and anchor with over a decade of experience. Jonathan has broken stories that have resulted in local and statewide change. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

  • Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:26:58 GMT
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."

  • FloydFest artist Michael Franti, uses voice to inspire others

    FloydFest artist Michael Franti, uses voice to inspire others

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:46:55 GMT
    The music and fun continued at FloydFest Thursday. Thousands of people are expected to attend this year's event. This music festival obviously has a positive economic impact on the local economy but people are also using a love for music to positively impact the lives of others.Artist Michael Franti said FloydFest is a way for fans and artist to experience different types of music. He said he hopes his songs inspire others and leave people with a more positive outlook on life."When you watch ...
    The music and fun continued at FloydFest Thursday. Thousands of people are expected to attend this year's event. This music festival obviously has a positive economic impact on the local economy but people are also using a love for music to positively impact the lives of others.Artist Michael Franti said FloydFest is a way for fans and artist to experience different types of music. He said he hopes his songs inspire others and leave people with a more positive outlook on life."When you watch ...
  • The Blue Ridge Independent Living Center Celebrates 25 Years

    The Blue Ridge Independent Living Center Celebrates 25 Years

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:37:59 GMT
    Comedian Brett Leake spoke at the event, providing a light-hearted insight into the struggles those with special needs face.Comedian Brett Leake spoke at the event, providing a light-hearted insight into the struggles those with special needs face.
    Since 1989, the nonprofit group Blue Ridge Independent Living Center has helped thousands of community members with disabilities remain in their homes.
    Since 1989, the nonprofit group Blue Ridge Independent Living Center has helped thousands of community members with disabilities remain in their homes.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.