71ºF

Protesters and supporters gather during Vick's Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Michael Vick inducted into Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame

BLACKSBURG, Va.- – Former NFL player and Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick was inducted into the university's Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night. 

Since no media was allowed inside, WSLS used Facebook Live video of Vick accepting his award and making his acceptance speech.
     
Vick was convicted in 2007 for his role in a dog fighting conspiracy and he was released in 2009. Supporters say Vick has paid his dues, but protesters who gathered at Virginia Tech next to the ceremony say that doesn't make him fit for induction.
   
A few dozen protestors gathered on campus sending a strong message to university officials against Vick's induction into the Hall of Fame. 

"The first thing people will tell you is he served his time and if you really look at the facts of the case and ready all the documents yourself, you'll see he never served a day in prison for the violence and torture he inflicted with his bare hands against the dogs. And that's really what we're fighting for," said Kate Blanton, organizer of demonstration. 

And while many didn't use his name, they used pictures, T-shirts and posters to show their disapproval.

Protesters concede Michael Vick was a great athlete doing his time at Virginia Tech but the harm done to these dogs, they say is something they can't get over. And animal advocates say it will be hard to support Hokie football in the future. 

"I been a Hokie football fan for about 50 years or I was. I just don't feel that Michael Vick is the type of person, when he is in the Hall of Fame, he is going to be represented as Virginia Tech football from now," said Mike Coalson. 

The "silent vigil" and demonstration didn't stay like that for very long. There were several encounters from supporters of Vick yelling from their cars driving by. 

One person said, "Forgiveness is healing". 

And some young Vick fans who were also Virginia Tech students decided to showed up on site, taking pictures with their backs turned to the protestors.  
  
"I don't think the protest is really necessary. This all happened when he was in the NFL. He didn't do any of this stuff at VT. He brought so much fame to this school."

While they know the university will stick by their decision to honor Vick, the group promises to show up again with a much larger crowd at the Hall of Fame football game against Old Dominion University.