Animal Lovers Protest Obama’s Vick “Second Chance” Praise


President Obama’s praise of the Philadelphia Eagles for giving convicted dogfighter and quarterback Michael Vick a second chance has brought new energy to an old firestorm, says the Chicago Tribune. “This is a nation of football lovers,” said Lisa Lange of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She said Obama was underestimating the negative reaction his comments would provoke. “It is also a nation of dog lovers.”

The subject of Vick came up in a phone call between Obama and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie as the president praised the team’s ambitious plans to power its stadium with alternative energy. Yesterday, the White House said Obama believes that “individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.” Bill Smith, founder of Main Line Animal Rescue in the Philadelphia area, bristled at Obama’s characterization that the Eagles’ signing of Vick was motivated by wanting to give a convicted felon a second chance. “If he couldn’t throw a football, he wouldn’t have had a second chance,” said Smith, who organized a campaign to collect food for animal shelters every time Vick was sacked on the field. “This isn’t about giving anyone a second chance; it’s about who can make the Eagles organization more money.”

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