Michael Vick doesn’t belong in the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame

Michael Vick in Atlanta on Jan. 1. (John Bazemore/Associated Press)

I urge the leadership of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to reverse the decision to support Michael Vick’s induction into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

I have been a longtime supporter of Virginia Tech since my daughter attended and graduated from that fine institution. However, I cannot understand how the leadership of the school could compartmentalize its decision-making to separate the violent, cruel and illegal actions of Mr. Vick, who did not even graduate, and honor him because he was a good football player. Mr. Vick is not a role model a state-supported university should endorse.

The university’s praise of Mr. Vick’s “tremendous achievements” misses the point of what this says about the values and culture that Virginia Tech should promote. If Mr. Vick had inflicted his violent behavior on other human beings instead of innocent animals, would the university bestow this honor?

It is further appalling that the university would take this position because it has such a highly respected veterinary college on campus. The university’s statement that it “remains dedicated to the protection of animal health and welfare and embodies great care and compassion for all living animals” rings hollow.

In conclusion, I urge Virginia Tech to reconsider the example the university is setting with a decision to honor Mr. Vick, who was responsible for the abuse and death of innocent animals for sport and profit.

Thomas J. Towberman, Charlottesville

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