Response to the Atlanta Falcons Press Conference

Published by PETA.

Falcons Owner Arthur Blank gave a press conference this afternoon to present the Falcons’ official position on the Vick case. Here’s what PETA told the media about our reaction:

PETA commends Arthur Blank and the Falcons for not being satisfied with a voluntary leave of absence for Michael Vick. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, truckloads of illegal dogfighting equipment and 66 dogs—many of whom had injuries associated with dogfighting—were seized from Vick’s property. Based on those facts alone, a voluntary leave of absence would clearly not be satisfactory.

PETA also commends the Falcons for drafting the paperwork for a four-week suspension, mentioned by Blank as a “first step” in disciplining Vick. We continue to call on the NFL to suspend Vick immediately and to permanently bar him from the league if convicted of the charges detailed in the indictment.

PETA appreciates Arthur Blank’s statement, “How anyone could participate in dogfighting is incomprehensible to me,” which echoed the feelings of many millions of Americans and football fans.

Because of the Falcons’ willingness to suspend Vick, PETA is canceling plans to protest outside the Falcons’ training camp on Thursday. Instead, PETA will demonstrate outside NikeTown stores nationwide, demanding that Nike—which has stated that it will continue to sell Michael Vick merchandise—drop its corporate partnership with Vick.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind