Michael Vick planned on having book appearances at Atlanta, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Barnes & Noble stores to celebrate the release of his oddly named book, Michael Vick: Finally Free.
Dog lovers had a different idea. They took to social media — Barnes & Noble’s Facebook, most often — and generally raised hell.
Michael Vick is not having book appearances anymore. He’s cancelled them. Or rather, his publisher did. Here’s the statement:
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances,” said Byron Williamson, president of Worthy Publishing. “We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities.”
Yeah, there were threats of violence, which is horrible and should never happen. But many of the comments were haranguing Barnes & Noble for showing bad judgment and threatening to never shop at the store again.
- “You people were going to sponsor Michael Vick’s Book tour?!?! I will never support your store again. I hope there are enough people outraged with this.”
- “Dear Barnes and Noble, you have officially lost my business after promoting the POS Michael Vick’s book. How you can promote ANYTHING this subhuman being does is beyond me.”
- “SHAME ON YOU BARNES AND NOBLE for trying to do book signings and even promoting Michael Vicks book …. I’m done with you!!!!”
- “Add my name to the growing list of people who will never again visit your bookstore. There is no way I could associate myself with an organization that could have anything at all to do with the likes of the despicable Michael Vick.”
- “SO disappointed to hear that you’re hosting Michael Vick for a book signing at one of your PA stores. Even if you decide to cancel it, the fact that it was scheduled in the first place shows very poor judgement. You’ve lost a good customer with me.”
Looks like those threats of violence offered B&N a way to back out of a nasty PR fumble.
Don’t think this wasn’t a small appearance, either. More than 1,000 people had already RSVP’d to Vick’s signing at the Atlanta store.
Vick spokesman Chris Shigas, meanwhile, has gone on the offensive. “We understand that a lot of people out there will never forgive him,” Shigas told Philly.com. “But at what point do we say a line has been crossed?”
Also: “He’s going to continue to work in the community. It’s just a shame that there’s a level of hatred out there.”
Let’s hope more bookstores back away from Vick. They could start by not carrying his book.
Read more about Michael Vick: