Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick visiting a local high school this weekend for a football camp has raised some eyebrows.
Vick will be hosting his V7 Elite Playmakers Showcase at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at Shoemaker High School at 3302 S. Clear Creek Road, according to Vick's website. Middle and high school students can attend the training camp for an interactive training experience from various professionals and athletes.
Killeen Independent School District Chief Communication Officer Terry Abbott issued the following statement regarding the football camp:
“This is not in any way a Killeen ISD or Shoemaker High School event. It is not endorsed or supported by Killeen ISD and involves no use of any tax dollars. Neither Killeen ISD nor Shoemaker High School organized this event or invited the organization to Killeen for the event. Because Killeen ISD is a public school district, school properties are made available to the community for public use when it does not conflict with school district use, as long as such members of the public or organizations pay the cost of leasing the school facilities, the cost of security, and insurance costs. This outside organization is leasing a field at Shoemaker High School for an athletic event at a time when the school district and Shoemaker High School are closed for Spring Break. Killeen ISD and Shoemaker High School will not be involved in this event.”
Abbott said the district has no control over who is able to rent district property.
Vick's visit to Killeen is not going over well with local animal advocates.
In July 2007, Vick and three other men were indicted on federal felony charges of operating an unlawful interstate dog fighting organization known as "Bad Newz Kennels." Vick was accused of funding its operation and directly participating in dog fights and executions.
Vick has been trying to restore his public image ever since being released from prison in July 2009, and has lobbied for penalties for spectators of illegal animal fighting, as well as supporting animal advocacy in various ways.
George Fox, a Killeen resident and president of Assisi Animal Refuge, is disappointed in KISD, despite the district’s response following the camp’s announcement.
“Of all the football players who could’ve been brought down here to talk to youngsters, you let a guy convicted to horrific cruelty in,” Fox said. “To let him come down to talk to young people is outrageous.”
Event organizers couldn’t be reached for comment.
Visit www.v7rt36.org for more information or to register for the camp.