Animal activists from the Ark-La-Tex have plenty to say about an NFL star quarterback's planned visit to Shreveport. Tickets went on sale this week for the "Michael Vick Comedy Explosion" at The Strand Theatre in Shreveport.
That's the same Michael Vick who now plays for the New York Jets and who served two years in federal prison for running a dog fighting ring.
Ideally, those against Michael Vick coming to town would like to see the show canceled. But that's not likely. At the very latest they're planning a protest to send a strong message: That anyone who admits killing dogs and running a dog fighting ring is not welcome in Shreveport.
More than 640 people have already announced on a new Facebook page that they plan to attend a protest of the "Michael Vick Comedy Explosion" scheduled for July 12th at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shreveport.
Local musician and animal activist Robin Beach Black plans to be at the protest. Black won't soon forget her very first reaction: "I was appalled."
Black knows all about animal cruelty. She took in a badly abused 3-year old pit bull-mix she named 'Bones' and nursed him back to health. Pit bulls were also the breed of dog found on Michael Vick's Virginia property back in 2007, some of which had been electrocuted, drowned and beaten to death in the dog fighting ring.
Some argue Vick paid his debt to society by serving two years in prison. But Black and others say that can never erase the crime. "In his soul there is something wrong. And, I don't think that's something that you can pay your way out of and expect people to forget it."
The Strand's general manager, Jennifer Hill, declined an on camera interview. But, she did tell us over the phone that they have a signed legally binding contract with Michael Vick for that performance and to try to get out of it would open them up to a potential lawsuit.
Hill later released a statement further explaining, quote: "The Strand is caught in a difficult situation. As a non-profit organization, we cannot arbitrarily discriminate against any rental show."
The letter goes on to say, quote: "We rent to a wide variety of shows without discrimination. And, the Strand is not presenting, promoting, or sponsoring Michael Vick's Comedy Explosion Show."
Robin Beach Black says if there was better community support for The Strand Theatre to begin with, management would not be forced to rent it out just to pay its bills. In the meantime, it looks like the 'show will go on' with Michael Vick's Comedy Explosion.