Hundreds turn out for Michael Vick's football clinic in Shrevepo - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Hundreds turn out for Michael Vick's football clinic in Shreveport

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Michael Vick spoke to hundreds of young football players at Independence Stadium in Shreveport Friday. Michael Vick spoke to hundreds of young football players at Independence Stadium in Shreveport Friday.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Michael Vick spoke to 375 young football players at Shreveport's Independence Stadium Friday.

The hour-long football clinic provided a positive photo shoot for Vick the night before his comedy show at The Strand Theatre. That's where protests for and against Vick are planned.

He's being welcomed by many, including the mayor. But animal activists are upset about the "Michael Vick Comedy Explosion" scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m.

More than 600 people have announced on a Facebook page they plan on protesting that show, largely because of Vick's conviction and two years in federal prison for running a dog fighting ring. And there's also a planned counter-protest, or "Forgiveness Rally."

On Friday Vick met with young football players. In just two days the city of Shreveport was able to organize what turned out to be a huge event at Independence Stadium.

The star of the show was Vick, and he came with a message for the kids.

Long lines of eager football players gathered outside Independence Stadium for the football clinic, quickly organized by the city of Shreveport and called for by Mayor Cedric Glover. Vick arrived to a heroes welcome shortly after the 12 volunteer coaches from the local middle school and high ranks had started the drills.

And neither the stifling heat nor the controversy surrounding Vick could deter the parents and other relatives who brought these young football players to this clinic.

Grandparent Faye Hill explained, "We all done went through something, you know, that need to forgive, you know. So that been in the past, and I feel like he done paid his dues, so you move on."

Adults at the camp thought Vick has a message to tell the kids.

"Once you done been through something, therefore you know you can be able to tell somebody some stuff," Hill added.

Many of the kids who turned out either didn't know much about Vick's two years in prison for running a dog fighting ring or didn't think it had anything to do with the football clinic.

"No, not really 'cause he's still a great player and, you know, I can still learn things from him- how to play football," said Aaron Leary, a 12-year-old who plays for the Northside Bulldogs in Shreveport.

Once the hour-long series of drills wrapped up for the players who ranged from 5-years-old to high school seniors, Vick told the them to make positive decisions on and off the field.

KSLA News 12's Victoria Shirley will be at The Strand, covering the rallies for and against Vick. Watch for her reports, Saturday on KSLA News 12 Weekend at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m..

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