LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) As fans stood next to football star Michael Vick they adjusted their #7 jerseys, held up autographs, and smiled for the camera. For many, it was a night to be documented.
B&C Sports in the River Ridge Mall hosted the former Virginia Tech football player for an autograph signing. Fans lined up and paid 40 dollars per autograph.
Thursday night he signed over 150 autographs, but in less than 24 hours he would be inducted into Virginia Tech’s sports Hall of Fame, an induction that has received a lot of attention.
“I don't think that football talents deserve anything to overlook what he did to these innocent dogs,” said animal rights activist, Sarah Jane Lawrence.
She is referencing Vick’s history with dog fighting rings. When Vick’s name was announced to the crowd, she put a letter on the table where he would be singing autographs. She was hoping for an autograph of her own.
“I was just hoping to get him to sign something that says he's not interested in being inducted into a hall of fame he doesn't deserve,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence is not alone in her wishes.
In fact, over 200,000 people have signed online petitions asking for Virginia Tech's decision to be reversed because of Vick’s past.
But tonight, the mood was different. Fans were decked out in Hokie gear, a few eagles jerseys splattered throughout the crowd.
“He's paid the price and he's made something of himself after all of the problems. I think it's time to move on,” said Tom Webb, who was holding bags of Hokie memorabilia to be signed.
Vick had similar feelings.
“You can't feed too much into what people's opinions are and what they think,” said Vick. “You know you just have to live your life moving forward and continue trying to make change. That's what I'm trying to do.”