Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick spent two hours signing autographs inside a sports card store in Butler, New Jersey this afternoon, while approximately 60 animal rights activists protested outside.
Although Vick showed up to the autograph session 45 minutes later than expected, the left handed throwing, right handed signing quarterback stayed late to sign a total of approximately 900 autographs on helmets, jerseys, and pictures. Robbins charged $90 for signed mini-helmets, cards, and 8 x 10 photos, and $119 for regulation helmets and footballs.
Butler Sportscards owner Jeff Robbins stated that while he doesn't agree with Vick's past involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring, he brought the Eagles quarterback to his store because his autograph is the most desired autograph in all of sports.
More than three dozen Butler police officers stood in the blocked-off street to ensure the peace. No arrests were made, although obscenities were frequent between the animal rights activists who stood on one side of the street and the autograph seekers, who lined the sidewalk down Main Street.
Every time the door to Butler Sportscards opened, the throng of protestors across the street yelled chants like "Dog killer!" and "Shame on you!" The majority of the people who exited the store holding their new Michael Vick autographed item held it over their head like a trophy, which, as expected, further aggravated the protestors.
"Animal abuse is a known precursor to mass murder, and wife and child abuse. Michael Vick is a sociopath. He has no conscience. Murder is murder and he should be in jail for the rest of his life," said one of the more vocal protestors, Cheryl Gilberti of Ringwood, New Jersey. Gilberti stated that she has lost a ton of respect for the NFL for allowing Vick to return to the league. A passionate Giants fan, she says that she would no longer root for the Giants had he signed with them instead of the Eagles.
Following the autograph session, Vick quietly departed through the back entrance, avoiding a potential confrontation with the animal rights activists, the majority of whom stayed until the end for a chance to boo Vick one final time.