Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista took to social media to voice support for a petition that would remove Michael Vick as an honorary captain at the upcoming NFL Pro Bowl due to his history of abusing animals for sport. Vick was convicted of operating a dogfighting operation back in 2007, and served 18 months in prison for charges stemming from it. Almost 650,000 names appear on the Change.org petition already, and it is one of a number of similar petitions that have circulated whenever Vick re-emerges into the limelight. Fans had asked Bautista in particular to sign the petition because of his involvement with animal abuse prevention and rescue groups.
Bautista made headlines back in November when he adopted a pair of abandoned pit bulls. So the actor had a surprising answer for the fan who asked him to sign the anti-Vick petition.
"Sorry I can’t sign that Because I ALREADY signed the s--t out of it!" Bautista tweeted. "I’ve talked about this particular dog killer in the past and I believe it’s clear where I stand. I don’t give a f--k who it is.... people who mistreat and murder animals get zero love from me. F--k em!"
Bautista is rarely one to keep his opinions quiet; after James Gunn was fired as director of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, the actor and former WWE superstar tore into Disney on several occasions, and even implied that he might leave the project if Gunn was not rehired (he eventually was, although Disney has suggested that was the plan all along and it was not related to external pressures).
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has acknowledged the controversy, but said the NFL will still honor him despite the backlash.
"Over the last, what is it, nine years or so, we have supported Michael in his recognition of the mistake he made," Goodell said. "He's paid a heavy price for that. He's been accountable for it."
Goodell acknowledged that there are a number of fans who would never be able to forgive Vick for his crimes, but expressed a commitment by the NFL to acknowledging the former player's ability to move beyond his criminal past.
Bautista will next appear in My Spy, hitting theaters in March. As far as Marvel's upcoming slate, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow will finally get her own solo movie, due out May 1, 2020. Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.
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