Eagles quarterback and infamous former dogfighter Michael Vick was slated to to tape an interview with Oprah today, but he pulled out at the last minute. What's behind this change of heart?
Vick issued a statement reading, "After careful consideration, I will need to postpone the taping of the Oprah Winfrey interview. I admire and respect Oprah and hope to be able to participate in an interview in the future." He didn't, however, explain why he decided to postpone it. Some possibilities:
He was pressured by the Eagles.
That's what one source told Fox's Philadelphia affiliate. On Tuesday, the Eagles put a franchise tag on Vick, meaning he'll make about $16 million in a one-year deal with the team. Maybe they don't want to risk bad press for someone on whom they're about to spend a big chunk of change?
He wanted to avoid being associated with gambling.
This is the weirdest hypothesis. According to The Hollywood Gossip, Oprah and Piers Morgan had a bet as to who could interview Vick first. Since his dogfighting arrest, Vick can't be associated with any sort of gambling, and he told Oprah she'd have to drop the bet if she wanted to interview him. She did so — but, says THG, "perhaps in consultation with attorneys or managers, he decided he did not even want a hint of impropriety and felt it better to postpone the interview."
He thought an Oprah appearance would make him look bad.
Writes Joe Flint of the LA Times Show Tracker blog,
Going on "Oprah Winfrey" [...] to be given some sort of blessing by the queen of talk is too much too soon. Part of what Vick needs to learn and show is humility, and going on a popular TV show to say look at me now is not humble. Furthermore, Winfrey's primarily female audience both in the studio and at home may not prove to be the most friendly terrain for Vick. He'd be better suited doing an interview without a studio audience present.
This would be good thinking on Vick's part. Public appearances after widely publicized misdeeds run the risk of looking like cynical PR stunts or plays for unearned forgiveness (cf. Chris Brown), and it may be wise for Vick to focus on football rather than submitting to a high-profile interview just yet.
He didn't want to make an appearance so soon after the Westminster Dog Show.
This explanation, advanced by the Washington Post's Cindy Boren, is by far my favorite, and I hope it's true. After all, Vick wouldn't want to remind America of his dog-mistreating past when we all have Scottish Deerhounds on the brain.
Michael Vick Cancels 'Oprah' Appearance [Washington Post Early Lead Blog]
Source: Eagles Had Vick Cancel On Oprah [MyFoxPhilly]
Eagles Franchise Vick, Put Transition Tag On Akers [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Michael Vick Smart For Dodging Oprah Winfrey's Couch [LA Times]
Michael Vick Calls Audible, Bails On Oprah [The Hollywood Gossip]