It also brings out dozens of protestors if you happen to be a superstar athlete and admitted dog killer charging upward of $120 for autographs.
So was the scene for Michael Vick on Sunday when hundreds gathered in Butler, New Jersey to either lambaste the quarterback for running a dog-fighting ring or praise him for leading the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFL playoffs.
Vick, who admitted in court to helping drown or hang at least six canines, spent more than two hours at Butler Sports Cards quietly taking photos with fans and signing autographs while three dozen police officers kept the peace outside. No arrests were reported.
Vick was brought to the store by co-owner Jeff Robbins who charged $90 for signed mini-helmets, cards and 8×10 photos and $119 for regulation helmets, footballs and other larger items.
“I’m not bringing him in because he killed dogs,” Robbins said before the session. “I’m bringing in him because he’s the biggest autograph draw out there right now.
Vick and his small entourage arrived around 1:45 p.m. — 45 minutes late — pulling into the back of the store in a white Audi with tinted windows to a chorus of boos and name-calling.
Every time the door opened to let a fan in, the protestors would shout “killer!” at Vick.
When one fan told Vick that he felt sorry for him, the quarterback said softly: “It ain’t too bad out there.”
Vick’s public apologies have rung hollow among animal rights advocates.
“I see no signs of genuine remorse” said Roberta Taylor. “I think anyone can be redeemed, but I don’t see it with him.”
Many fans who emerged from the store held up their Vick autographs defiantly, taunting the protestors who showered them with chants of “Shame! Shame!”
Candi Bright, who runs the non-profit dog rescue group Gentle Giants in Wayne, New Jersey recently took in two 8-week-old St. Bernard puppies that she said were going to be used as “bait” in a Kentucky dog-fighting ring. She’s rehabilitating them and will soon offer them up for adoption.
“This is the kind of dog Michael Vick had no regard for,” said Bright, who helped organize the demonstration. “I don’t know how anyone could harm these guys.”