FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The road outside the Atlanta Falcons training camp today was a dividing line of sorts over Michael Vick, who pleaded not guilty to federal dogfighting allegations as his team opened up training camp.
On one side of the street were a handful of Vick supporters, wearing the embattled quarterback's jersey and holding signs in support of him.
A larger and more vocal crowd stood on the other side, many holding dogs on leashes and waving posters that urged the Falcons to fire Vick.
The allegations against Vick have sparked protests by animal rights groups and continued to attract fans and protesters outside the team's north Georgia headquarters, even though NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has barred the player from training camp while the league investigates.
By the start of practice this afternoon, the crowd of Vick protesters had grown to about 60 people.
An organizer with a bullhorn started chanting: "There's no excuse for animal abuse. Sack Michael Vick." Cries of "Let him play" erupted from the group of about 30 Vick supporters across the road.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)