Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Real Michael Vick

It’s been a rough year for professional sports. You have the ongoing problem with Steroids in baseball. In the NBA referee Tim Donaghy has admitted to and will now name names of others involved in gambling on NBA games and possibly point shaving in games he officiated. In the NFL you have players charged with gambling on dogfights and the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons smack in the middle of it. I, like many others, were shocked to hear that a great player, family man, the Michael Jordan of the NFL, could be caught up in something like this. The public perception can be overly harsh as rumors swirl around the embattled football star. Which are true? Why is this such a big deal?

For weeks Michael Vick has spoken about his innocence but as his friends began to abandon him and leave him out to rot, he finally succumbed and is now pleading guilty to the charges against him. He acknowledges that his friends were doing this illegal event on his property, he admits his guilt, but then he says he just shouldn’t have trusted his friends so blindly. Now I want to give the guy the benefit of the doubt but personally I don’t believe him. He had plenty of opportunity to take responsibility for the acts taking place on his property but he waited until his friends turned on him to plead guilty. The Feds seem to have a mountain of evidence against Vick, including detailed allegations about the training of the dogs and the actual fighting all occurring on his property.

Not to mention allegations from his alleged cohorts that Vick himself personally killed eight of the dogs. The format in which he killed these dogs should be the rationale for his lengthy stay in prison. He hung, drowned and possibly electrocuted many or all of the dogs. He should also be accountable for the more than 50 bulldogs confiscated from his property. These dogs will now probably be euthanized, because of their training, it is almost impossible to rehabilitate them for adoption. What kind of a sick bastard does this kind of stuff? Again I will reserve full judgment on the guy until after the court proceedings but obviously, this doesn’t look good. There are ways of killing the dogs humanely, by putting them to sleep, hell shooting the dogs in the head is more humane than what he is accused of. It also doesn’t help to have fellow athletes, like New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury and Clinton Portis a running back for the Washington Redskins, saying dumb shit like dog racing is a legitimate sport not unlike hunting and “I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property. It's his dog. If that's what he wants to do, do it.” These guys are total idiots as it looks like Portis may also be investigated for ties to dog fighting.

I think the worst part of this is the fact that the NAACP has joined the bandwagon defending Vick and his actions while at the same time saying they don’t condone dog fighting. This isn’t a racial issue they aren’t trying to put poor Michael Vick in jail cause he’s black they are trying to put Michael Vick in prison because he either A. brutally murdered eight dogs while running an illegal dog fighting ring killing, maiming and torturing countless other animals as he and his friends gambled. Or B. allowed his friends to do all of these things on his property but because they were his friends he never tried to stop them. Either way, he has much to answer for. In the meantime don’t feel sorry for Vick, it’s his mess and he will have to pay for it one way or another. Too many people are wondering whether or not he should ever play football again and I say let’s just see if they convict him first. At any rate Vick may also be the beginning of a larger problem in all of Pro sports. Are other players engaged in this illegal gambling? It certainly seems likely. My brother brought up an interesting point about rage, anger and hatred and that the dog fighting may be a systemic outlet for this kind of behavior. It’s definitely something to think about. Check out this great article from ESPN writer Jamele Hill, she has some nice points about the situation and how the media and the black community should deal with this situation.

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