8.14.2009

The Return Of Michael Vick


The news came out Thursday that the Philadelphia Eagles had signed Michael Vick to a 2-year contract, and little else has been talked about on ESPN since.

Vick became the ultimate athletic taboo when he got in trouble in the summer of 2007 for his involvement in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring. Since that time, Vick has served 23 months in prison, declared bankruptcy, and is now on the verge of re-entering the NFL.

I was never a huge Michael Vick fan in the first place—I thought he was overrated on the field and had somewhat of a “character problem” off it—and like everyone else, I was disgusted by his treatment of the dogs that he fought.

That being said, I really thought the public outcry against Vick was (and, judging by the reaction of many to his signing with the Eagles, still is) excessive. What Vick did was wrong and abhorrent, but at the end of the day, he killed dogs, not people. Meanwhile, Donte Stallworth kills someone while under the influence, and the response of the media and the public is nowhere near as hostile as it was for Vick.

Vick showed a lack of humanity in his treatment of his dogs, and he paid for those actions by serving two years in prison, having to declare bankruptcy, losing two seasons in the prime of his career, and falling far from the summit of the athletic world where he had been.

Now having paid for his crime, he’s been given a second chance, and I wish him nothing but success as he tries to make the most of it.

4 comments:

Justin and Heather Bland 8/18/09, 9:38 AM  

I agree with your assessment. Unfortunately, in this world where truth is relative and there almost zero accountability: animals are becoming more and more sacred.

This concept is illustrated appropriately in the movie Equilibrium. A "1984" type movie. Emotion has been taken out of society and those who have emotion are punished by elimination. Much of the movie has innocent people being mowed down at close range by automatic gun fire. In one scene the "emotion police" find a cache of cute puppies and they begin to destroy them with shotguns (puppies cause emotion, if you didnt know). Interestingly enough the camera does NOT show the shooting the puppies (its just too much), but they were not shy about showing close-ups of PEOPLE being obliterated at close range.

I thought that was deeply reveling about where we put WORTH in our society. Animal life is more sacred than human life. Sad.

Luke 8/19/09, 11:42 AM  

Justin,

You make a really good point about not being able to show violence to animals in movies. I hadn’t thought about that, but really that’s one of best and most flagrant examples of this tendency in our society to elevate animal life over human life.

Will 8/20/09, 11:43 AM  

Vick has got to be very thankful that Brett Favre came out of retirment two days later.

Luke 8/20/09, 8:04 PM  

Will,

I’m sure he is.

And it is nice that they have to occasionally take a break on ESPN from talking about one of the stories so they can talk about the other.

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