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Michael Vick should be banned from NFL for life for dog fighting

By Kenneth Barbalace
[Friday, August 24, 2007]
I have been stewing all week on the dog fighting allegations against the NFL Quarterback Michael Vick. When I listen to the outcry in some quarters not to ban him from the NFL (after all, he didn't murder someone) and then look at our three month long wait for a decision from the arbiters in 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' drug doping hearings (see my post: " Floyd Landis verdict update: still waiting and waiting and waiting..."), I am left with an incredulous feeling of disbelief. In one sport, the one that the media loves to tar and feather as a dirty sport, one can get a two year ban for accidentally taking the wrong cold medicine that does not disclose on the label an ingredient that turns out to be on the banned substance list. Now this isn't what happened in Floyd Landis case, but it has happened. In the other sport where the athletes are worshiped as gods, and idolized by countless children, a star player can be involved with sadistic cruelty to animals and it be questioned whether or not it is fair to ban the athlete from his sport. I'm sorry, but this is messed up.
Whether they want to be or not, star athletes are role models for children. As such, society and sports leagues should not tolerate athletes that set a bad example to children, whether it be drug abuse, performance enhancing drugs or in Vick's case wanton abuse of animals. If Vick is guilty of permitting and financing dog fighting on his property (and he is pleading guilty), then he should be banned from the NFL for life.
Giving someone a second chance in life doesn't mean we have to let them go back to old occupations, especially when those occupations turn one into a role model for children.
In the case of baseball it is obvious that they need a drug testing regime along the lines of WADA that includes out of season testing. Their regime should just have a little more emphasis placed on due process than WADA's.
What kind of message do we send to children when a knowing wink and nod is given to drug doping while athletes break cherished records? What kind of message to we send when we turn a blind eye to the wanton and sadistic cruelty to animals in an athlete's past simply because they are too talented to exclude from their sport?
It is not cycling that is messed up. Cycling is simply airing its dirty laundry in public and trying to hold their athletes accountable to higher standards. The sports that are messed up are the big money sports like American football and baseball.
If Vick is allowed back into pro football after pleading guilty to financing dog fighting on his own property, I'll be highly reluctant to take any interest in the sport of football ever again. I can only hope that the Virginia DA has more backbone than the Feds and that he takes his charges all the way to court rather than letting Vick plead guilty to lesser charges so that the full extent of the cruelty that took place on Vick's property is fully exposed. Vick can't claim a laboratory screwed up or he didn't know what was happening. The extreme cruelty to dogs via a blood sport was taking place on his property. In addition the evidence was seized on his property and is now scattered in kennels across Virginia. How many animals were killed in sadistic ways? How many more dogs that are now in custody will now have to be destroyed because they are unfit for adoption?
If Vick did participate in, finance and/or host dog fighting on his property (and he is pleading guilty to charges related to this), then he his a monster who should never set foot on the grid iron as a sports hero ever again. I hope all those football fans who are dog lovers and/or cares about the humane treatment of animals have very long memories and will hold the NFL and respective team accountable if they ever again allow Vick to take the field.
Do not make posts asking what the difference is between killing dogs via a blood sport and/or entertainment and killing an animal for food. I was raised on a farm and I have helped raise animals that I later ate, but we never let those animals suffer an agonizing death. When animals are killed for food or any reason, they should be dispatched in the quickest and most humane way possible. This does not include dogs fighting to the death in a ring, nor does it include electrocuting, hanging or drowning of under performing dogs. Animals must not be allowed to wantonly suffer at the "hands" of man simply for a blood sport or entertainment.

32 comments:

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Larry said...

Ken, I truly admire the passion and intelligence you bring to your blog.

I'm probably crazy to say anything else. But ...

I will argue that any system of justice must allow for the possibility that a person can be found guilty and punishment imposed, after which the guilty party is permitted to resume his life.

It makes me extremely nervous to consider whether a criminal who has served his time should continue to be punished for his crime ... and my nervousness increases when we're to consider punishing third parties who employ the ex-criminal. Part of my nervousness derives from the history (in this country and elsewhere) of private parties acting to address perceived inadequacies in the meting out of justice in particular cases. This history is, again speaking generally, not something to be proud of.

I don't think that any of the things I've said above should be made subject to exception for crimes that we find particularly abhorrent by their nature. Again as a general matter, the abhorrent nature of the crime should be addressed in the severity of the punishment for the crime.

My own opinion is to let the process play itself out. At the end of the process, we may see things differently than we do now.

I am saying nothing at the moment regarding anyone's individual reaction to anything, or about the topic of forgiveness in general. These are private matters, and I am not discussing private matters for the moment.

I post this response with the greatest possible respect for those who are horrified and sickened by Vick's crimes.

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

Larry, I don't think you are crazy, just maybe a little more measured in your response. You are right of course that we must allow things to play out and I was encouraged by the announcement from the NFL, which I saw after posting my blog.

I do see a difference from paying one's debt to society via the legal system and a business that creates heroes and roll models allowing an individual back into the fold after being convicted of such sadistic crimes.

Redemption doesn't necessarily mean getting to continue on as if nothing happened.

wschart said...

I am now retired but for a number of years I was a teacher. There were certain acts for which, if I had committed them, I would not only be fired but would have my teaching certificate revoked permanently, in addition to any criminal penalties imposed (fines and/or imprisonment). Many other crimes, while perhaps not having a formalized ban, would certainly have the practical effect of not allowing me to get hired once I served my time. Why should sports be any different? Unfortunately, it is. But maybe some league officials and the public are starting to wake up.

Larry said...

Ken, to be honest, I'm not sure what redemption means. I'm probably better on the topic of forgiveness, and I'm reasonably certain that being forgiven does not mean getting to continue on as if nothing happened. I'm reasonably certain that to ask for forgiveness means to promise that you'll act in the future with an awareness of what you've done in the past. I'll hazard the guess that redemption works in a similar way. Beyond this I'll confess to considerable confusion.

I've never liked the idea that athletes are role models. In order to excel at a sport, athletes have to focus almost exclusively on the sport, with the result that they're not necessarily well-rounded human beings. I think that the exceptions prove the rule (we lawyers love that expression!). There's Lance Armstrong, who got cancer and learned (in his words) that "it's not about the bike". Maybe Floyd Landis is now an excpetion to the rule, as he's been exposed to the legal system in a personal and unpleasant way. But in general, I'm not sure that a human being should be a role model because he can hit a fast ball, or block a jump shot, or pedal faster than everyone else.

But whether I like it or not, you're right that we admire athletes and want to emulate them, even if they're not the best role models by nature.

I'm not sure whether the Vick case should be influenced by the fact that Vick is (or was) a role model. Are people going to be attracted to dog fighting because Vick was a dog fighter? It might be a failure of my imagination, but I don't believe that the Vick case will make dog fighting more popular. I think the opposite is more likely, that people will see that a wealthy and successful young man was brought near ruin by dog fighting, and will conclude that dog fighting is not a good thing to do. (I also think that the details revealed in the Vick case are so horrible that people now see dog fighting in a different light. In my own case, I never liked dog fighting, but it took the Vick case to make me see how bad dog fighting really is.)

Here's another little saying that we lawyers like: "bad facts make bad law." I don't know if I want to throw the book at all accused athletes, simply because it might be right to "make an example" of Vick.

Let's turn back to the Landis case. Should we "throw the book" at Landis simply because he is a role model? I'd argue that when it comes to drug use, athletes ARE role models: we have a large number of young people who believe that they must take illegal drugs in order to succeed at sport. If we destroy Landis' career over his positive test, make certain that he never rides again professionally, that would send a message to young people everywhere that using performance-enhancing drugs is the wrong way to go.

But it would be completely unfair to Landis.

My own feeling is that you're probably right, that our sports heroes labor under a special responsibility to the public because they are role models, and when they violate that special responsibility by committing a crime or infraction, the punishment probably needs to be more severe. But it makes me extraordinarily uncomfortable to say so. As a general rule, the effort to "make an example" out of an individual case often leads to an unjust result.

So you're doing your job, Ken. You're making me think. Uncomfortable as that may be.

Anonymous said...

Whack-job over-reactionaries like yourself are what's wrong with this country.

Okay, he led a dog fighting ring. He's pleading guilty. He should go to jail for a year and then go on about his life.

In Virginia, apparently it's a felony to ATTEND a dog fight. Did you hear that, a felony! A felony used to be for when someone killed somebody, raped someone, etc. Now people can be felons for stumbling into a dog fight. Probably some overzealous nut like yourself thought that that would make a great law.

By the way, the state is going to euthanize all the dogs they took from the property. That's okay though, right? Oh wait, it's Vick's fault for owning them and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, bla.

I hope you're never in any position of authority on anything.

"What, that guy ran a red light? I hope he's in jail forever!"

Larry said...

Anonymous, let's throw a little light on some of your comments.

First, when you characterize my comments as "what's wrong with this country", you're implying that other countries would treat the Vick case differently. I think that dogfighting is still legal in much of Japan, as well as Honduras, but it's illegal everywhere else I could find, including North America and Europe. As to whether dog fighting is the equivalent of a felony in these other countries ... well, someone else will need to do that research.

You seem to be particularly upset by the fact that dog fighting is a felony, and that attending a dog fight is a felony in many states. Are you suggesting that dog fighting should be a misdemeanor? The distinction between misdemeanors and felonies has blurred over the years. Since in most states one can do up to a year's jail time for a misdemeanor conviction, I'd suggest that the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors is not terribly meaningful in the Vick case.

As for your statement that felonies used to be limited to crimes such as rape and murder ... I don't think this statement is correct. Technically, the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor has to do with the penalty that can be imposed. Usually, the dividing line is whether the guilty person can be sentenced to more than a year in jail. I'm not a legal historian, but I'm pretty sure that there have always been other crimes where the penalty was more than a year in jail.

Traditionally (and now we're going back to concepts of British common law), I'm pretty sure that sodomy, larceny, robbery, burglary and arson were felonies. Once kidnapping became recognized as a crime, I'm reasonably certain that it was a felony too. But as I said earlier, it's not terribly useful today to focus on whether a crime is a felony or a misdemeanor, it's more useful to focus on the punishment you think is appropriate for the crime.

I've duly noted the other points you've raised, and chosen not to respond to them.

Animal Chaplain said...

I watched Vick's public apology with my little son who USED TO wear Michael Vick jerseys to school. It is disturbing to think a certain percentage of the population is honestly going to be swayed by Michael Vick's "enlightenment" carefully crafted by his overpaid attorneys. Call me a cynic, but I don't believe a man who has been allegedly torturing animals since childhood coincidentally has a religious epiphany as a result of getting caught and losing his job. I hope I am wrong.

If there is anything good about the Michael Vick story, it is that there is an emerging increased awareness about animal cruelty and animal fighting. There is so much anger about this issue. If we channel it into a positive direction, hopefully, something good can come of it. However...

I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, "carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or gambling?" "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?" The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.

Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being "a winner" is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog!

Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

Chaplain Nancy Cronk
Founder, www.AnimalChaplains.com

Anonymous said...

First of all I believe you need to ban Michael Vick for about to years. But people change and I believe he should still be able to play football in a few years because people make mistakes but its all about how you come back.
Michael Vick is just one more person who was fighting dogs I don’t see what the problems. It was others with him why aren’t they getting in trouble to. He should not be the only one if there were others fighting to.
But really the way I see it is he had help they should go down to and it was stupid for Michael Vick to help them out and everything for them but that is alright.
but they should have went down with him and they should have kept it clean for the dogs like put down cement then put up cages and should have created a sewer thing for them.

Anonymous said...

VICK’S CASE


Dog fighting is cruel, it is so cruel that people in high places such as Michael Vick. Vick is a sport icon and is loved across the world by not just children but grown men and women. He has already plead guilty to the charges that were brought against him and I believe that he is very courageous for doing so when he knew what he was going to be facing once it got out. Its not like Michael Vick is a bad human being, because he does give back to his community in numerous ways, and for people to classify him as a bad person is not fair at all.
I personally don’t believe that all the blame should be on Michael Vick, because I don’t think that it was just him involved. I think that the Dog Fighting Ring was all started by his brother Marcus Vick. Me being an athlete I can understand that he always has a lot of pressure on him, and he didn’t want to let any of his family or friends down. At the time I just don’t think he was thinking about the consequences that would come along with his actions. If his brother did start the Ring then Michael is a great brother for him to sacrifice his life and career so that his brother could stay out of jail. I’m not at all saying what he did is alright because its not, but I don’t think that he should be banned from the NFL or should he be thrown in jail, maybe some years of probation.
Michael Vick is one of the most electrifying athletes in the world and if he is taken away from sports the ratings of a lot of major broadcast stations will drop. When MLB players are tested for steroids and they test positive rarely are they banned from the league, and that is taken away from the purity of the sport itself. So to ban Vick from the NFL would be an injustice, I would understand if he was facing a murder trial, then it would be different. People kill people and sometimes don’t get the sentence that Vick is facing. I seriously doubt that Vick was one of the people actually killing the dogs after the fights; the only thing that he is guilty of is having the fights at a property that he owned.
Being banned from the NFL should not even be a decision that is considered, because of how much he as brought to the game of Football. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be punished it shouldn’t be a lot of prison time like what is being said in the news. I believe that he knows what he did was wrong and he is ready to face whatever consequences the judge gives him. In conclusion Michael Vick is a human being that makes mistakes just like every other human being on this earth, but think about this; Would you rater a Dog Fighter be free or would you like for a serial killer to be free?

Anonymous said...

Do I think that Michael Vick should be bannded from the NFL,I don't think that he should be banned from the NFL but I do think that he should be able to be put back on other team...

Why I think this because he just did one little thing with dog fighting.It's not like he went out and killed somebody. I am not saying that dogs aren't important to but you get more time in jail for killing a dog then you do killiing a person.

I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, "carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or gambling?" "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?" The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.
Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being "a winner" is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog

I also think that they are only making a big deal out of all of this because he is rich and role model to kids.I also think that cause he is a black men (not be races)but just think about if somebody white was to get caught for doing a dog fight and they was rich, they wouldn't get no time in jail.This what I think about the Vick case.

Anonymous said...

I think that Michael Vick should be kicked of the NFL for making those dogs suffer. First because he is a hero for most people, adults and children. Second I don't think that kids who think of Vick as their hero should be exposed to this kind of behavior. He should be punished and sentenced for doing such a cruel thing with animals. Animals should not be treated this way, neither die a slow and painful way.

Society and sports leagues should not tolerate athletes that set a bad example to children. Just because they are famous for playing football doesn’t mean that they have the right to do whatever they want to. If a regular person did this or if a rich and famous person did this I think that they deserve the same punishment not something different just because of their rank. If Michael V. did such a horrible thing he should be held accountable for it. What kind of message is this sending that the killing of animals for entertainment is right?

If Vick is allowed back into pro football after pleading guilty to financing dog fighting on his own property, I'll opposed to take any interest in the sport of football ever again. I think that other football fans will feel the same way. Animals are conscious beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like us. They are not more important, or less important than human beings. They should not just be killed or wounded just because someone thinks that it is fun to watch this being carried out.

When we think of these dogs being hurt like that, the first thing that comes to our mind is “well other people kill animals to eat”, but this case is different. The killings of cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Are to be eaten and enjoyed by us the humans and the killings of the dogs are just to have fun watching an animal die. You see the difference, well I do.
I don’t care for how long Vick goes to jail, but the important thing is that he goes to jail. After coming out he should be watched carefully to be sure that he never does it again.

Anonymous said...

Well I truly don’t know what side to take in the allegations toward NFL quarterback Michael Vick. One thing I do know is that he did one of the most inhumane things possible. No animal should be killed in the entertainment of a sport, that’s just wrong. Michael Vick should definitely be punished. I still think he shouldn’t be punished severely.

If you’re going to punish Michael Vick than every deer hunter in this country should be punished too. Hunters are just as bad as or more than Michael Vick. They kill an animal as a sport as well, how are hunters any better. I can side with Michael Vick in that perspective. There’s another reason why I can side with Michael Vick and that’s because I don’t think these allegations should affect his career.

He’s just a football player he doesn’t have to deal with animals in his job. It’s not like he works in a pound. If he did work in a pound and used the dogs there for dog fighting competitions, then he should be punished. Like that he would be taking advantage of his job position. So like I said he should be considerably be punished.

Yes, Michael Vick is admired by many people and also children. But just because people want him to be a role model doesn’t mean he has to or he wants to. There are other athletes out there that are not really in the public eye that probably do these types of things, but people just don’t know. I think he should be able to play football after a fair punishment has been given to him, and also I think with all this he should give back to animals that need shelter and try to amend things with himself.

Anonymous said...

I think that Michael Vick should be kicked of the NFL for making those dogs suffer. First because he is a hero for most people, adults and children. Second I don't think that kids who think of Vick as their hero should be exposed to this kind of behavior. He should be punished and sentenced for doing such a cruel thing with animals. Animals should not be treated this way, neither die a slow and painful way.

Society and sports leagues should not tolerate athletes that set a bad example to children. Just because they are famous for playing football doesn’t mean that they have the right to do whatever they want to. If a regular person did this or if a rich and famous person did this I think that they deserve the same punishment not something different just because of their rank. If Michael V. did such a horrible thing he should be held accountable for it. What kind of message is this sending that the killing of animals for entertainment is right?

If Vick is allowed back into pro football after pleading guilty to financing dog fighting on his own property, I'll opposed to take any interest in the sport of football ever again. I think that other football fans will feel the same way. Animals are conscious beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like us. They are not more important, or less important than human beings. They should not just be killed or wounded just because someone thinks that it is fun to watch this being carried out.

When we think of these dogs being hurt like that, the first thing that comes to our mind is “well other people kill animals to eat”, but this case is different. The killings of cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Are to be eaten and enjoyed by us the humans and the killings of the dogs are just to have fun watching an animal die. You see the difference, well I do.
I don’t care for how long Vick goes to jail, but the important thing is that he goes to jail. After coming out he should be watched

Anonymous said...

Do i think Micheal Vick should go to jail? yes i do think he should do his time in there because it is agaist the law to lead dog fighting and taking the life of an animal for his own entertainment that he gets out if it.But i do not think that he should get kicked off the NFL...
The reason why...... althougb he broke and went against the law i dont think that he should loose his job for that. I do think he should get suspended for an season or less but as far as getting put off the team no the reason why is because we have many entertainers that may have went against the law and they havent lost there job, or what they do for an example Bobby Brown he done and probably still do at the best of my knowledge some illegal drugs and that kills people more thin anything and he still has his job not just him alot more celebraties.
So my point i'm trying to get across is that if ypur going to punish him hard go back and punish the others hard not no one day sentences or a couple of weeks cause you feel that they dont belong there there the WHOLE sentence.

Anonymous said...

Do i think Micheal Vick should go to jail? yes i do think he should do his time in there because it is agaist the law to lead dog fighting and taking the life of an animal for his own entertainment that he gets out if it.But i do not think that he should get kicked off the NFL...
The reason why...... althougb he broke and went against the law i dont think that he should loose his job for that. I do think he should get suspended for an season or less but as far as getting put off the team no the reason why is because we have many entertainers that may have went against the law and they havent lost there job, or what they do for an example Bobby Brown he done and probably still do at the best of my knowledge some illegal drugs and that kills people more thin anything and he still has his job not just him alot more celebraties.
So my point i'm trying to get across is that if ypur going to punish him hard go back and punish the others hard not no one day sentences or a couple of weeks cause you feel that they dont belong there there the WHOLE sentence.

Anonymous said...

I dont think that he should be locked up because of something like but dont get me wrong yes what he done was wrong but there are people out there that have done somethings that are worse than thatand they are still walking tyhe streets so I really dont think that he really deserves that.I think that he should be suspended for the rest of the season but still be allowed to come back next year and play.And about the apology that he made on national TV I think that everyone should give him a second chance I mean there are people out there that5 are acting like he killed sombody yes i understand that you shouldn't treat dogs like that he didnt kill the dogs.So I think that the press is this matter to be bigger than what it really is.I feel that we shouldnt hold a grudge aganist him for what he did but I can admit what he did wrong but can yall think of how his family feels or how the kids who looked up to him feels now so I think that people should stop thinking about how they feel but how the other person feel.

Anonymous said...

I think that Vick should never be allowed to play football anymore. I agree that people that look up to others should have a hero with good morals. If Vick is allowed to play again then it should not matter for other players to do things like that and why should kids look up to people like that?
Vick plead guilty and needs to be fully charged with the crime that he did. If Vick gets off just because he is famous then justice is not blind except to the actions held by the famous. All people need to be charged no matter the sports they play or the money they have.
When the dogs are put to sleep because they are not suited for adoption then I would consider that murder. He admitted that he caused the dog fights and that is animal cruelty. I am an animal lover and it makes me sick when people use animals like that just for entertainment or even to profit off of. Vick committed a crime and should pay the full price of it.
The reason I think Vick should never play again is because he broke the law, set a horrible example as a role model, and he admitted to it all. Famous athletes know that young children look up to them and what example would that be if he was allowed back on the field? Will other children start abusing animals and doing wrong? This is why I think that Vick should be fully prosecuted and never allowed to play football again even if he is famous or has talent, and I am talking as a football fan myself.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think that he should be locked up because of something like this but don’t get me wrong yes what he done was wrong but there are people out there that have done something’s that are worse than that and they are still walking the streets so I really don’t think that he really deserves that. I think that he should be suspended for the rest of the season but still be allowed to come back next year and play. And about the apology that he made on national TV I think that everyone should give him a second chance I mean there are people out there that5 are acting like he killed somebody yes I understand that you shouldn't treat dogs like that he didn’t kill the dogs. So I think that the press is this matter to be bigger than what it really is. I feel that we shouldn’t hold a grudge against him for what he did but I can admit what he did wrong but can yell think of how his family feels or how the kids who looked up to him feels now so I think that people should stop thinking about how they feel but how the other person feel. I not taking his side imp not even really a fan I just don’t know why they would want to put somebody through something like that I mean I understand that there is no excuse for what he did but I just don’t think what he was as bad as they are making it out to be. I think that yes he should spend some time in jail I don’t think that he should get away with what he did but I also don’t think that he should get kick of the football team because for all we it could somebody else on the team that is doing the exact same thing he was doing but they just haven’t gotten caught yet.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ken,
I have to agree with you on this topic. Michael Vick should be charged and tried for the crime he committed. Not only do I agree with you views on the jail time, but also on the NFL letting him not play and I have to add something myself, I think that he should have to give up his house as well.
I think that he needs to be put in jail for awhile and not get any special treatments because he is or “was” an All-Star. What he has done is wrong a cruel to animals and to his fans as well. He should have known that it was illegal and he was going to get caught eventually. As an animal lover, I have to so that I am disappointed to see someone so talented go down like this. Like you said, He can’t blame this on nobody else but himself so now he has to pay the price and hit the jail cell.
Secondly, Michael Vick needs to be banned from the NFL. As a professional Football player, he needs to step up to his game. I surely wouldn’t want a criminal of any kind playing on my field. He is supposed to be a role model for younger children and so far, all I have seen is childish games come from him. He knew that once all this publicity got out that it would be either and win or lose situation and now he thinks that if he pleads guilty that he will not look so evil, but in reality it makes him look ignorant instead.
Lastly, Michael Vick needs his house either sold or took from him one. There is no telling how long these dog fights have been going on or if and when he gets out of jail, he will probably go right back to what he is doing now. But what do I know; I am only a fan that is no longer a fan anymore. What’s done is done and he is only a man, but he is an adult and he should have known better than to pull a stunt like this.
So I say, He is only human; and yes I agree humans make mistakes, but mistakes are not an excuse for criminal behavior, so I close by saying… “If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the Time”

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree that Michael Vick should not be let back into the NFL. Because we should let people have a second chance in lift but not let them go back to what they were doing before they got convicted for their crime. I don't know why someone would want to use animals for senceless entertainment. I mean it's just wrong to make dogs, or any animal for that matter fight to the death.
Anybody in a high paying jobs are known as rolemodels. If we let Michael Vick back into football then kids will think that what he did was alright. But I'm not going to say don't let him back on the team because their going to do what ever they see fit to do. But a rolemaodel is supposed to teach the people that look up to them whats right.
What he did was not just wrong but it was also just disgusting. It seems like it wasn't enough for him to let the dogs fight but he also killed the losing dogs by electrocution, hanging, and drowning.
So as you can see Michael Vick is a cruel man. What he did probably hurt alot of people. That does including his family. So like I said earlier I'm not saying ban him from football but they should.

Anonymous said...

So what its his business and we shouldnt interfere. But yeah it was wrong and cruel to the animals. He should go to jail for it but it was his business and the court doesnt need to kill any of the animals that were there for any reason. It would be the same as if they killed them just as well as michel vick there is no differance killing is killing.
So what if he plead guilty he will still be punished, by losing his job and all of the things he worked for, so yea the NFL should suspend him indefinetly for that same reason. I mean i used to wear his jersey but now i dont carer for him as a football player he is just another person who's goin to jail.

But as what he did is stupid so is his sentance maybe goin to jail for a year and suspended from the NFL thats not enough he should be in longer dont think im mean but he should dogs are animals are living so why kill them. I wonder what he would do if he was in the place of one of the dogs he killed ? huh. so yea he is wrong so i think he is guilty just as he plead but he should be treated fair to others that have commited the crime not given a tap on the wrist. Even as a falcons fan i couldnt belive it but yea he should be jailed and sentanced, but as you know everyone has their own opinion. Yes if he did commit these crimes he should not set foot on the grid iron but we can’t tell the NFLwhat to do.So even though we all have our opinions we cant change the fact that he plead guilty to these hanous charges. What ever you or any one thinks only one person gets to judge what he will serve for them. Even if he is a football star.I mean I like football but he shouldn’t have done that for any reason.

Animals should never die like the way he wanted to for sport. The only reason a animal should be killed is for food and clothing and the dogs he killed didn’t fit any of these categories.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Ken. No animal should have to fight till the death for any type of “blood sport”. I think that he should be banned from the NFL for life (if he is guilty). That sport is one of the most popular sports in America, and to have a person in said sport setting this example, would be in my opinion ridiculous. The NFL is a great achievement, and for him to be deprived of that would teach him a valuable lesson.

I also feel that full legal action should be taken in this case too. Vick should be punished as much as possible for this crime. This is murder, not in the sense that he killed a human but in the sense that he watched and allowed the brutal killing of animals. To bring up an animal just for fighting and killing is a spit in the face to everyone that tries to help animals and stand for there wellbeing.

And this isn’t just directed towards Vick, this is directed toward any athlete that takes part or has taken part in this activity via dog fighting. It is inexcusable for him to get lesser charges. It is inexcusable for him to make up any type of an excuse for lesser charges. And if he does get off with lesser charges or if he is allowed to play football again, the image he is setting for children would be that they can do heinous crimes and get away with. And that would tear apart society. By this little action it could possibly corrupt children minds.

I am not saying that every kid that watches football will condone a “blood sport”, I am just saying that this could open the door for more crimes and more animals getting hurt. I just hope the people that are defending him will realize the mistake that they are making, and I hope that he will realize the mistake he made.

Anonymous said...

I think Michael Vick should play in the NFL for a good year but I do think they should let him come back because all these other people get caught but they didn’t get band from there jobs. I just think there making an example of him because he’s rich and famous. I think he should get know more than the rest of the first time offenders. I love dogs and I would never fight a dog but you can’t fire him when other people dose it and don’t get anything when they get caught.
I think everyone who gets caught dog fighting should spend at least 3 to 5 years in jail. But if you do it to Vick give the sentence to every one who gets caught. And people say it no worse than hunters killing animals but I go hunting and I have a dog and I can kill a deer and not think twice about it but killing my dog that I named and raised or letting my dog fight is just cruel. I would never kill a dog with a name tag on it nether. Killing wildlife is also right because it’s not a law and dog fighting is a law in the US.
I am not a big fan of Vick but I don’t think its right to band him from the game he loves but I would tell him if he gets in anymore trouble he will be band from the League. He says he didn’t kill that dog but everyone knows he did it but so he says that he was just there but that don’t mater he still watched it and let it continue.
So now you know what I think on the Michael Vick case and I will never be a fan of his but let him pay his time in jail like all the others who got caught dog fighting and let it be a lesson to others who still dog fight. I hope they find all of the dog fighters because it is cruel and nobody should fight dog or any other animals.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ken,

I have enjoyed reading this story on Michael Vick. I also agree with every thing you are saying on this case.
I think what Michael Vick did was wrong and what the system is trying to do is even worse. Because Michael Vick knows that he shouldn’t have did this stuff in the first place and he also knew what was going to happen if he got caught which he did. So I believe that Michael Vick should not be let back in the NFL. Also that he should be put in the in jail for a long time.
What Vick did with the dog fighting is wrong. Because first it is against the law. Also people in this world are doing the same thing that he did and they are getting put in jail. So I say just because he is a pro football player that he should not be treated any differently. The system also should have not thought twice about what they should do and not think that it is alright to let him back in because it he don’t get punish for it now he is going to keep on doing it until he does get put in jail or something like that.
Vick as being a big role model for a lot of young boys who want to be like him and for him to do that first it is letting the people who look up to him down. Then on top of that if the boys really want to be like him then they might gat into there minds that it is cool and that they want to do it too.
Also to his teammates that look out for him during the season at least I would think that he wouldn’t do it for his career. Even for his family that has raised him and he cared for him all this years. So if you ask me I think that he should go jail for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Ken I think your right about dogs should not be teat that way, but I think your letter is a little strong. I know Vick broke a rule and because of that he should be band he should be band from the NFL. But also I think you went a little too far with your letter because I know what he did and everything but you got more than mad to me. Also I like to say it’s not only you who is mad at him for having dog fights in his properties there is a lot of people that have the same problem with him and care about it.
I like dogs to and I think they don’t deserve what Vick did to them. Everyone can’t give him a second chance because do then he is going to do it all over again. He is going to expect that everyone will be there cheering for him and save him after what he did. He will think that his fans won’t care about that problem.
I am disappointed how could anyone be entertained by making poor dogs fight to death. How would he like if someone make him fight with somebody else to death. He just doesn’t know how they feel when their fighting and he enjoys that. If he gets out of the NFL, I hope that makes him understand what he has done to the animals and make him realized the kind of person he really is.
He can’t come back because if he does nobody is going to cheer for him anymore. He even set a bad example for the children. They will think that making animals fight its going to be OK. He has just lost all he have, his fans his dignity and everything because he didn’t realized sooner what he was doing was extremely wrong.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ken,

I believe that you are exactly right when you say that Mike Vick should be banned from the NFL for life. I used to like Michael Vick! He was a pretty cool guy until I found what that he was hosting or financing a dog fighting ring!
The more I think about this the more I get angry because all the little kids in Atlanta (and some across the U.S.) always looked up to Mike. He wasn’t even very nice to the people of his team’s home, giving people the bird and never taking them where they wanted to go (Super Bowl). And now he does this to make his rep. go down even more! If the players in the NFL keep behaving like this I think that kids will have to find new role models (mom/dad).
I believe that the commissioner is doing a very good job with all of these “criminals”; I say this because it’s what they’re acting like. To tell the truth I never really thought that they would indite Michael Vick, since no one else had. I hope he succeeds in cleaning up the NFL.
I believe that this is the perfect punishment for Michael Vick because he needs to learn that there’s an easy way in life and a hard way. He’s been riding the easy wave all his life and now I think it’s time he learned how to work for his money.

Anonymous said...

I understand where a lot of you people are coming for...
But as most people are saying “He should do this and do that...”Michael Vick has been convicted in the media. How in the world could he ever get a fair trial? I am not a Falcons fan so I really have no vested interest in this case. I just don't understand how the NFL can say a player has violated the personal conduct code when they have not been found guilty. I don't like the off field incidents, however, it is not a good idea to start suspending players or preventing them from practicing with their team based on allegations and media reports. What happened to the atlanta player that had some lady raped in his house by some "friends". I think it was a white guy so it wasn't a big deal. Hmmmm, do we call drunk drivers thugs? Cause we have a lot of those in sports today.Until there is a gene found in African Americans, I will not believe that dog fighting is isolated to these people. Cruelty to animals is everywhere. What about cock fighting? Is that also a black sport? Until we, as a country, can stop acting like children, calling each other names, and blaming everything on race issues we will not progress. Race has NOTHING to do with the character of a man. I will say that it is a crying shame that there is more anger generated by Michael Vick He has not killed anyone.. He has not pulled a gun on anyone.. He has not raped or participated in raping or beating a female..
He has never been to jail either..
So,why is it that every little small thing is an automatic assumption of this mans guilt???
And,the need to seperate from his friends,or "homies"like some have called him..
His friends have never been accused of killing people outside of a nightclub..
They have never been in an barfight with Vick or jumped on anyone at a club..
They have not been connected to any drug ring or have had connections to one..(If they had,trust me,u would hear Mikes name 1st before theirs..
And,they have never raped a female in Mike's home,either while he was asleep or awake..

Anonymous said...

EDITOR’S BLOG
Ken, I think you right about your story I think not only you happen this kind of things it’s a lot of people happen. Maybe you never think in your life but let me tell you something you are younger and you have a lot of thing for do. I don’t think the any of the things that you said in your passage should be made subject to exception for crimes that we find particularly abhorrent by their nature.
I think when somebody start to use drugs the all goals came down and never do the all things good. Think in you find a solution for this problem and start a new life don’t lose your maid, and do the things better. I think no the all things are the dogs or drugs, if you want you can find different things for do. If you have your family help them or continue to study finish all, and when you merry maybe you made a good future for you family.
I will like you understand these words and remember if want to do your job better do you best and the all things came positive ok.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Vick deserves to be banned from NFL. He committed an outrageous thing against animals, in this case, dogs. As an athlete you do need to put an example to children because they admire an athlete’s talent and desire to become just like that player. Vick’s admirers will not follow the same steps as Vick by dog fighting but they are disappointed for what he did. All of the athletes need to think of the consequences that will come about for doing illegal drugs or animal abuse.
Vick as well as Landis and every athlete (not only baseball and football players!) should be banned from whatever sport they play, for breaking the law. Everyone knows that dog fighting is a crime so, why would an athlete known nationwide do something that could affect his career? Vick knew it was wrong, but he only did it because he thought he was an exemption for being famous and known for playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
Doing something illegal involves everyone and everyone pays the same price for what they did. Vick not only deserves to be kick out of NFL but he should be in jail for many years for what he did. If NFL lets him come back, then other athletes, who might be committing something illegal, won’t be worried for loosing their career.

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

So I get home and what do I find, but 22 comments for my Michael Vick posting needing to be approved. It just about blew my mind. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide so many thoughtful comments.

Based on the timing of the comments and the sources of my traffic today, I'm guessing that everyone who made comments today are classmates in the same school.

It would take far too long to address every comment directly, but I would like to make a few points based on today's comments:

1) In regards to the allegations, it should be remembered that he plead guilty to a felony and admitted to various aspects of the dog fighting operation including participating in the killing of under performing dogs.

2) RE: Drug testing in MLB. Don't be fooled by the drug testing regime in MLB, it is a joke. If MLB was serious about weeding out drug doping they would undertake more than just token drug testing and do out of season testing. What MLB is most interested in is avoiding negative press on this subject, so they do enough to keep Congress off their case, but not so much that the sports news is filled with reports of failed doping tests.

3) Hunting vs. dog fighting. There are some forms of hunting that should be banned, however, in general most hunting does not involve torturing animals. Proper hunting is about acquiring food and dispatching the animal as quickly as possible so that it doesn't suffer needlessly. Dog fighting is all about making animals suffer as much as possible. There is no comparison between hunting and dog fighting.

4) Crime and punishment. Every case is different, and it never works to try and compare two crimes in regards to how sever punishments should be. Each case needs to be evaluated on its own merits irrespective of punishments laid out for other crimes.

5) Cruelty to animals. We should have absolute contempt for anyone who would be cruel to, torture or wantonly abuse living creatures who can not defend or stand up for themselves (e.g. children, the disabled, animals, etc.). How we treat and care for those who are not able to stand up for themselves says a lot about who we are. Those who supported and/or took pleasure from torturing animals are absolutely despicable and should not be allowed into positions in our society where they are held up as heroes.

Again, thank you to everyone who have shared their opinion on this topic.

Now if people would take as much interest in the non-sporting topics we try to cover that will really have an impact on people's lives and our world for years yet to come. Topics like energy policy, sustainability, and consumer health and safety may not be as exciting, but they are much more important than the behaviors of sports heroes.

Anonymous said...

I think you all should stop trying to be the judge and juror, and let the jurors and judge make the decision as to what should happen to Mike vic. Who cares if you never watch or play sports any more you are only one person in all the people of the world. Mike Vic should be able to go anywhere in the world and do as he pleases after he has completed his time. Be Blessed

Anonymous said...

KICKED OUT OF THE NFL.....i can see if he was like a dog whisperer or if he took part in those dog shows than he could be banned from that. But the NFL????...(come on)The man is paying his debt to society(and speaking of debt)he went bankrupt when he gets out of prison he's probably going to stay with like a family member...the NFl is what he knows best..and in my view he gives a team a good chance to win. But hats beside the point...i dont think he should be banned from the NFL...its a job that has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with dogs...just leave him alone

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