The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122909 Message #2700319
Posted By: PoppaGator
14-Aug-09 - 02:10 PM
Thread Name: BS: Michael Vick, dog-fighter, is an Eagle
Subject: RE: BS: Michael Vick, dog-fighter, is an Eagle
Various public figures have committed crimes against human beings without inspiring this level of vitriol. I can't hardly "defend" Mr. Vick, but I can't help but feel that the reaction is completely out of proportion.
ESPN this morning reported that reaction among Philadelphia Eagles fans is currently about 75%-25% negative. Of course, this is still less than 24 houts after the announcement. I'd be interested in seeing how opinion might swing after Vick pulls off a bit of on-field heriocs.
Dogfighting, not unlike cockfighting and bearbaiting, has been seen as acceptable "sport" in various human communities at different points in history. This kind of activity was quite popular in London 100 years ago and more, but of course not these days. People should understand that in some American communitities, urban and rural, white and black, but all sharing the critical characteristics of material and cultural poverty, this kind of actitity is seen as normal entertainment and a popular basis for gambling.
Michael Vick may be a millionaire today thanks to his athletic talents, but he still has "roots" ~ and friends ~ in the ghettoes in which he grew up. It was a group of such old friends who sought his help as an "investor" in their dogfighting ring. Excuseable? Of course not. Understandable? Certainly ~ but only to those willing to bring an open mind to the discussion.
The Humane Society of the United States is already very happy with Michael Vick's efforts in helping spread their message. They report that he is enabling them reach entire populations with which they would not otherwise be able to connect.
Much as some may enjoy demonizing him, Vick cannot possibly not be remoseful. Does his self-interest have something to do with this change of attitude? Of course! But after two years out of football, much of it sepnt in prison, he has to have come to a realization that the enterprise in which he had been involved was seriously and objectively wrong.
He knows that, no matter what he might achieve on the athletic field, he will be known for the rest of his life as a convicted dogfighter first and a football star second, and he seems prepared to spend the rest of his life addressing the issue. While there are many people who will never forgive him, he WILL be part of the public world for the foreseeable future; it should prove to be interesting.