Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two Words: Bad Idea

(Please pause a moment here while I have a mini-meltdown over the article I just read and Kharma chews some grass so she can hurl. Deep breath.)

Michael Vick.

PETA withdrew their offer to have him tape an anti-dogfighting public service announcement. He wanted their support of his reinstatement as a condition of his participation. And here I thought public service by definition indicates a donation of one's time and/or energy, without reimbursement. Silly me.

My guess is that inmate Vick has lived in his alternate universe for so long, where athletic talent excuses any behavior, that he can no longer differentiate wrong from right (no duh, there). Twenty-three months in the slammer haven't taught him that he has a debt to repay. Or maybe he thinks he's already repaid society for his behavior and gets a free pass?

In my universe, second chances are freely given. We all make mistakes. We learn from them and we move on. We don't use our mistakes as bargaining chips though--that's immature and juvenile.

Some errors are big ones, really big. And the consequences for those are appropriately big. You have to earn your way back before being forgiven. Dogfighting isn't high up on the list of attractive occupations, but it didn't stop there. Let's be clear here, Michael Vick viciously and maliciously took innocent lives. He killed personally. There was no mercy, no second chances, no humanity displayed.

I knew what I thought the instant I heard the details. I said it then and I'll say now--if the NFL allows him to play ever again, I will never watch another football game. It would cause me pain to give up watching the Niners on a Sunday morning. I'd miss the fun of Super Bowl parties. But there are some lines you don't cross.

I'd like to believe that playing for an NFL team again is just a pipe dream that Michael Vick's had while in prison. I hope that Commissioner Goodell continues the indefinite suspension. It's an appropriate response to Vick's "reprehensible" actions. With reinstatement, any team, any owner, any commercial sponsor had better be willing to face a mass boycott from their more thoughtful fans. The bad press possible just boggles the mind.

Michael Vick might consider some other job a janitor or pipefitter or stevedore. Somewhere far from the public eye, making a living wage, while contributing a necessary skill to our economy.

Many football fans commenting on the Fox Sports article are willing to defend his actions and would like to see him play again. That's disheartening. Fortunately, there are many others who are disgusted by his actions and forthright about saying so.

Quite honestly, any message from Michael Vick would have turned my stomach. Shame on PETA for even considering him as a spokesman. If they really wanted to find a worthy voice against dog-fighting, they don't have to look any further than one of the sweet and furry wiggle-butts who escaped Bad Newz Kennel and their murderous owner.

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