Friday, December 31, 2010

Michael Vick: President Obama’s comment reveals latent anger

It seems that whenever publicly commenting on Michael Vick, people have to first condemn dog fighting and the actions Michael Vick was convicted of; watch for it the next time you see an interview discussing it, as if not doing so would lead people to think you approve of dog fighting……

President Obama seems to have stirred up animal rights supporters and general debate, when comments he made during a phone call with Philadelphia Eagles ownership were made public.  During a phone call in which President Obama was discussing possible green energy options for the Philadelphia Eagles stadium, the President commented that he supported the Eagles decision to give Vick a second chance to play football in the NFL.   This recent comment catapulted Vick back to the spotlight of many Americans and media outlets. 
Brief Vick review: Michael Vick was convicted of dog fighting in August of 2007 for financing and participating in the management of “Bad Newz Kennels”.  Michael Vick in his plea agreement admitted to killing 6-8 dogs by hanging or drowning. 

Vick served 18 months in prison with the remaining 2-4 months of his sentence to be served under house arrest.  Michael Vick lost over $160,000,000 in endorsements and contract money. Since his release from jail has began work with the Humane Society and ASPCA in an effort to speak to at-risk kids about the evils of dog fighting.    While his crimes gruesome and cruel Michael Vick has paid his debt to society according to law and is working to rehabilitate himself.  However despite his efforts to show contrition, the public outcry has continued.  As an extreme example, one political commentator Tucker Carlson of Fox News said he believes Michael Vick should have been executed.

Our country is government by the rule of law and though some feel that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime in this case, according to the law it was enforced appropriately.  Michael Vick committed terribly brutal acts against animals, however wishing him harm, saying he should be tortured or any eye for eye rhetoric only further creates a climate of violence. The president of the Humane Society  Wayne Pacelle had this to say about Vick.

"What he did is terrible, there's no question about that," Pacelle said. "But this is an issue of protecting animals in the future. And endlessly flogging Michael Vick is not going to save one animal. But putting him to work in communities to save animals and educate people about the problem of dog fighting -- especially with at-risk kids -- is the way to help the problem."

UPDATED: 7-19-2011

Michael Vick supports anti-dog fighting legislation in Washington D.C.