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Monday, July 27, 2009

Very Disappointing

It seems that the NFL is more concerned with their bottom line than how their players are viewed.

Today, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "conditionally" reinstated Michael Vick so he is eligible to play in the 2009 season, albeit missing the first 5 games of the season. This was not unexpected, but I had hoped Mr. Goodell would have more sense than this. I was really hoping for at least a two year suspension for Vick. I just hope none of the teams I watch, especially the Saints, don't decide to sign him.

Sports Illustrated, typically, was fawning all over Goodell and Vick in their coverage of the story. I found this passage particularly offensive:
The NFL taking a step-by-step approach might offend those observers who believe Vick's plight has been unduly burdensome already, but I think it gives the ex-Falcons quarterback the opportunity to make his strongest possible case that his mistakes of the past will not be made in vain. In this age of instant gratification, not having the details of Vick's future neatly wrapped up a week after he left confinement may be bothersome to many, but time really can be Vick's ally in this situation. The proof really can be in the pudding.
Let's get one thing straight here. What Vick did was not a "mistake" or "youthful indiscretion,"as politians are fond of saying. What Vick did was finance and run a dog fighting ring. This is not something you accidentally do, like stepping in dog shit while walking down the street. Abusing dogs as Vick did requires malice aforethought.

I know there are people out there who will disagree with me and say Vick has served his time so I should cut him a break. I disagree. In my opinion people who abuse dogs like Vick did are akin to child molesters. As in the case of a child a dog is helpless to prevent what is being done to it. As a result, in most cases, the dog that is abused in the dog fighting ring lives a short, brutal life that is filled with pain and fear. Eventually the dog is killed. In Vick's case his dogs who were no longer "useful" were drowned. Piling one last cruelty upon a lifetime of cruelty for the dog. When his organization was busted fortunately many of the dogs were rescued and some of them were even rehabilitated and placed in good homes.

Michael Vick may have served his sentence in prison, but now he needs to prove that his conversion from dog fight promoter to dog lover is real. He needs to to prove that he truly has learned his lesson, and a few weeks before the season begins isn't going to give him the opportunity to do that.

In my opinion Vick needs to be required to work at an animal shelter for two years before being allowed to play in the NFL again. Come the fall I won't be watching him play; I suggest every one in what ever team he ends up playing at boycott the games. It's what he deserves.

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