Apparently, fellow athletes and friends of Michael Vick have not learned to keep their comments to themselves about Vick and his indictment on dogfighting conspiracy charges.
It started in May with Washington Redskin players, Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels. Portis and Samuels defended Michael Vick and ridiculed the fact that dogfighting is a crime. After this, both players apologized for their comments. Portis said that he didn’t think people would get offended, and he realizes now that “some people are crazy over their pets”.
Now, Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, is speaking out and showing his support for Vick. On Tuesday, he said this at Lehigh University:
“I’m a supporter of Vick,” McNabb said. “That’s because I’m a good friend of his and also we’re guys that obviously compete to win the Super Bowl. Now, I don’t know exactly what happened in that situation, and I think for all of us that have read over the stuff that was over the Internet, the report, you look at it as kind of like, ‘Wow, you’ve got your so-called friends and family members turning their back on you now to make their situation better.’ They’re throwing you under the bus so that they can clean their name. That’s unfortunate. That goes to show, I always have a saying that I’ve always lived by: If you can’t trust family, who can you trust? It’s an unfortunate situation, and I just hope everything works out well for him where he can get back out on the field.”
On the other hand, there are a few athletes that have spoken up against Vick and his alleged involvement.
From ProFootball Talk:
Former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has spoken out about Falcons quarterback Mike Vick and his current legal entanglement.
Kelly, like Vick, owns a home in Surry County, Virginia. Kelly, like Vick, doesn’t live at the property. But Kelly doesn’t buy the notion that Vick wasn’t aware of the activities occurring on his land.
“I know what goes on at my house, even though I’m not there,” Kelly told the Dunkirk (N.Y.) Observer. “I’d have to call ‘BS’ on that one.
“If he didn’t know what was going on at his home,” Kelly said, “the way I look at it, he’s lying.”
From USA Today:
Hall of Famer Gale Sayers is disheartened and disgusted by brutal details of dogfighting listed in the federal indictment charging Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three others with operating a multistate ring.
“If he did it, why?” Sayers asks. “If it’s true, I feel very, very sorry for Michael. It’s too bad.
“Why does he need to train dogs and fight them? Hopefully it’s not true. Still, it appears he was in that circle. And if he was in that circle, he should be punished.”
And then there is Deion Sanders. He played for the NFL and Major League Baseball. In July, he wrote an op-ed piece about Michael Vick. And well… let’s just say it’s quite interesting to say the least.
If you don’t want to read his whole commentary, here is one of his major points (if you can call it a point):
“I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. It’s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn’t tap out when he knows he can’t win.
It reminds me of when I wore a lot of jewelry back in the day because I always wanted to have the biggest chain or the biggest, baddest car. It gives you status.”
Deion, let’s get this straight. You are saying that Vick participated in dogfighting and he did it because he loved dogfighting. Apparently, you are clarifying that you think he committed a crime. It’s a shame Vick didn’t hire you as his attorney.
So, you know other athletes that share this passion for dogfighting and participate in this crime. Deion, dogfighting is a felony. Perhaps you would like to share which other athletes you know that are participating in this illegal activity.
Dogfighting is not similar to you wearing “bling bling” jewelry.
Here is Deion Sanders’ op-ed piece:
From The News Press:
I wouldâ€™ve never thought Mike Vick, one of the NFLâ€™s most exciting players â€” the man who makes the network execs smile every time he plays â€” would ever be indicted for crimes against manâ€™s best friend.
The potential impact could be devastating.
He could lose millions worth of endorsements. Nike has already suspended the release of his new shoe. He could lose millions he was supposed to get from the Atlanta Falcons, if the club decides to cut him. Thatâ€™s unlikely, but it could happen if heâ€™s convicted or makes a plea arrangement.
Or his reputation might wind up so stained that heâ€™s never forgiven in the court of public opinion. That would be too bad for the 27-year-old superstar.
This is all the result of perspective.
What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I. Hold on, donâ€™t start shaking your head just yet. Listen to me.
Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.
And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. Youâ€™re probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest. Maybe, he identified with them in some way.
You can still choose to condemn him, but Iâ€™m trying to take you inside his mind so you can understand where he might be coming from.
Why are we indicting him? Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else? The fights allegedly occurred at a property that he purchased for a family member. They apparently found carcasses on the property, but I must ask you again, is he the ringleader?
The only thing I can gather from this situation is that weâ€™re using Vick.
Was he wrong? Absolutely. Was he stupid? Canâ€™t argue with that. Was he immature? No doubt. But is he the ringleader? I just canâ€™t see it.
I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. [emphasis ours] The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. Itâ€™s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesnâ€™t tap out when he knows he canâ€™t win.
If someone can translate this op-ed piece for us in the comments we’d appreciate it.