OPINION: You read that right. I don’t want to see Michael Vick banned from football. Why? There’s a cancer thriving among the dark alleys of America, and Vick can help us bring it down. Let me tell you how.
I’m pissed. I’m outraged and I am full of vengeance. But I also want the greatest good to be done — that is the end of dog fighting. Michael Vick is facing two possible choices on his dog fighting charges: 1) Get banned for life from the NFL and go to court to fight the charges, or 2) take the plea bargain deal and cooperate with the government in the hopes that he can return to the NFL and play for millions.
If Vick is banned from football by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, he is likely to go to court to “clear his name.” That means he will not name names and help the government bring down the real problem — organized criminal dog fighting. Vick may be a big fish on the football field, but he was just another stupid gambling idiot when it came to dog fighting. The real engine that powers dog fighting are the gangs that finance, organize and encourage the illegal gambling.
It’s a tough choice, and I really have no desire to see Vick play in the NFL again. I have no desire to see him cheered on by fans. I have no desire to see him get his millions. But I know what I want more than revenge. I never want to see another dog forced to fight for someone’s sick pleasure.
If Vick thinks that plea bargaining can help him stay rich, then he will help the prosecutors nail down the organized criminals that run these gambling operations. If he takes the deal, he’ll still do time. He’ll still be suspended. He’ll hopefully be a wash up has-been after all that. He’ll also hopefully bring down other NFL players and they can all be examples.
What I really want doesn’t seem to be an option. I wish Vick would be banned and that he would also help bring down other dog fighters. But this is the bottom line: If I had a choice between Vick playing football again versus a crippling blow to dog fighters, I know what I’d take.