NASCAR drivers, Ryan Newman (pictured here with his wife) and Greg Biffle, have taken a personal interest in the dogfighting conspiracy charges against Michael Vick. They both are involved in animal rescue operations and say that Vick’s case will bring attention to their cause.
Newman and his wife, Krissie, made shirts this week that say: “7 to life” on the front and “Neuter Vick” on the back. They said that they will wear the shirts throughout Vick’s trial.
“Everybody is innocent until proven guilty,” Ryan Newman said. “But his little group has made it clear they fight dogs. People who defend that are slugs. This separates the smart people from the dumb.”
Krissie organized a group of wives of Dodge drivers to work at a local restaurant last Saturday. Their salaries and tips were donated to a local Humane Society.
Krissie says that everyone knows about dog fighting now and Michael Vick is the face of this horrible crime.
Biffle said that he is troubled by people who don’t think dogfighting is a problem. He said that he was furious when he read Vick’s indictment. Biffle added that if the allegations are true, Vick made some very poor decisions and he must pay for them.
Most people think that Vick’s career will be ended if he is found guilty of the charges filed against him. But one professor disagrees.
Syracuse University Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins says that Vick will be more popular than ever after the dog fighting scandal is over. Watkins is also a regular commentator on African Americans in sport on ESPN, CBS and CNN. He says that Vick’s popularity will be increased because of the fact that many of his fans already support a barbaric sport.
“In a sport like football, the more of a ‘man’s man’ you are, the more some people love you,” says Watkins. “People are going to love Vick for the same reasons they loved Tyson in spite of the rape conviction and loved Babe Ruth after all the drinking and womanizing. There is an almost shocking masculinity affect involved.”
Watkins says that he doesn’t condone dog fighting and considers it to be extremely tragic. In an online news column, Watkins tells Vick that he should “Handle his business”, and that he should get rid of friends that will surround him with trouble.
He also says that the public should be careful in judging Vick. Watkins says that the courts should be allowed to decide if he is guilty. He also advises the NFL to wait to sideline Vick until the case has been settled before making any premature moves.