National NAACP Speaks About Vick And Dog Fighting; Vick To Face “Tough But Fair” Judge


A day after R.L. White, Atlanta NAACP president spoke in support of Michael Vick, the national president of NAACP also speaks up.

Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president and CEO of NAACP, said Vick is not a victim, and he should be held accountable for his actions.

Hayes also added that the public should not be so quick to condemn Vick so quickly. He said that Vick acknowledges that he made a mistake, and there is reason to believe that he can change.

In regards to White’s comments of support, Hayes said that those who are coming to Vick’s defense are expressing a frustration with the disparities in the criminal justice system.

“People need to understand the backdrop as some in the African-American community make their expressions of support,” Hayes said. “That backdrop includes anger and distrust with the criminal justice system that disproportionately pays attention to African-Americans and Hispanics. While no dog deserves to be mistreated, the backdrop includes the perception among some African-Americans that the criminal justice system treats them like animals and that nobody seems willing to do anything about the disparity.”

Hayes also rejected the perception that dog fighting is an acceptable part of urban black culture. He said this is a product of stereotypical thinking, and dog fighting exists everywhere and not just in the African-American community.

Hayes said the national group of NAACP does not have an official position on Vick’s case or if he should be reinstated to the NFL. He also does not want to speculate if Vick is being treated differently because his is black.

“He may in fact be being treated better than some African-Americans and Hispanics who don’t have the resources and financial means that he has,” Hayes said. “On the other hand, there might be some of a different race or different ethnicity who might be treated a bit differently.”

Other African-American leaders share their opinions on Vick and his involvement in dog fighting.

Bryan Burwell, a sports columnist for, who is African-American, said it is unreasonable to say that Vick was unjustly persecuted.

Burwell stated the negative images that many young, African-American men look at need to be changed. They need to see that intelligence is right and ignorance is wrong. Burwell further said: “We need to alter the perception so that it’s cool to be smart and the thug and gangster lifestyle is wrong. When your friends can’t understand that, they aren’t your true friends.”

Another African-American columnist, Jemele Hill, who writes for ESPN told young, African-American men to not make Vick a martyr. They should not applaud him or blame others for Vick’s situation because he should be held responsible for his actions.

In other Vick-related news, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, the judge that will be presiding over Vick’s case, has been mainly described as a “tough but fair” judge. (Side note: Judge Hudson owns a bichon frise.)

He has shown little mercy for high-profile defendants, and he tends to be in the middle or upper range of the sentencing guidelines.

Vick’s lawyers are trying for the shortest possible sentence.

But a defense lawyer who has personal experience with Judge Hudson said unless there are some extreme mitigating circumstances, the defense team will run in some problems. He added Judge Hudson is a tough sell.

Vick’s lead attorney, Billy Martin, said: “We’re hoping at the right time to show the other sides of Michael Vick to Judge Hudson. The media and the indictment show one very small side of Mr. Vick, which is not his best side. We’re hoping to show the whole person as this case evolves.”

Source: MSNBC, USA Today

(Thanks menusux, Lynn)

23 Responses to “National NAACP Speaks About Vick And Dog Fighting; Vick To Face “Tough But Fair” Judge”

  1. Tammy says:

    He’s needs to be punished because those poor dogs did not ask to be tortured and he should know what it is like to feel pain just like they did. Just because he’s a football star doesn’t have anything to do with it. I think the NFL should kick him out because everyone has rules to follow and he is not any different. Thats whats wrong now everyone has an excuse for comitting crime and think they can get off scott free. How would he like to die by hanging or drowing or ELECTRICUTION?

  2. catmom5 says:

    I would suggest, as others have suggested, that what the young black men and women need are role models! Right now they happen to be professional athletes, entertainers and musicians. What is the message that many of them send to these youngsters? When kids see their “heroes” involved with drugs, violence, animal fighting, and crime and hear them singing and talking about . . . well some of the things they sing and talk about, how do you expect them to do any different?
    My guess is there are many true heroes who never get the recognition that the “celebrities” get. These are the folks working to get kids out of gangs, succeeding in business against horrendous odds, doing things to make the world a better place.
    I am glad to see that the judge is fair but tough. I believe that we are all a mix of bad and good and that we make choices every day. We have to accept the consequences of the choices we make. MV made decisions over the period of many years to involve himself in an illegal and immoral “sport.” He had the capacity to torture and mutilate another living being. He made the choice to end the lives of living beings in violent and horrific ways. HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING!!!
    Whether MV ever plays professional sports again is of no consequence to me. I am done watching them all. They are tainted and have not shown they are willing to live up to the ethics they claim to have. Far as I’m concerned, I’ll stick with another form of “entertainment”!
    I’m sick of people using circumstances to excuse their actions. WE ALL HAVE CHOICES and when you make bad ones, then at least be big enough to admit it and accept responsibility and then to make amends. It’s not because MV is black, or came from an urban neighborhood, or makes an obscene amount of money to play football. It’s because MV deliberately and intentionally abused, tortured and killed another living thing for his own pleasure. It’s because he lied about it. It’s because he has enough money to hire top-notch lawyers and pr firms to “spin” the facts. MV has in him the ability to take pleasure at another creature’s pain.
    BTW, for all you folks out there who are playing the race card here, I know folks from Africa who are not black. Are they also African-Americans? And do you think they, too, get treated differently based on where their ancestors are from?

  3. nora says:

    The comment by Rev Al Sharpton Makes him sound like he has burnt all his brain cells by smoking crack. (my comment is a joke)! But seriously, bringing Brett Farve( a truly stand up kind of guy) into this by talking about a scenario of Dolphin Fighting with spears on their heads in his swimming pool made me burst out laughing! The comparison is absolutely ridiculous. Some of the other more intelligent and sane comments about MV being responsible for his own actions and being held accountable make perfect sense.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The NAACP has proven that the content of one’s character is not as important as the color of one’s skin.

  5. Alex Johnson says:

    This is Alex Johnson, the author of the MSNBC article. For the record, shortly after we published the story, I learned that the Sharpton “blog post” was a hoax. We’ve removed the quotation from the story and issued a correction.

    I’d hate to see Mr. Sharpton pilloried for something he didn’t say.

    Alex Johnson

  6. Sharon says:

    Michael Vick acted like an animal in the worst sense of the word and deserves to be treated the same way he treated those dogs. I would like to see him hung, drowned, or electrocuted.

  7. buddy & belle's dad says:

    I believe this should be looked at as it is. It is a matter of (1) lying to the owner of the team and NFL management, (2) committing federal crimes and (3) violating the personal conduct policy of the NFL. None of these issues are race related. It definitely appears that the national NAACP takes a much higher road than the Atlanta chapter does. They do not resort to trying to turn it into a racial issue because it most definitely is not one. As to the latest news regarding the plea that Vick will make (he will plead guilty to being at the scene of some of the crimes but not being involved in committing the crimes per NBC news this morning), that is absolutely ridiculous. He is guilty and should pay the penalty for such crimes. I further hope that the state of Virginia will press charges so that Vick will reap the full rewards of what he deserves.

  8. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Well, I’m still steaming over the prospect of this:

    “When Michael Vick pleads guilty to dogfighting charges on Monday, he reportedly won’t admit any guilt to killing dogs or gambling on dogfighting as detailed in his federal indictment, ESPN reported Thursday.

    “Instead, the ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback will admit to one count of interstate commerce for the purpose of taking dogs across state lines for dogfighting.

  9. joe says:

    What does the NAACP have to do with this? They should NOT be involved or have anything to say regarding this criminal act.

    If Aikman, Peyton Manning, Kevin Kolb, Daman Hurd etc commited this crime, you can be darn sure the NAACP would be singing a different tune or not saying anything at all. I am so sick of the BS.

  10. Stefani says:

    Overall, this seems to be a reasonable statement. However, injustice in the criminal justice system — which I believe exists — is not an acceptable rationale for coming to the defense of someone just because he’s black. And for too long, the African American community has done this. I think back to the OJ trial — and how so many African Americans rejoiced at his aquittal as though it were a civil rights victory rather than merely a verdict that shows how badly and quetionably the police department handled evidence and the case. I don’t disagree with that verdict because due to the mishandling of evidence and the way the police behaved in the early parts of the investigation, reasonable doubt was created. However, the aquittal of OJ was not a civil rights victory.

    Nor is the Michael Vick case a civil rights issue. And by conflating the mistreatment of African Americans by the justice system and law enforcement with the Vick case, African Americans DO INDEED imply that they consider protection of a black man — no matter how guilty — more important than justice and truth.

    I have a problem with this statement:

    “Hayes also rejected the perception that dog fighting is an acceptable part of urban black culture. He said this is a product of stereotypical thinking, and dog fighting exists everywhere and not just in the African-American community.”

    The reason I have a problem with it is that it is African Americans who are jumping to defend Michael Vick or to minimize the horror of what he has done and ask for leniency in his handling. By doing that, they do INDEED imply that dog fighting is acceptable within the black community.

    It is the VERY reaction of the black community to this case that seems to prove this true — they really don’t think dog fighting is that big a deal, and certainly not something a brother should be punished harshly for.

    That is the same thing as saying dog fighting is OK in African American culture.

    I didn’t say it. They did. How terribly sad that white racists and the organized African American community should be making the same argument. How sad.

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  11. Jenny Bark says:

    Stefani well said, I agree with you & couldn’t have said it as good. Thank you. Also I want to thank you again for your help with Kitty. I am getting her to eat a lot more meat. It was more my fault than hers, the web sites you gave me had a lot of tips. She’s still my problem child with eating home cooked but now I can say I’m also her problem mom. We are both going to win with a little more time. Thanks again & a big hug sent your way from all of us.

  12. Barb says:

    Turn on CNN - Vick just accepted plea deal! - pled guilty to conspiracy of interstate commerce to aid illegal activity, and guilty to conspiracy to sponsor dog in animal fighting. Maximum sentence of 5 yrs, 250K fine 3yrs. parole, restitution. Summary of facts: suspects bought property for purpose of housing dogs; Court papers: consiprators bought, trained, bred pit bulls for fighting; Court papers: Vick paid for most operating, fighting expenses, Vick admits to being part of group that killed dogs that didn’t fight well;

  13. Jenny Bark says:

    IF i heard this right on cnn Vic will have to answer some very tuff questions which could mean naming names of other dogfighters. That’s the way i heard the lawyer explain it. Corect me if I’m wrong.

  14. Barb says:

    I walked out of the room and didn’t hear that, but no doubt that’s what he’ll have to do. Can’t imagine they’d offer him a deal without him having to give up others involved higher up.

    Should have guessed he’d plea out today vs. Monday when 1,000’s of protesters would have been at courthouse protesting.

  15. E. Hamilton says:

    Vick did not kill NEAR as many animals as Walmart has killed or damaged by leaving poison pet treats on store shelves for almost a month after they knew it was a killing product.
    I am not in favor of dog fighting or the scum that enjoys it but I think that until CRIMINAL charges are filed against a lot of the players in the pet food that Vick is getting WAY too much attention.

    His court stuff got through the system WAY too fast-he should have had to endure the grinding slowness that anyone else would have had to sit through. Vick is getting special treatment still and it irks me.

    Now that he took the deal, fine. He can strut his sleazy ways in prison.
    And that frees up the crack team that caught him to go after some REAL BIG TIME animal abusers!

  16. Jenny Bark says:

    I agree with you E but he did kill more than 6 or 8 dogs. He has been doing this for years & so has a lot of other people. Plus all the baite aminals they stole & killed. I am with you all the way on getting pfi, fda & the media too, but I want Vic to go down too. I just wish I could go to Virginia, because we need to stop as much dogfighting as we can. I will never give up on the food.

  17. Cathy says:

    There they go playing the race card again.

  18. Bridgett says:

    Mr Johnson: Thank you for the correction. Just what we need to fuel the fire, hoax posts!

    Stefani: That is the issue in a nutshell.

  19. Anonymous says:

    sicko pervert bs - shame on the NAACP

  20. Baaboo says:

    Sharon…..I have a problem with your statement “Michael Vick acted like an animal in the worst sense of the word”……ANIMALS DON’T ACT LIKE THAT. Only humans torture and kill for the shear joy of it.

  21. Kevin says:

    I hope the judge shows the same amount of compassion for Vick as Vick did for the dogs.

    Culture? What a joke. Vick is just another dumb a** that got caught.

    Thank Goodness!

  22. Donna says:

    Empty shell, encased in flesh. Devoid of empathy. Enjoys violence and suffering of other living creatures. Do we really NEED people like this to survive ? Do not use the “color” card. Any color of a monster, is a bad color. His victims………….wish him what he gave them. So it will be. Cruelty ………is wrong. Suffering is wrong. Humans as the “superior beings? ” I have not found this to be true. This monster should be destroyed.

  23. Lee says:

    Is everyone in this country an idiot these days?

    Sorry but everytime I turn on the news or tune into a blog, I have to wonder.

    Maybe it’s just that the people we give the floor to are idiots. You know, the politicians, the athletes, the theiving, greedy corporate swine, the media celebs who long ago stopped being real reporters, the opportunistic race baiters of all colors. No wonder “they” hate us. (whoever the f** they are).

    I’m dying for a voice of reason in this country again. A voice that isn’t in love with itself or clamoring for a spot on the 6:00 news. One that’s actually ready to lead the masses in taking this country back from the idiots we gave it to to run.

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