Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Michael Vick Kick.

It's Sunday, and on Sunday I feel like I can write on things of a more philosophical or moral nature without compromising the focus of the weblog and driving away the folks that read the food reviews. As the title suggests this post is on the public reaction of anger or disgust directed at Michael Vick.

Michael Vick was a starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons and a very wealthy man, thanks to his contract with the Falcons. He was arrested and convicted of cruelty to animals for his involvement in dog fighting. The kind where dogs die or are maimed severely. It is a gruesome and cruel activity -- and legitimately illegal. Michael Vick spent 2 years in prison for his participation after his arrest and conviction.

Cynics suggest that Mr. Vick is now engaging in a public relations bit in order to play football again. That is, he needs the money and if does not display some humility the NFL and the public will not accept him back. I understand cynicism, but it can be wrong and misapplied.

Others suggest that the crime was, in some sense, unforgivable, that to allow him to play again in the NFL is a kind of tacit endorsement. Again, an understandable sentiment, but who among us will be left standing if mercy is always withheld.

My disposition is simply this: he admits that he has done wrong and acted recklessly. He is asking for a second chance. Not a third, fourth, or fifth, just a second. Give it to him.

I watched the first public interview of Vick, Coach Reid and Coach Dungy at his side, and frankly, Dungy's endorsement is good enough for me. The possibility that Mr. Vick is working them and us through them is not my concern. A man should be be taken at his word until he proves his word is not worth taking.

The worst that can happen is that we will have been duped. So what. Give Michael Vick a break. He served his time. He paid for his crime in prison-time and through the loss of everything he once had: his money, reputation, and occupation. Isn't that enough?

He deserves the forgiveness he is asking for and he deserves to get back on the football field to try to do life right.

Towards that end, I wish him well.


Jake Good said...

I grew up with dogs in my life, being significant members of the family...

Vick lost all he had... and spent 2 years in prison... that's quite a hit, but I had wished his sentence was for another few years. Maybe 5.

Even just walking our dogs around the neighborhood and seeing how other dogs are treated, it sometimes makes me sick to my stomach.

Then again, some would think that I forget the fact that they are dogs :)

Love 'em anyway...

Francis Shivone said...

Thanks Jake -- yes, I hate to see the chained-up, caged-in dog or animal of any kind.

Jennifer said...

I know nothing about the case because I think it would nauseate me to hear the details, so I can't comment on it. But it's weird that people seem to be holding such a grudge towards Vick. I feel like the public would more easily forgive rape or manslaughter.
Anyway, I thought your balance of Ft. Worth, food, and a bit of religion was great but you've taken it one step closer to perfection by adding in football.

Rambler said...

I don't have an opinion, but here's on take you might find interesting.

BTW, I don't recommend that blog in general, for their anti-Catholic bias, but some of their analysis of media coverage is worth reading.

I'm a dog person, and don't know the facts of the case (which on the face of it seems really wicked), but I will say this: there is a thing law enforcement types call "misdemeanor murder", which draws probation for killing a human being. It's usually road rage, murder of an abusive spouse, or whatever. For that matter, I've seen probation given to all sorts of felony crimes.

Did Vick get probation and have it revoked? If not, 2 years in prison seems rather bizarre.

Victor Shivone said...

He did two years in the slammer. I would think one month would be more than enough for me to realize the significance. I spent 14 hours in a holding cell in Wilmington Police Stations basement, and I was about to freak out. I am an animal lover and think it's wrong, but with that said there is a small cross section of society, almost who don't see anything wrong with the turture of dogs or chickens. When I lived in Hawaii, I was walking home and took a short cut and walked up on a cock fight, with people yelling and screaming. It's definately not my bag, though many of the folks involved grew up with cock fighting, and it was a social norm. Anyway, I think Micheal Vick should be given another chance. Philly fans will be hard on him, but will forget once he throws a touchdown pass or runs for 50 yards. Then fans will say, "What dog fight?.""I don't remember hearing that."

Francis Shivone said...

Victor -- man you got that right. All is forgiven after a couple of TD's.

Walt said...

The guy has paid his price. Let him have a second chance. Geez.

Sunni R. said...

I heard an interview Morning Edition did with Tony Dunge regarding Michael Vick, and I came away feeling like I had work to do in the arena of forgiveness and redemption. It's not the first time Tony Dunge has made me cry. It was a bit heavy to listen to on the way to work but I'm glad I caught it. I might also say that it could have been dog fighting, it could have been drugs, whatever, we are compelled biblically to forgive as Christians. Forgive until it feels like we just can't anymore. I'm glad you wrote about this.