Monday, August 17, 2009

Changed my Mind

I know on Saturday I said I would post the next excerpt from my new book today, but something else grabbed my attention. Last night I watched the interview with Michael Vick on 60 Minutes eager to hear him fully acknowledge his participation in the dog fighting enterprise that sent him to prison for two years and maybe show real remorse.

That didn't happen. The PR team he has hired to help him scrub his public image has done a good job in scripting what the man says. He didn't admit to the horrible things he did to the dogs -- hanging them in trees and electrocuting them, holding them down in his pool until they drowned, using pet dogs as bait to make the pit bulls blood thirsty, throwing them into arenas where they tore each other to shreds. Those are the horrible things he did, but all he admitted to was "not standing up to the people around me who were doing things that I'm not proud of."

Huh?

Appearing on the show to support Vick were former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who has been asked by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to mentor Vick, and Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States. Dungy talked about how people like Vick who make one mistake deserve a second chance, and Pacelle talked about how important it was not to just punish Vick, but to use him to help educate young people about the horrible business that is dog fighting. Both possibly valid points depending on how you look at it.

However, I don't think Vick would be getting this second chance in his career -- he was just signed with the Philadelphia Eagles - if he was anything but a star athlete. It seems we will let athletes get away with almost anything just because they are so good at their sport. Think about all the "bad boy" football players who have disgraced the game in the past 20 years or so.

And I don't care how much money Vick gave to the Humane Society, I am disgusted that he is even associated with an organization that I have been an avid supporter of for years.

Just for a minute think about what might have happened if the dog fighting enterprise had never been discovered and Vick had never been arrested and put in prison. Would he still be abusing those poor dogs just for the fun of it, or would he have come to his senses without legal incentive?

Unfortunately, I think the answer to the first question is yes, and no to the second.

All of these "bad boy" athletes say all the right things after they are caught, just so they can get that second, or third, or fourth chance to prove that they are really redeemed. I truly believe that had Vick not been caught, he would still be running his Bad Newz Kennels and people who knew about it would just look the other way because he is such a talent on the football field.

Well, it takes a hell of a lot more than just talent to hold my interest, and I used to love the game and the men of character who played it.

5 comments:

Matt said...

Michael Vick should be submitted to some of the same tortures that he used with the dogs until he admits to everything he did publicly without any PR around at all. After we all hear what he really did and did not do, then let's see how many people want to give him that second chance.

I didn't believe he should get one then - I still don't believe that he should get one now - I don't think he deserves another one in the future.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the comment, Matt. I can't believe so many people are willing to give him a second chance. Read on CNN news this morning that people in Philly are buying up Vick t-shirts like mad.

I don't get it.

Helen Ginger said...

We do the same thing with celebrities. Our society has become one that accepts bad behavior from stars, even rewards bad behavior. It's sad. I hope someday the pendulum will swing back to where we admire and reward those who work hard and fairly.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Karen Walker said...

Hi Maryann,
Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your kind comment on my blog and for visiting. Nice to "meet" you.
Karen Walker

Maryann Miller said...

Nice to meet you, too Karen. I followed from Helen's blog and came over to read yours. I enjoyed it and will visit again.

Helen, I, too, hope the pendulum will swing back. I hate the way we iconize the "bad boy" celebs as well as athletes.