The Eagles sign Michael Vick.

I’m really torn over this news.  Anyone who knows me understands what a big animal lover I am.  I have my own pets and I volunteer with 2 animal shelters.  So you can imagine how I felt when I heard the news about what Vick had been caught doing.

“Cruel” is a word we overuse.   I do it, we all do it.  Someone teases about not giving us a cookie and we tell them not to be so cruel.  Michael Vick’s crimes are a perfect example of what happens when words are overused; they lose their meaning, their impact.  So when we go to say Vick’s crimes were cruel, the full horror of it is lessened so we try to find other words to get back that level of meaning:  horrors, sadistic, inhuman….

I petitioned with animal societies to get him punished to the full extent of the law, and I cheered “Sports Illustrated” for putting the dogs on their December cover and writing such a fantastic article on how these dogs are learning to trust humans, and how well they’re doing with their foster families, including exemplary behavior with children.

When Vick finished serving his time, I wish it had been more.  I didn’t want him making the kind of money he made before, and I wanted a lot worse too. Especially since he doesn’t seem at all sorry for what he did, just the cliche: sorry he got caught.  And I loved the dog toys that looked like Vick’s jersey and you give it to your dogs to tear apart.  I have a mean streak.

At best, I wish that part of his sentence was having a portion of his salary go to animal shelters for the rest of his career.  A just punishment is his money  saving the same kind of innocents he treated so badly.

I know some people don’t agree; many people defended him too.  His teammates and others said dog fighting is a sport and therefore he did nothing wrong.  Whoopi Goldberg defended Vick on her first day on “The View”, saying this is his environment and he doesn’t know any better.   But this about my thoughts and feelings as I made clear in the beginning.  If someone disagrees, they have the same right I do and can express it on their forums.

And if someone is yelling at the monitor saying I should put as much heart and effort into fighting for human beings, I do.  A lot.  But this post is focusing on this particular dilemma.

Sorry, I’m rambling.  This just touches on a lot of difficult things for me.

When Vick finished his sentence, I made myself remember that we have an ideal in this country: when a person fulfills their punishment, it’s done.  The Humane Society and ASPCA both released statements that they recognize this and hope Vick has reformed, but he had done his sentence and they would not persecute him.

I hate the thought that someone can do such a crime and then make millions in their career, but that’s the law and the ideal.

I wondered who would sign him and wished no one would.  That’s wrong, I know.  I let it go…. or thought I did until I found out my team signed him.  My city is embracing him as one of them.

That… is tough to deal with.


On top of claiming to be an American, I was raised Christian.  I’ve studied Jesus’ teachings; one theologian called them the toughest ones to follow in a religion.  Good, strong teachings but not easy, since Jesus said we can’t be his followers if we don’t love everyone, including our enemies.    No judgment, but forgiveness.

And we thought His saying no divorce,  Confession is mandatory if you want to be forgiven for sins,  having no material possessions, was hard!

Whew….  it is VERY hard.  But all such teachings aren’t meant to be easy.  It’s about improving and achieving something difficult because it’s worth doing and being.

The cliche tossed around a lot that sums this up is:  I talk the talk.  But can I walk the walk?

So I’m really torn about Vick coming here.  I hate the idea, I don’t want him here, I would love to never see him make that kind of money and only have a minimum wage job somewhere.

But that’s not what an American and Christian can do.  He’s done his time; he now gets a chance to start over and have a life.  If he doesn’t do any other crimes, then I can’t persecute him.

So I’m torn between how I feel — angry, disgusted, and wanting him treated like he did with those dogs — and controlling that so I am the person I claim to be: American and Christian.

One of my bosses quietly states his opinion.

One of my bosses quietly states his opinion.

But it’s REALLY hard.  I don’t see him as being sorry; I see him as changing his life only because he got caught and doesn’t want to go to jail again.  And all of this over a guy who isn’t worth it!

So I can’t cheer him, and I certainly won’t be one of the people who will think he’s fantastic when the team starts doing well.  I’ll cringe when I see the inevitable Vick Eagles jerseys when he starts making big plays.  And if I ever meet him face to face, I have A LOT to say to him!

But I won’t throw batteries or snowballs either.

besides rules such as no divorce, establishing Confession if you want to be forgiven for sins,  having no material etc.,

118 responses to “The Eagles sign Michael Vick.

  1. devonflyfishing

    nice read! thanks for posting. intresting insight.

  2. As an animal lover, I’m torn like you are. Yet, this is about commerce. The Eagles, or any other NFL team will weigh the pros and cons of signing a Michael Vick. Their decision was based largely on whether they think their fan base will erode because of the move. Their obvious answer is, no. They’re banking on the notion that one big play from this guy will make everyone forget, at least the fans that fill their stadium, and the people watching on tv. For them, sadly, no one else counts.

  3. I am so sorry to see this news. What it really means to me is that I will not support NFL football so long as Michael Vick is a player. Cruel? He is a remorseless brutalizer of animals. He fights them and inflicts wounds and terror for sport and delight (and money). And to cull his pack of underachievers his method is to take them out back and choke them to death.

    My thinking all along is that the NFL would turn their back on Vick because his crimes were so much more heinous than those of Pete Rose… that the owners would be men of dignity and morality and ethics. This is what I thought and fully intended to continue believing this until they proved me wrong.

    And now, they’ve proved me wrong. And I’m so sorry because I’ve been an NFL football fan for the entirety of a fairly long (so far) life.

    I guess I’ll be more of a college football fan this year.

    Bud Houston

    • So wait, Mr. Houston…

      You’re saying that what Mike Vick did to animals is WORSE than Charlie Hustle gambling on his OWN sport? That directly effects his sport. Dogfighting didn’t harm anything that the NFL stands for. BTW…what DOES the NFL stand for? There are guys playing in the league today, that have done far worse.

      Lastly, you can’t have it both ways. The man can’t serve prison time, then you want him to pay civil penalties, like he committed a crime against another HUMAN. He’s lost his money, has to suffer the embarassment of bankruptcy court…and the most dynamic player the NFL had ever seen is now playing behind a future Hall-of-Famer for a little over the league minimum for veterans.

      Stop it, Bud.

    • Good for you, Bud. I feel the same way. Just because he served a few months, doesn’t mean his crimes should be forgotten. He needs to help those poor dogs that survived his brutality – it is too late for those he tortured and killed – and then donate his time working in local animal shelters instead of gaining publicity going around giving speaches with the HSUS (of which I have withdrawn my support). He is not remorseful at all. He is not the kind of person I want my kids to look up to.

  4. great piece, it really is a tough call… can’t agree with the comment alluding to Pete Rose though, Rose did the one thing that is NEVER acceptable in ‘unscripted’ pro sports, a reminder of which is posted in every locker room in baseball (and probably the other sports too)

  5. I’m from Philly, as well, and although not an Eagles fan, I will never support Vick (regardless of which team he landed on) as an NFL quarterback. First, he was never that good of a quarterback, so if he was never allowed to play football again, I sincerely doubt that the NFL would miss a HOF playmaker. He’s a mediocre (at best) quarterback who ruthlessly murders innocent animals. I’ll pass.

  6. mcarteratthemovies

    My love of animals trumps my capacity to forgive (ha!) and forget (never!) here. Vick is cruel, he broke the law and he should not be allowed to play professional football again ever. Period. End of story.

    • I see your point, but what are your thoughts on deer hunting, which is legal by the way… Should the hunters lose their jobs when the deer season is over??? What about poaching, which i am pretty sure you know is illegal? Should the people that are involved in the buying and selling of furs and leathers loss there jobs, and/or be penalized? Fisher men get a complete pass. A lot of the time they are fishing in restricted waters, which results in the decimation of some of the world’s most delicate ecosystems… But we all still eat the fish though, right? I can go on and on about the different types of animal cruelty that goes un-talked about in this unjust world you and I live in, but that would be pointless. I know, like me, you have made mistakes one time or another in life. So let’s just give M. Vick a break like someone gave us. He is not stupid, those 2 years in jail had to make him think. Im not sure if you ever been to a state prison, or got millions taken away from you in the blink of an eye, but things like that are life changing. You can take my word on that! You don’t have to reply, i just felt the need to express myself. I like to thank you for that!

      • Comparing deer hunting to killing dogs in the most cruel ways? Slaughter houses are at least somewhat ethical in killing live stock. Your average fisherman doesn’t get a woody from killing a fish.

        Bad Newz Kennel represents the psychology of a man who’s devoid of humanity. They took pleasure in the drowning, electrocution, and hanging of dogs. The living dogs endure a more horrific form of tortures: starvation and frequent beatings in disturbing living conditions, worse than cattle, chicken and pig. Even race horses and race dogs live and die in better circumstances.

        Children who torture animals for pleasure often become society’s worst monsters. Vick is no exception. Devoid of humanity and compassion, Goodell should have imposed a lifetime ban on Vick. And yes, he is a mediocre QB.

      • totally agree with Jay

      • No better illustration of the moral degeneracy of the football fan….

  7. Pingback: The Eagles Sign Michael Vick « Bud Houston’s Blog

  8. The greater injustice is this…….

    Michael Vick served 2 years in a federal prison for animal cruelty.

    Donte’ Stallworth served 24 days for killing a human.

    I’m an animal lover too, but we should place human injustice above that of animal rights.

    • Actually, he was convicted under Federal law for interstate gambling, not for animal cruelty. Stallworth was part of the individual state’s laws. Attempting to compare the two cases is an exercise in futility.

      • Ok……

        Michael Vick served 2 years in a federal prison for interstate gambling.
        Donte’ Stallworth served 24 days for killing a human.
        I’m an animal lover too, but we should place human injustice above that of animal rights.

      • My point is this. At the end of the day, even though they are “members” of our family, they are dogs. Canines. Not human.

        Killing dogs for sport is awful. But some of the uproar over Michael Vick reentering society is worse.

        I really enjoyed your article.

      • chrisadamscreate

        In Florida, you have to prove something called ‘causation’ or something, can’t quite remember. Basically, the point is that all eye witness accounts and every bit of forensic evidence points to the accident was the victim’s fault in Donte’s case. In a nutshell, they ruled the accident had absolutely nothing to do with Stallworth being over the legal limit, the person ran out in front of his car. While it’s easy to say ‘human life > animal life’, you have to look at facts. Let’s not forget intent. Vick can’t claim that he drowned a dog accidentally.

    • I don’t know why you are comparing the incidents. Stick with the issue at hand – Vick – and we’ll comment on the Stallworth case on another posted blog. They are two separate issues of which I think both got off too easy.

  9. I have conflicting thoughts myself, but I definitely don’t see dog-fighting as a sport. A sport would require cognitive realization that the player was, in fact, “playing”…that it was a game. As human as dogs seem sometimes, we’re still the masters. We as their caretakers are given the responsibility of protecting them from things they don’t have the cognitive function to understand. It’s shocking to hear that not everyone distinguishes between two adult men boxing in a ring and two animals fighting as they try to be the one that pleases their owner.

    I really liked your post, and look forward to coming back and reading more posts on your blog! Thanks!

    • While I do not agree with dog fighting I also consider those so called Animal Lovers who hate Vick but stuff themselves with chicken, beef and turkey etc. as TOO FACED…

      If it is immoral to force two animals to fight to the death then it is just as immoral to kill another kind of animal in order to eat it’s flesh not to mention UTTERLY DISGUSTING!

  10. I hope the Eagles’ revenues and support go right down the drain for hiring him.

  11. While I am not a fan of football or dog fighting, I find it quite alright that Michael Vick has been given a second chance. The most important ingredient in living a successful life is learning. There are only 2 ways of effective learning; being taught and learning from mistakes. Am I absolutely positive that Vick has learned from his mistakes? NO. But what I can affirm is that like us all, Vick is human and will continue to make mistakes in life. Our role as good human beings is to forgive and do all in our power to prevent repeat offenses from occurring.

    Taking away a man’s happiness is essentially depriving him of life. Just imagine how much better this place called Earth would be if we allowed second chances and in our hearts truly forgave those that made incidental mistakes.

    I think it is amazing that the Eagles are taking on Vick; perhaps the Eagles’ owner can teach us all a lesson on how to understand a person’s faults and work to correct those faults. I wish Vick success as I will be trailing the Eagles this football season – GOOOO EAGLES!

    “No citizen of this State shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, privileges or immunities, or in any manner disfranchised, except by the due course of the law of the land” (Yours truly, The US Constitution)

  12. Pingback: Eagles Sign Michael Vick « Me and the Blue Skies

  13. I don’t think its that much of a BIG DEAL… The media and activist groups(All Of Them), always blow things out of proportion. There was no proof that Michael Vick even fought dogs or even fought a dog himself. You just have his friends and family members, who he bought the house for, filing reports that he was the master mind behind the operation. Im assuming that everybody that reads this blog has a functional brain and uses it… So here is the question of the day. Why do people “rat out” or inform on their alleged “partners in crime?” To lower their prison sentences!!! Ding Ding DING!! “Laughs And Rants” tell them what they won… no really tell them!!
    Anyway interesting article, nice post guys!


  14. I agree with that but I can also think we should be open enough to accept another perspective.

    Northern Ontario Movers

  15. Terrific post. So much more intelligent, even-handed, and compassionate for all viewpoints than most of the vitriol coming out about Vick. I am like you, I think what he did is disgusting, and it creates a flurry of conflicting emotions, but there is a great opportunity now for Vick, the Eagles, the NFL, and the Humane Society together to spread anti-dogfighting awareness and tell a story of change and redemption, which is what this country’s penal system is supposed to stand for.

    Commanding that he no longer be able to accept a job from a willing employer doing what he is good at once he’s served his time is simply a witch hunt and is not productive. If Vick was thrown out of football, the chances are probably pretty high he would return to crime out of frustration and desperation. Keep in mind he paid back contract money to the Falcons and declared bankruptcy.

    And please, people, it is silly to boycott the NFL over this decision (Like Mr. Houston says he plans to do). If you wish to not tune in for an Eagles game, that’s fine, but punishing other markets for one team’s decision makes no sense. The signing of individual players is not something the owners collectively have any say in.

  16. Michael vick can suck it

  17. Brandon M. Hunter

    Shut-up people. The man has paid his price to society, let him be. I think you “people” care more about your animals then a human being, which makes me sick. Pieta and all of those animal saving organization are just a bunch or rich snobby people that have a tiny little dogg that the care for way more then their own families. Yes, you’re not suppose to abuse an animila we all know that, if you do, then you go to jail. Vick serve his time, stop hating and actually support him because he’s changing his life. You would understand forgiveness if you believe in Jesus Christ….

  18. Get off your soap box already. The man served 23 months of actual prison time, not a day spa for white collar criminals, but an actual prison, so I’d say he deserves another shot at gainful employment. To those saying they won’t support the NFL or the Eagles, I’m pretty sure the NFL as well as the Eagles will survive without your support…LoL

    You speak of forgiveness and than you judge a man that you have never met or have had any dealings with, nice… I’m not saying the guy is a humanitarian or didn’t make mistakes, but let ye who is without sin cast the first stone… *crickets*

  19. conducted a national study exploring people’s opinions about Michael Vick being allowed to play for the NFL again. Results showed that the majority of respondents felt that he should not be allowed to play. More in-depth results can be seen at Thanks.

  20. The liberal whimps are at it again. Getting a second chance at life out of prison is one thing putting him into position to profit from the torture and slaughter of dogs is another. Now we will make him a hero to kids who will learn from Vick what they learned from OJ. In the good ol USA you can get away with murder…

    • This article has nothing to do with liberal……Anyway People Kill people and they walk, and Animals will always be Animals.

  21. I’m not living in America right now, so I’m a bit lost about the news, but just loved your writing…
    I have a dog the same ‘kind” as Vick’s and he is totaly gentle and adorable.
    Perfec with kids or adults!

  22. In a lot of ways I think that this situation has glossed over another unfortunate aspect of our society. For everyone who is calling for Vick’s career or worse as sacrafice for his crime, “What about all the other individuals who have been convicted of lesser crimes but can’t get a decent job as a result?”I hope the man is truly reformed and goes on to be succesful. Any other “common individual” would be branded for life and probably never reach any level of success. Ironically the only other good example I can think of is Duane “Dog” Chapman. This guy was convicted of murder, yet he has a hit t.v. show and seems to be a stand up guy. So why not Vick?

  23. “I petitioned with animal societies to get him punished to the full extent of the law”

    Did you do the same with Leonard Little or Donte Stallworth?

    • I agree Adam…Good Point.

    • No of course not.

      Vick happened to get caught in the cross-hairs of an over zealous prosecutor who flipped the people actually running the dog ring to get to Vick — a high profile prize.

      As someone said, the very same people have no problem with hunting, fishing or eating all types of meat killed in all types of horrible ways. Again, few have problems with wearing animal hides, eating eggs, chickens etc. who from animals who live horrible lives.

      Worse, animal “abuse” is a cultural thing — Are these same people willing to condemn the Spanish and Portugese for their love of bull fighting?

      It’s not about the crime (which as someone mentioned was actually gambling and not animal abuse), or the NFL, no one is demonizing Dante Stallworth or Lenord Little who killed people! Or any of the other countless athletes who have committed crimes.

      It has to do with falling for media hype and hypocrisy.

  24. Forgive. Never forget. Just remember the NFL has allowed Vick the privilege to play in the league with a very strict no-tolerance policy. One moral mishap, and he’s done.

  25. I think I am torn too. I love animals and grew up with dogs my whole life. You really have to have something dark inside of you to torture an animal, especially a dog. Ultimately it isn’t up to me to decide what happens… but you won’t find me cheering on Michael Vick anytime soon. Oh, and I’m a Cowboys fan so that makes it even worse. 😉

  26. WOW……..Nice Article. I am an Animal Lover myself,but in this country we treat each other worse than we treat animals which is sad. Anyway Vick deserves another chance and anybody saying that they will not support The Eagles, trust me they will do just fine without your support. At the end of the Day Dogs will always be Dogs…animals..People kill people and walk away….

  27. No matter what he does, he will always be remembered for this. There is NO excuse for this type of behavior (no matter where you come from). He would likely do it again if he knew he wasn’t going to be caught. As human beings we have the ability to care for and destroy so much of this planet. It’s time we take responsibility for such power. If he was really sorry he would do more then what is just ‘required’ to make up for it.

    • You don’t know if he would do it again, you’re just speculating. You ever hung out with Vick? Then again it probably feels good making that sort of accusation. Maybe I should try to get up on the moral high ground one of these days and see what’s so flipping great about it, the view over the benighted masses I suppose.
      We’re human, we make mistakes, then, if we have some decency we try to atone. Vick was in jail, worked with PETA, maybe he didn’t do more than the minimum because he is concentrating on being a PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER, which supposedly doesn’t come so easy.
      The HATE FESTS and WITCH HUNTS on black entertainers are really, really disturbing. They can do right a 1000time but once they err, they will never be forgiven and dragged through the dirt in every major outlet…WTF???

      • Oh come on!!! You really think this is a “hate fest” on black entertainers??? Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I am sorry that is complete CRAP! He beat the crap out of living creatures for money. YUP that sounds like a pretty easy “mistake” to make. Woops sorry. Didn’t realize beating the crap out of an animal was wrong. What did he live in a friggin’ cave? And it is not a black thing. You don’t have to be a certain color to be an a’hole. The plain and simple truth is, a man in the public eye beat animals to a pulp… People are going to have their opinions about it. Get over it. I was open to your point of view until you turned it into a racial thing.

      • Omg… thank you! i couldn’t have said it any better. There are plenty of people (Not just white or white) that do way worse. Im an animal lover as well, i can’t stand watching any animal get hurt. But even i know you can’t fault michael vick and say he is such a cruel person if you wasn’t even there. If you didn’t see the evidence, speak with the police, actually know michael vick, or seen him fighting dogs. You can’t make crazy accusation on what a terrible man he is/was. He served 2 years in the STATE PENITENTIARY. Half the people posting on this article never spent a day in the state penitentiary, much less jail. So how dare you say he deserves more…

      • @Sean: Get over what? Racism in the US is not something for me to just get over. It’s a social problem you can either try to deal with and address or just ignore (perhaps this is what you mean by “get over”). I said what Michael Vick did was wrong but, according to the logic of this society he has paid his debt in unfreedom (if whether prison is truly the best way to reform a person….I have my serious doubts). You are right, it doesn’t matter what “ethnic” group or sex or sexual orientation you are from, you can always end up acting like a bad person but that is NOT THE POINT OF THE ARGUMENT. I’m saying you can’t look at this in isolation, there is a reason such a huge media hullaballoo was created around Michael Vick. You dismissing the argument with foul language and exclamation marks is not going to change that, I’m afraid. But it is always interesting to see the kind of outrage that explodes onto the scene once somebody implies that “inter-ethnic” relations might not be for the best in US, as though one had accidentally touched an old, festering wound.

  28. Pingback: michael vick eagles jersey | rielle hunter photo

  29. Ok, Ok,

    I’m not saying Michael Vick is a good guy but just look at the mediascape. It’s CONSTANTLY the black entertainers (sports, music, actors, etc.) they’re trying to smear. When is the last time you heard about a white music superstar going on trial (other than that nut Specter, who is not even really famous anymore really and a major exception) or just generally a white entertainer being arrested and dragged through the dirt like it happens to BLACK ENTERTAINERS ALL THE FUCKING TIME. I don’t even know if this is conscious racism, it seems its just the way the US media and so-called Justice System (what a joke of a name) work… the racism is systemic, it’s part of the way the whole thing is set up. And then self-righteous, suburban PETA-members are more than happy to chime in without showing awareness of the whole noxious, racist dynamic going on. I’m sickened to the core by this blind sort of discourse, it’s deeply discouraging and disappointing. You would think that people who care enough about animals could also care about the subject of race…. but no!

    Sad story, Take Care, Take Another Look, Themba

    p.s.: a lot of important facts can be gleaned from listening to this…
    …which some are likely to dismiss as thug music [read young AfricanAmerican], but happens to be one of the most intelligent, versatile musicians on the planet, see for yourself

    • Last time I heard, people that commit crimes and get caught… get arrested and sentenced… I never realized it was based off of race. Drop the act. I hope you are saying this crap just to get a rise out of people and you are not this dumb.

    • If you want an example of some black (I hesitate to say African American because I do not know their ethnic background) men getting positive recognition in relation to the war on dog fighting, take in Tio Hardiman‘s and Sean Moore‘s work.
      They aren’t ignoring the problem of animal abuse in young urban culture (or writing off negative press and convictions of dog fighters as racist), they’re trying to stop it.

    • Wow, you need to put the lid back on that Hater-aide man! While I can appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, a nation wide racial driven media storm is just too far fetched. Granted, the media focuses way too much attention on negative news, mainly because we buy it, but did you ever stop to do the math. “Black Entertainers” as you put it comprise 80% or more of the industry. How many “White Entertainers” do you see rapping? Not many. And on the football field, or basketball court? Certainly not as many as “Black Entertainers”. Based solely on the law of averages you are going to have a very slanted ratio of scandal. But I recall the Micheal Phelps thing and the Eminem things well. Not to mention Matt Jones and Jared Allen. Do the math dude, and get over the racial insecurity.

    • While most people would argue against their stance being racist, I can see how you would perceive it as such. I think the point that you were making is that dogfighting wasn’t even in the eye of the public, until Vick was outed. Furthermore, Vick has received the harshest penalty of any dogfighter you know (or don’t).

      People care about this because the Humane Society cares about this. People care about this because PETA cares about this. When people are ready to show compassion toward human beings, maybe human beings wouldn’t be so…human. Flaws and all.

      • Interesting, the first three replies, which I all find interesting but a bit besides the point, exactly make my point: race or racism are underplayed/ignored as a very real social problem in the U.S. It’s actually difficult for me to even really use these words [race or racism] because they are so much part of the problem but in the name of clear communication they might be the best option.

        @ Sean: It is not an act, it is a f-act. Also the words “dumb” and “crap” are a bit ill-considered for a not exactly high-flying one-paragraph response. Though I appreciate the will to communicate

        @Nothinqueen: Will check it out. Though I was not trying to understate the problem of animal abuse. I am a vegetarian myself and think it is important to accord animals their rights, however, making a Football player’s dog-fighting activities a pre-eminent cause is ridiculous, especially considering the racial dynamics involved

        @Jamie Spencer: First of all: thanx for considering this and giving a response. I don’t hate anyone but out-of-the-blue ad-hominems of course are always a good angle of attack. As far as statistical averages: check out the U.S. prison population’s percentage of African-Americans compared to their percentage in the whole population, then DO THE MATH. Black Entertainers getting more frequently profiled is just the tip of the iceberg… As far as “racial insecurity”, I don’t believe in race.

        @ Doc Holliday: Well, thanks for actually engaging the argument and clarifying a few things!!!

  30. “The cliche tossed around a lot that sums this up is: I talk the talk. But can I walk the walk?”

    Everything about Michael Vick aside, I’m going to focus on what, to me, is at the center of your post. You face a personal dilemna in following your faith. You have come up on a situation that goes against everything your emotions are telling you to do, in the pursuit of your own principles.

    This takes a lot to challenge, and even more to admit. I salute your courage, and bigheartedness in going up against a fundamental human problem – our hearts vs. our heads.

  31. I don’t believe that what I said was a way of putting down the african american race.
    In fact I don’t think I mentioned race EVER in my comment. This is a different issue In its self. It deals with humanity. As HUMANS (regardless of race, social class, education and superstar status) we need to take responsibility for how we treat the world around us. This isn’t a ‘me’ thing. This is an ‘us’ thing.
    In regards to Mr Vick: The fact is he was caught. He went to jail. But because he is in a career that puts him in the public eye, this means that there is going to be public backlash to his behavior. I hope I am wrong. I hope he is truly sorry for what he did and not just that he was caught. Only time and his future actions will tell.
    I do feel personally effected by such a matter – especially being a pit bull owner and knowing the stigma that is attached to such a breed because of this type of human behavior. I do not believe in treating any living creature in that manner. Yes this is my opinion. I am entitled to express it. I just hope this will bring awareness to animal cruelty and prompt others to take action to both stop and prevent future instances such as this.

  32. While I applaud your efforts towards kindness, I only wish Vick had shown enough of that kindness to deserve your generosity of spirit. He’s served his time, albeit not nearly enough IMO. That doesn’t mean I should accept his return to a multi-million dollar job without some grumbling. Vick says he now wants to be “part of the solution.” Seems to me that a very generous regular donation of both time and money to animal welfare and rescue might be a good start. Somehow when he says he wants to be part of the solution, what I HEAR is “let’s forget abouth what I’ve done and move on and let me return to my former life of celebrity and wealth.” Sorry dude–not happenin’!

  33. Anyone who commits an act of cruelty against an animal has no reservations about committing one against a human (the only thing that stops most is the fear of getting caught). Who ever is a threat to animals is a threat to people as well.

    • That’s absurd, tell that to hundreds of thousands of hunters.

      • nothingqueen

        There is a big difference between animal cruelty and hunting. Hunting serves a purpose in most cases, and those hunting aren’t doing it out of wanting to see something suffer… in most cases.

  34. That doesn’t mean I should accept his return to a multi-million dollar job without some grumbling.

  35. Thank you for information.
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  36. Ummm….to begin with…nice article. I understand how one would be torn by Vick re-entering the league. No, I really can’t. Whatever happened to a person serving their time, being able to re-enter society and gain employment? I know a guy from high school, who’s father was involved in a meth ring, that went to prison. He got out and now makes high six-figures a year, owning a construction company. But that’s okay? I won’t bring Donte’ into it, simply because FLORIDA law allowed for his penalty to be what it is (although a life-time driving ban and two-years house arrest for a multi-millionaire is more harsh than people realize).

    What Vick did is no different than what Latino’s have done forever with chickens. Dogfighting has been around for at least a century. He fought PIT BULLS, who were bred for THAT purpose. Hence the term “PIT” in the name. He wasn’t fighting your poodles or Yorkie’s.

    Every man should prove he’s worthy of redemption. Hell, even Charles Manson has been to the parole board. Go cheer on the Eagles, because as Redskin fan, I know I will.

    Lastly, Vick wasn’t a MEDIOCRE QB. He redefined what a QB is. He could make all of the throws, when receivers actually caught the ball. Escapability, excitement, a duel-threat…

    Go harass a sex-offender, or a drug dealer who kills witnesses that want to put him in prison. Not a dogfighter.

    • Vick wasn’t a great QB. Fantastic athlete, a great scrambler, human highlight reel…sure, of course. But his completion percentage and QB rating were mediocre at best. A prime example of this was Vick playing in the 2004 NFCCG against his new team. They took away his ability to scramble, forced him to stay in the pocket, and he couldn’t get it done.

      As for redefining with a QB is…I think Randall Cunningham might have something to say about that.

  37. When corporations were made into “legal if paper people”, we’ve had nothing but trouble since. Now any corporation that wants the property we paid for anytime they wish can snatch it away under “eminent domain” with the blessing of the US Supreme Court. Are any foolish enough to believe the infinite number of consequences of turning animals into “legal if paper humans with all human rights” is no less than what is guaranteed to end as our worse nightmare? I’ve had dogs for >40 years. One specific breed at that. But I don’t suffer under the delusion my dogs are human beings. Beings they are; human they are not.

  38. Pingback: Eagles sign Michael Vick « Pride Lives Here

  39. Muito boa a postagem, parabéns!!!!!!!!

  40. He did the time. Forgiveness is the key. Those are my thoughts.

  41. I have to tell you the reaction at the stadium was mostly positive. You have to remember that the people at the stadium are Eagles fans and view this strictly as a chance to make the team better. The news and radio talk shows entertain all opinions and many are not fans but people with an axe to grind. As an animal lover and a real Eagles fan (I go to everygame) I have mixed emotions about this. It’s a really tough individual call, so I say he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.

  42. Its funny how much of a big deal this is to everyone. This man went to jail for something that he was not directly involved in, served two years in jail, and has to start from the begining as if he is a rookie. Im not saying what he did was right, because its not. But there have been worse crimes that have been forgiven by others. There have been people that have raped women, molested children, and killed other human beings that have been given a second chance. Why cant he have one for something he was not directly involved in? Other than this dog fighting incident, what has he done to not be allowed to play football? And would you have an issue with him if it were not for this one incident? Im sure he is not the only athelete that has been involved in something like that, he is just the only one that got caught. You dont have to support him but you dont have to portray him as being a person who doesnt deserve a second chance. If you are one of those people, your issues with him are beyond dog fighting.

    Grow up and attack real criminals

  43. I tried to stay away from this situation, I really did. This Black man Michael Vick has “paid” his debt to society and has to pay for the left over dogs for the rest of their lives. Two years in federal prison for a damn dog and Dante Stallworth gets 24 days for killing a human being while drunk driving. Screw PETA, ASPCA, Humane society and any other organization that holds animal lives to a higher standard than human lives. This incident and the respones it has stirred up is just an extention of the deep seeded racism and hatred American citizens have. Dog lovers on the verge of beastiality is the real people. But they say, “man’s best friend.” YUCK. Just a few facts.
    Animals die each year from testing
    •Recent (fiscal 2005) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics list a total of 1,177,566 (a one-year increase of 7%) primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other species as being subjected to experimental procedures. The species by species listings include:

    66,610 dogs
    57,531 primates
    58,598 pigs
    245,786 rabbits
    22,921 cats
    176,988 hamsters
    64,146 other farm animals
    32,260 sheep
    231,440 other animals
    221,286 guinea pigs

    • Thank you that is almost exactly what i said…what are we coming to when a man goes to jail for killing a dog for 2 years but when one kills a man he gets less than a month…that says a lot of our judicial system…

  44. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  45. Here are my thoughts in my blog that I published today
    Semper Fido,

  46. simplehungrybroke

    i completely agree with you. not only did he not even receive enough punishment, but then to be able to go on and continue with his million-dollar-making career? the NFL is completely nuts and pretty disgusting.

    • Most of the 1.6 million dollars Vick makes this year won’t be going into his pocket. The guy has to pay a huge amount of restitution. The parties owed will receive their money a lot faster this way than they would if Vick was working at McDonalds or collecting trash.

  47. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but your is a little bit much… I love animals also but really… Donte’ Stallworth killed a man while drunk driving and got a month, a month!!! where is your post on him and how inhumane that is… a lot of people mess up… Vick did and he is paying for it way more than he ever should’ve…he has lost everything…everything and he has got a chance to get back on track…why not just take that and be satisfied…im happy he is back… another thing…as a child when you were disciplined..were you sorry because you were wrong or would you have ever said sorry unless you got caught… as people getting caught teaches us a lesson and sometimes it is what we need to see the wrong…you wouldn’t know if he ever regreted it because you have made up in your mind he is only sorry because of getting caught…give him a chance…or talk to you gm, i will be happy to have him in J-ville…and you would be happy to have him in Philly if he helps takes you to a superbowl…

  48. I am also from Philly and was horrified to find out we’d hired this person. Now, I’m not a sports fan so I spoke with several of my friends who are fans to get their take.

    My bigger issue with all of this is the message it sends to our youth. You can do something terrible, issue a tired mea culpa (that seems more to do with getting caught, not the act itself), and go back to making millions.

    He’s in a position to be a role model to youth. If he wasn’t in such a visible position, (a coach or something), I might not have as big of an issue with it. Or, maybe, if he’d taken some time with his family to reflect upon his errors before returning to sports might have made it more palatable.

    Maybe if his “indefinite ban” lasted a little longer, I might have an easier time with this.

    Maybe if he hadn’t been hired by a team whose reputation for sportsman like behavior is not the best. The coach’s own sons have done time for crimes so I also read this as someone who doesn’t put a lot of stock in justice and following the law.

    Philly has a reputation for being bullies and whiners and this isn’t going to do anything to erase that image.

  49. nearlynormalized

    It is tough to think this man has feelings of remorse. I don’t want to rant, but Michael Vick is a a rank mother f…er!!, and “Forgiveness is the fragrence on the heels of the person who stepped on the crushed voilet.” Sister Marie Coritta.

    • A lot of people on this blog have claimed to know the “inner life” of Michael Vick e.g. that he has no remorse, that he is a cold-blooded animal abuser, that he does not regret, etc.
      How exactly do you know? I’m really curious.
      Nicholas Mosley is right: when there is a chance for a real, productive exchange, human beings are happy to simply try to knock each other over and see who comes out on top. It’s a pretty sad, boring game.

      p.s.: Sisters wear military-style berets? I am not up to speed on the newest clerical fashion trends.

      • He has never said he was sorry for what he did to the dogs. He only says that he ‘made bad decisions’. He is going around doing speaking engagements for the HSUS and not working ‘hands-on’ in local animal shelters to redeem himself. He has done nothing for the dogs that he tortured that is still alive. All that equals no remorse.

      • Nobody knows but sometimes it feels good to pretend we do. Believe it or not, I don’t think snippets from the media allow me to understand a person’s innermost thoughts & feelings. I’m struggling to even get a slight understanding of myself… As concerns being judgmental about others…. “The Human Stain” by P. Roth is as amazing an eye-opener as they come.
        This is a guy none of us has had a single conversation with, zero. And I know that people close to me even have some total misconceptions about how I tick so…. If people want him to perform the gestures that publicly signal good-will I wonder who gets to decide what’s more important: speaking to a wide audience about the bads of animal maltreatment or going to an Atlanta dogshelter to pet a puppy personally?
        Also since this argument is about cruelty to animals, I think the people who complain about VICK but are NOT vegetarians should out themselves this very moment. The technical term is: hypocrisy!!!

  50. It seems most people think that all he was doing was “just dog fighting” but when you remove the dog fighting from the picture, there was a lot more going on than the dog fighting,it just sort of served as a cover for some of the worst torture of animals known to humans…. unspeakable acts including electrocution and hanging….. these acts are the stepping stones of serial killers…. look up the pathology and the aggressive nature of football works well also to cover the urges to commit violent acts ….. and from animals moves to humans…. can creep up on you like in the form of domestic violence… yes I am an animal lover and I also love humans…. we are responsible for their care and protection also…. and I am a football fan too….. is Vick one step away from committing a violent act on humans…. maybe “just” a female…. who was “just” asking for it? I don’t know….. but what I do know…. is every one said after OJ{and yes I know he was found not guilty} why didn’t someone say or do something before it went that far….. as they say after every horrible violent attack on humans….. why didn’t someone say something when it started with torturing of animals? WELL….. he should have to go into psychiatric evaluation and counselling…. even if it is “JUST” for his violence to animals….. kick my post around if you want but I have my right to my opinions also.. I am posting with respect for this site and not using foul words or attacking anyone else posts…. I too can forgive,but can not forget and if he was truly sorry and repetitive then he would be seeking counselling on his own…… I am not standing in judgement that will come later by one much greater than all here….. all I’m doing is expressing my view and some common sense…… Lila

  51. Interesting article.

    “At best, I wish that part of his sentence was having a portion of his salary go to animal shelters for the rest of his career. A just punishment is his money saving the same kind of innocents he treated so badly.”
    I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I was/am in favor of giving Vick a harsher punishment and then making that a condition of his NFL return. I think Vick is a grotesque person and although I believe in second chances, the things he did are beyond a crime. Killig and torturing (electricuting, hanging, drowning) dogs, is more than just a mistake, it’s shows something about Michael Vick, something in his character and personality that can’t be changed.

    A thief steals for different reasons, maybe out of desperation, maybe out of boredom. A druggy snorts/smokes for many reasons, the rush, boredom, addiction. A repeat, cold blooded murderer who repeatedly tortured a living being is different. Hanging a dog, drowing a dog as he struggles back up for air, electicuting a dog while he screams, seeing and executing these things and continuing to do it isn’t an impulsive crime and doesn’t have different reasons, it’s within him. It shows something about his heart and his emotions, things down deep that can’t be changed. Putting someone, specifically Mike Vick in jail can’t possibly change him from a heartless, ruthless beast into a caring, understanding, and remorseful person, it just isn’t like that. Seeing dead dogs and feeling them painfully die should have been the thing that made him realize his actions were wrong and heartless, not the time in jail. What could possibly make him feel bad and remorseful all of the sudden after killing and torturing dozens of dogs for years and not caring? He is bullshitting and he’s only remorseful because he was caught. They let him off easy and I hope the Eagles suffer for signing him.

    • Now you are talking…. yes… a big amen for that Anonymous.
      Lila …… Lila’s Room With “Views”….
      And thank you for the original post and your blog…. allowing all of us to express and share our views.

  52. I couldn’t agree more with Lilabyrd – absolutely spot on!

    “At best, I wish that part of his sentence was having a portion of his salary go to animal shelters for the rest of his career. A just punishment is his money saving the same kind of innocents he treated so badly.”
    I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I was/am in favor of giving Vick a harsher punishment and then making that a condition of his NFL return. I think Vick is a grotesque person and although I believe in second chances, the things he did are beyond a crime. Killig and torturing (electricuting, hanging, drowning) dogs, is more than just a mistake, it’s shows something about Michael Vick, something in his character and personality that can’t be changed.

    A thief steals for different reasons, maybe out of desperation, maybe out of boredom. A druggy snorts/smokes for many reasons, the rush, boredom, addiction. A repeat, cold blooded murderer who repeatedly tortured a living being is different. Hanging a dog, drowing a dog as he struggles back up for air, electicuting a dog while he screams, seeing and executing these things and continuing to do it isn’t an impulsive crime and doesn’t have different reasons, it’s within him. It shows something about his heart and his emotions, things down deep that can’t be changed. Putting someone, specifically Mike Vick in jail can’t possibly change him from a heartless, ruthless beast into a caring, understanding, and remorseful person, it just isn’t like that. Seeing dead dogs and feeling them painfully die should have been the thing that made him realize his actions were wrong and heartless, not the time in jail. What could possibly make him feel bad and remorseful all of the sudden after killing and torturing dozens of dogs for years and not caring? He is bullshitting and he’s only remorseful because he was caught. They let him off easy and I hope the Eagles suffer for signing him.

  53. Lots of hypocrites here. Do you all eat meat? Do you know what sort of gross inhumane cruelty those animals suffer so you can have your tartare and fried chicken? Do you even care? Worse is that you don’t even *see* what is going on and would prefer not to. Vick was cruel, but by his own hands. You all outsource your cruelty and then act like you are upright and moral. It’s amazing how incredibly delusional a person can be, really.

    Whether or not Vick is reformed, we will see. But a man is innocent until proven guilty, and people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Unlike most of you with your veal and bacon, Vick served his time and did his penance. Get off your high horses.

    And kudos to the author of this post for both honesty and a genuine attempt at manifesting Christian values.


      • deepali, I am vegetarian actually, and do constantly work with my senators and congressmen for laws that mandate better treatment for farm animals. So I know what you mean.

  54. Go suck it people, let the guy beeeeeeeeeeeee. where I come from, we eat dog’s not only chicken, its you Americans that always think some animals are better than the rest, animal is animal, no matter the category or whatever.

  55. Let me start by saying that I love my dogs (I always refer to Maggie as my ‘firstborn’). What Michael Vick did was horrible.I personally find it dispicable. He was convicted-whether on gambling or cruelty to animal charges-doesn’t matter, he served his time. I am hopeful that during this time he has had the opportunity to understand the gravity of what he did-not to the effect it had on his career, but to what it did to the dogs, and equally if not more important, what it did to his soul.

    Everyone has the capacity to change. Had Michael Vick been a gas station attendent, when released, he would have gone back to being a gas station attendent. Football is what he does. What else would he be expected to return to. Maybe, just maybe, he has reformed, and with the money he makes, he will be able to help those less fortunate than himself. Sometimes the most effective stories are those of redemption.

    Call me an optimist…but lets give him a chance. If he screws up again-then send PITA after him.

  56. It’s interesting how we pass jugement on people fast. However, I’ve been to events NFL and NBA ball players are just cash cows. Most part entertainers for many; however, we have to remember their people too. We have to learn to forgive and move forward in love. Their are ton of CEO and Hunters that have done for more to animals. They people need to learn to let go of the pass and encourge others to do better.

    We all can learn from others mistakes. It’s funny we all eat chicken or sometype of meat? Most of us!

  57. Too bad Sports Illustrated didn’t use a photo of that dog the way he looked when he was rescued form Mr. Vick’s “care”.

  58. Well at least he didn’t come to Cleveland. He wasn’t allowed to you know. It would have violated his parol. He isn’t allowed within 50 feet of a dog pound.

    Ok bad joke but I had to say it. I just want to say that i am disappointed that he gets to come back and play, but look at all the other creeps who play. Kobe got accused of whatever with that girl and he still plays, and Rothlisberger got sexual harassment to yet he still plays.

    It makes me mad how these guys think that they are so great and can do what ever they want.

  59. I believe everybody deserves a second chance. Vick did the time in jail already. Law punishes on a moral basis, and if the law defines that the punishment for what he did is paid why shouldn’t we give him a second chance?

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  61. I read a lot of these comments, on top of your post (which I enjoyed, thank you). I had to stop after a while because I get sick when I am reminded just how horrible our society is. I was a big Vick fan and Falcons fan. You know what I did the minute I found out about his role in this dog fighting? I donated all of my Falcons gear to local shelters and found a new team to support as well. I’m also a huge animal lover. I volunteer at local shelters, donate money and time to other animal rescue organizations, and have been vegan for over four years. On the other hand, people always go in an uproar about stuff like this, but act like they’re doing nothing wrong while they enjoy their chicken fingers and hamburgers. Animal cruelty is animal cruelty. Just because it’s a dog doesn’t make it worse than what’s done to pigs, chickens, etc. in factory farms. Do some research. That will get you in an uproar. Billions of animals are tortured and die every year so your fat ass can eat them. Go veg.

  62. If I were a teacher and did what Vick did I could no longer teach. If I were a cop and do what Vick did I could no longer be employed in law enfocement. In most states I could not even be a real estate agent. But professional sports still allows the scum of this world felons and drug addicts to be paid out of control salaries and be role models for our children.
    Please
    Semper Fido,

    • is it not U who should control who your child sees as role models.Also Comparing a teacher or cop to someone who is payed by the level of aggression he or she displays is hardly fair. The owners of these teams see a profit to be made from these “felons and drug addicts”. Typical for an american to try to kill symptoms of a disease or rant and outrage over a diagnosis of a problem instead of facing the real problem of our “broken systems” that create these “broken individuals”.

  63. I don’t have your compassion. He’s just another predator roaming free. I draw a hard line on these things and he can’t do enough time to even the odds or balance the scales. The blood on his hands can’t be washed off, nor can the images of what he did be wipes away with a completed play.

    One shot to the head and charge his supporters the cost of the bullet.
    End game.

  64. Judgmental hypocrites! …. He who is without sin cast the first stone. Be ashamed and hope that when you make a mistake, and you WILL! that you all are not judged with the same impunity that you have for another human being. If you all were this passionate about equal Human rights the man might not have been raised up in a culture that condones such behavior… Just remember aside from the 7 deadly sin, All are equal…

    • Thanks Iam!

      “If you all were this passionate about equal Human rights the man might not have been raised up in a culture that condones such behavior…”

      is probably the best two lines I’ve read in the whole thread, putting it all in perspective, no kidding

      • So, everyone that was raised up in “that culture” has an excuse.
        He got away from that culture. OK–so I guess we can say “He was sooo stupid because of where he came from, he didn’t know that dog fighting was wrong.”

  65. Pingback: Did Michael Vick on 60 Minutes Convince You? « Mark Riley Media

  66. Let’s just assume for a moment that somebody, for example M. Vick, could speak for himself. What might he say?

  67. @ John.
    I in no way said that anyone should be given a pass for their actions. But only an ignorant man would deny the fact that your environment from which you came holds no influence on your decision making. Soo assuming you are not (ignorant)… Let me ask you this…. What type of people do you most see commit these “unforgivable” acts? Where do they come from? What do they all have in common? I ask these questions because if it IS one particular group of people, why then are we not asking ourselves “why this group? or What do they have in common and how can we help to heal that problem?” No, society doesn’t ask these questions they don’t look for the “virus” but only to “treat” the symptoms of a “sickness” that America started long ago.

    • “only an ignorant man would deny the fact that your environment from which you came holds no influence on your decision making”

      Should have read

      “only an ignorant man would deny the fact that your environment from which you came has a significant influence on your decision making”

      Sorry for the typo!

    • ..And only an ignorant man would think that someone HAS to be part of the the culture that surrounds him especially when he was exposed to so many different cultures IE the other players, coaches, and trainers in the NFL

      • … you guys are talking about AfricanAmericans and Caucasians, etc. I can tell… interesting and endlessly rehearsed…. let’s assume you’d be talking about Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians and make a polemical statement with a few grains of truth to it:
        only people from a “culture” of brutally murdering animals in a factory farm [ ] for the enjoyment of meat, could think it also would be o.k. to kills dogs for the enjoyment of watching them fight each other….
        hmmmm, sounds a bit closer to what is going on…. where does the beef on your plate come from????

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