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.
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.