Sunday, July 22, 2007


Nobody in the NFL has hit Michael Vick harder than Lisa Olson does here:

There is no way to justify such deliberate cruelty, such blatant monstrosity.

Only a very small man, a man so removed from all that is right and good, would perpetrate the sort of heinous deeds alleged in the federal criminal indictment against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three others.

Here is how Overt Act 83 reads: "In or about April 2007, (defendants) PEACE (Purnell A. Peace), PHILLIPS (Quanis L. Phillips) and VICK executed approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground."

Let us take a giant leap into October and assume Vick hasn't committed any of the horrors with which he's charged. Maybe he's been misidentified as the leader and financier of "Bad Newz Kennels," or framed, or unfairly targeted by prosecutors hoping to get a sit-down with Larry King for bagging one of America's most identifiable athletes.

It could happen, as unlikely as it now seems. There was a time when it appeared the Duke lacrosse players were guilty as sin of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer, until it turned out they were being railroaded by a lying, politically motivated district attorney.

But if Vick is indeed innocent, we'll still have this: a hardly underground culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to train innocent animals to kill, to torture them for profit, for fame, for fun.

As so often is the case, society's evils aren't illuminated until they're viewed through the prism of sport. It wasn't until details emerged about Vick's alleged depravities that most of us did anything but blanch at the notion that humans would coach house pets (or any animals, for that matter) to fight to the death. Now we're learning the culture is spreading like an incurable disease: it's in rural South backyards and inner-city basements, on album covers and in music videos, in Wyoming and Virginia and every borough of New York.

How jocks decide to spend their money is their business, I figure. After all, they earned it. If they wanna piss it away on coke, big muscle cars, ostenstatious jewelry, and hookers, it's their choice. When their career in the NFL/NBA/MLB is over and the money is gone, the majority of them will find out the hard way what the price of being a dumb and uneducated black man in White America is going to be. It becomes a bigger problem when these muscleheads full of rage, testosterone, and a bloated sense of entitlement become a danger to the rest of us living in the real world.

The idea that Vick enjoyed killing dogs is contemptible. Yes, it's likely that he won't go to jail for the same ($) reason that Ray Lewis, O.J. Simpson, and Kobe Bryant didn't go to jail, but he's a lousy role model and a rotten human being, and I hope his jerseys wind up in the bargain bit at KMart.