Friday, September 25, 2009

Of Michael Vick, Dogs and Hypocrisy

Now that Vick is on the verge of playing a meaningful game in the NFL, I’ve decided to put down a few of my thoughts about the situation.

I saw Vick on 60 Minutes. He seemed rather genuinely remorseful. Mostly that he had been caught. I didn’t see a lot of sincerity when he said that he felt bad that he killed dogs. I got the impression that he was sorry that killing dogs landed him in jail. The interview pointed out that he grew up in an area of that country where dog fighting is common place. So it seems clear that Vick is example of the power of culture. But Vick was surrounded as well by the power of money, friends…and the law. Vick should have known it was a matter of time before he would be busted. And though he had a lot of money, sometimes the power of the law does indeed win out, especially when accompanied by the power of public outrage.

I’m a huge dog lover. I’ve always had dogs and loved them all. But…I understand that many, many cultures in the world do not see dogs as we do. As pets. They see dogs as animals that are either tools to be used for work, pests that run the streets and even as food. But even more see dogs as entertainment in battle. This is true within subcultures in the U.S. as well.
The fact that Vick may have grown up in one of these subcultures isn’t an excuse, but it does explain a few things. It’s probable that Vick was surrounded by other people that grew up in that subculture. It explains how he could be attracted to the “sport” and believes that if you keep it quiet, you can get away with it. It also explains why, even after 18 months in jail, he doesn’t mourn the dogs, only his loss of freedom.

The Humane Society decides to make Vick a spokesman for animal rights? Now look, I understand that a convert is usually one of the most fervent of the flock…but as I mentioned previously, I don’t think Vick is so remorseful for the dogs. Just himself. I think this is just a bad idea by John Goodwin of the Human Society.
If I think of the times in life that I’ve been given a second chance…well I can’t count that high. Many people make mistakes and deserve a second chance. Many more are rightfully expected to serve punishment before the second chance is given, see Vick. More still, see Vick yet again, are expected to keep on paying that price, community service, animal rights spokesman…it will go on and on for this man. He may not really get that dog fighting is bad thing, but he has been humbled, that much I’m sure of.
He has served his time, so doesn’t he deserve a second chance?
Yes, he does.
I’m just glad that it wasn’t my NFL team that gave him the second chance.
So I’m a hypocrite, so what?

-From the Point

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