Michael Vick

May 21, 2009

I am sickened by all this talk about whether and how Vick is going to return to the NFL after having “paid his debt to society” or whatthefuckever. The dude intentionally tortured dogs for his own and his friends’ amusement. This man is a sociopath, and should be shunned. If I were a coach or player asked to take the field with this motherfucker, the minimum standards of human decency would require my refusal.

44 Responses to “Michael Vick”

  1. Jason Says:

    I fucking concur. It’s all I hear about here in GA.


  2. CPP,
    I totally disagree. On so many fronts.
    But the main point is that there is a culture of bad shit out there, like dogfighting, and nothing could advance the cause of animal rights more than to have a reformed Vick spread the message of how brutal and inhumane these things are. For many youth, particularly disadvantaged ones, dogfighting is still not a big deal—primarily because they dont know any better. A sincere message from someone who was on the inside may sway some of those minds.
    If law enforcement, and mental health professionals, certify that Vick is serious about his rehabilitation then he should absolutely be given a chance to demonstrate it on the same stage that he occupied when he was busted for his crimes. Otherwise, the message you may send to a lot of youth who participate in dogfighting, and/or other inhumane practices, is that once you are guilty of it you lose all chances at redemption. The better message to send is that there is a price to pay, and with reform comes renewed hope at a better life.

  3. juniorprof Says:

    You’re right, why even have a justice or prison system? I’m with Anonymoustache.


  4. The dude is a convicted felon and a sociopath. There are all kinds of professions that require of their members some minimum degree of moral fitness in which he would likely be unable to work after being convicted of torturing animals, including medicine and law. Let him redeem himself with something less aggrandizing than NFL quarterback.

  5. micro Says:

    let’s, instead, not allow him to redeem himself. WTF! someone who does what he did, knowing that he was doing it, deserves nothing from society other than the utmost fucking disgust.

  6. juniorprof Says:

    So, what’s your position on Jamal Lewis?


  7. Thanks for the support JP.
    CPP, micro,
    Last I checked we had Depts of Corrections, not Depts of Punishment and Banishment for ever and fucking ever.
    CPP, how do you know he is still a sociopath? Also, how many fucking NFLers abuse their wives and children, mentally and or physically, and get the fuck away with it? And there are examples all around us of people who do things that have worse consequences and don’t get punished at all. But I’ll abandon that line of argument for the sake of time and space.
    My main point is, why should he not get a chance to demonstrate that a person can change through education and realization/enlightenment? What better stage to show it than on an NFL team, where he would have to confront the reality of his horrible crimes every freaking day from the media and fans. If he can keep his grace and keep to his message, show that he is indeed a better man for knowing/realizing something more, how could that not be a great thing?
    What do you hope to achieve by not giving him a chance? And giving him a chance at a lesser life is not acceptable—it will keep this shadow on him forever even if he is truly a changed man, and doesn’t ever offer him the hope of true redepmtion.


  8. I knew that was coming! Let’s see what other people have to say first, and then I’ll give my opinion on the “what about all these other bad NFL dudes who have done other bad shit?” issue.

  9. micro Says:

    @Anonymoustache: yes after doing what he did for as long as he did, I am sure he has now been FULLY FUCKING ENLIGHTENED! HOORAY for all the sociopaths who say they are now fucking enlightened!

  10. juniorprof Says:

    I knew that was coming! Let’s see what other people have to say first, and then I’ll give my opinion on the “what about all these other bad NFL dudes who have done other bad shit?” issue.

    Jamal, not Ray… just to be clear on the difference between being suspected or known to be “bad” and actually being convicted and serving time for breaking the law.

  11. Mad Hatter Says:

    If Vick has really abandoned his animal torturing ways and continues to stay out of trouble, then I don’t see any way Goodell can justify keeping him from playing. Like others have said, according to the justice system we have, he has paid for what he’s done.

    Having said that, do I believe a person can go from being someone who derives pleasure from torturing animals to someone who genuinely wants to help the Humane Society stamp out dogfighting? Not so much.


  12. moral fitness in which he would likely be unable to work after being convicted of torturing animals

    Do you eat meat? Do you kill it yourself?

    What exactly is the difference between what Vick did and supporting the results of the form of torture known as factory farming?

    Sorry, I don’t get the difference, except that dogs are cuddly and cows taste good. Is that it?

    The problem is that the factory farmers are not ALSO in Leavenworth. If you consider that an extreme statement, well, I also consider the treatment of Michael Vick extreme…especially noting that the people condemning him are mostly carnivores with nary a single thought about the moral paradox of that.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Do you eat meat? Do you kill it yourself?

    What exactly is the difference between what Vick did and supporting the results of the form of torture known as factory farming?

    Sorry, I don’t get the difference, except that dogs are cuddly and cows taste good. Is that it?

    FINALLY!!!!

  14. Mad Hatter Says:

    “Sorry, I don’t get the difference, except that dogs are cuddly and cows taste good. Is that it?”

    I’d just like to point out, just for completeness’ sake, that there are people who think dogs taste good. Presumably there are also those who think cows are cuddly.


  15. CPP,
    To clarify, the “see what other dudes have done” argument that I brought up is only tangential to my case. It was intended to bring to light the issue of fundamental fairness, the value of life itself, and, in that context, what mixed messages our society sends to the impressionable. It is intended to get at the root cause of how dog fighting and similar sub-cultures come to be and thrive. For the record, BTW, I completely agree with Daisy Deadhead — I was hoping to put a post together with her sentiment at the core, along with the issue of hunting, and even boxing, MMA etc. The idea behind all that is that, like I said before, to many youth who do not have the benefit of good role models, it is difficult to read through all this bullshit and figure out where the ‘line’ lies. Especially when many of them live in circumstances where human life is regarded with disdain. The way to appeal to and educate them is to provide evidence of positive change — not the neo-conservative model of perpetual incarceration and death penalties.
    Anyway, I’ll try and expand on those issues more if I can later.
    My central point remains one of redemption and the right to it. Saying categorically that Vick is a sociopath who cannot be redeemed is essentially passing GOP-esque judgment on a troubled man. It is completely unfair, especially if he has served his time in the correct spirit and, in the opinion of experts, is on the road to rehabilitation.
    Plus, punishing him more does nothing to address a serious societal problem—all it accomplishes is destroy any chance that Vick could ever recover some measure of his self-respect while also alienating all the thousands of youth who may be in similar circumstances and who could be enlightened by Vick’s message.


  16. Also, JP, I wouldn’t be so kind to Ray. Ray dodged a serious rap due to some serious (and convenient) ‘incompetence’ on the part of the prosecutors of the case. At the very least, he is reported to have left two men to bleed to death without alerting law enforcement—under circumstances where there is strong reason to believe that the bloodletting happened at the hands of one or more of his buddies. I hate how he got deified by the fucking media and the league.

  17. watchasmokin Says:

    You people are high. So Vick payed his dues, sofuckinwhat? That gets him out of prison. No reason to put his ass back in the NFL. Let him run for dog catcher or some shit.

    And really? Dogfighting is just exactly like raising cows for human consumption? Sorry, you can say there are options but still, humans have to eat. Humans do not have to watch animals maim and kill each other for entertainment.

    but still, Field has a point. You whiteys sure do get more enraged about dogs being mistreated than you do about nonwhite humans being mistreated in thisyearyooknightedstates.

  18. Lab Lemming Says:

    How about giving him a bit of his own medicine:

    Lock him in a cage with 2 dozen drugged up 300 pound maniacs, half of whom want to break his bones or smash him so hard that the capillaries in his brain burst- even with a helmet on.

    But dogfights don’t happen in a vacuum.

    So surround him with three rows of grandstands, so that a hundred thousand screaming yobbos can screech and holler at him for three hours.

    And just for posterity, record the entire proceedings with video and broadcast it all over the world for people to watch.

    Put him back in the NFL.

  19. BB Says:

    Now all the animal rights wing nuts have come out to vent. If animals really have rights, we wouldn’t bother to prevent them from killing each other or us. So dogfighting would be OK. Dogs fight, after all. Put 2 alpha males together and watch the fur fly.

  20. micro Says:

    you people have got to be crazy… comparing dogfighting to raising cows for human consumption? WTF??? it’s unbelievable…. It’s not because dogs are cuddly or whatevs, it’s torturing just for fun… C’mon people get real!


  21. Lab Lemming,
    Great idea for a justice system. Lets build a bridge to the 11th century.
    micro,
    I guess you don’t think that raising thousands of creatures expressly for the purpose of slaughtering them—then keeping them in ultra-crowded feeding operations and stuffing them with them corn based feed just to fatten them thrice as fast, putting a ton of chemicals to keep their bellies from exploding and to keep them from getting infections, and stuff of this sort— approaches torture. Remember, all this so that you can get a finely marbled piece of meat for 99cents a pound of whatever.
    But even if you’ve known no other existence than the decadent fast-food based one, I have something for you—there is a book called The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I suggest you read it.


  22. I’d just like to point out, just for completeness’ sake, that there are people who think dogs taste good. Presumably there are also those who think cows are cuddly.

    Umm, precisely. So what’s the difference? American sentimentality about doggies. They are both mammals.

    you people have got to be crazy… comparing dogfighting to raising cows for human consumption? WTF??? it’s unbelievable…. It’s not because dogs are cuddly or whatevs, it’s torturing just for fun… C’mon people get real!

    And what is eating meat, if not “fun”? Same. You don’t need to do it, it is entirely for pleasure. You kill an animal for your palate, for FUN.

    Again, can anyone explain the difference, other than “get real” and “c’mon”?

    Well, I can: One is enjoyed mostly by minority males and the other is enjoyed by the ELITES, and approved by the majority.

    There is no other moral difference at all.

    If you think dogfighting is bad, ever seen a slaughterhouse? Those cows get pretty panicked and start hurting one another too in an attempt to flee the inevitable. Maybe you should arrange a visit to see for yourself what you are financially supporting.


  23. Sorry, you can say there are options but still, humans have to eat.

    Good lord, I thought the posters here were smart?

    You DO NOT HAVE TO EAT MEAT. I haven’t eaten it in eons. There are entire religions and cultures that have avoided it for millenia.

    And even if you DO, you do not have to use factory farming to raise animals, as the majority are now raised for consumption here in the West. This horrific “meat harvesting” method is a very RECENT development in human history.

    (I think whoever wants meat should be forced to kill and prepare it themselves, not assign some undocumented poor immigrant in Iowa to do their dirty work for them. I’ll bet it won’t taste nearly as good.)

  24. watchasmokin Says:

    Of course you don’t have to eat meat. I said you have to EAT. Otherwise you pretty much die. So meat eating is a choice, sure, but a choice in a particular context.

    One does not have to watch animals maim and kill each other. One will not die if this is taken off the table.

    ‘nother point. Your description of the slaughter house is not the only way (we can debate proportions) to slaughter an animal for food. It can be done with minimal pain and suffering.

    Dog fighting….not sure I see that that can be done any other way. The inherent essence of it is animals who maim and kill each other.

    So even if they were the same in practice (and they are not) they are not the same by necessity.

  25. micro Says:

    @Anonymoustache: our differences are just too great… no point in discussing this any further…. but even if what you say had any meaning to me; let’s think: torturing for the fun of it; or “torturing” for survival…. Hum….

  26. watchasmokin Says:

    I think whoever wants meat should be forced to kill and prepare it themselves, not assign some undocumented poor immigrant in Iowa to do their dirty work for them. I’ll bet it won’t taste nearly as good.

    I’ve done this. Guess what? Dog fight is still about a billion times more disgusting and despicable. The thought that people do that intentionally sickens me much more deeply than does the actual act of slaughtering for food.


  27. I am comparing the cruelty of dog-killing to the cruelty of cow/pig/chicken killing. You have still not explained to me why one act is self-evidently “worse” than the other, except that they are beloved doggies.

    Of course you don’t have to eat meat. I said you have to EAT. Otherwise you pretty much die.

    You do not have to eat meat or die. I’m alive, and I don’t. In fact, as a westerner who works in a health food store, I eat VERY WELL without it. What a ridiculous assertion.

    One does not have to watch animals maim and kill each other. One will not die if this is taken off the table.

    And one will not die if one does not eat meat. You don’t really believe that, do you?

    It is for PLEASURE ONLY. It is NOT NECESSARY. Stop avoiding responsibility for your participation in a CRUEL ACT and then getting all high and mighty about someone else who is also exploiting animals for PLEASURE ONLY. Same, same, same. Unnecessary cruelty, for the purposes of your palate/enjoyment.

    ‘nother point. Your description of the slaughter house is not the only way (we can debate proportions) to slaughter an animal for food. It can be done with minimal pain and suffering.

    I am quite aware of this. Are you? Because obviously, you only buy meat from vendors/companies who participate in humane butchering practices, right? Can you name them? I can.

    (I’ll bet you don’t even bother to find out where your meat comes from and how it is slaughtered, so please do not preach to ME.)

    Dog fighting….not sure I see that that can be done any other way. The inherent essence of it is animals who maim and kill each other.

    At least the dogs have a fighting chance. Do the cows? No, the death toll is 100%–no survivors.

    One animal (human) maiming and killing another to eat it.. that is different than dog-fighting how? Ohhh, right, you keep saying it is, but then you keep repeating the same things humans to do animals because they think they have the right to eat them. Why do you think you have this right, when it is unnecessary?

    Answer: you want to, it is pleasurable. Exactly like Michael Vick. EXACTLY.

    So even if they were the same in practice (and they are not) they are not the same by necessity.

    And so, are you saying vegetarians like me who are alive are… what? Phantoms?

    IT IS NOT NECESSARY.

    I’ve done this. Guess what? Dog fight is still about a billion times more disgusting and despicable.

    Why? Probably because in the first situation, YOU were doing the pleasure-killing, in the second, other animals were. Maybe the fact that you were not actively participating made it different and less enjoyable to you.

    The fighter-dogs have no choice but to do what they are trained to do. But you do.

  28. Katie Says:

    Have any of you animal rights posters ever been on a farm? I’ll answer for you – it’s clear you haven’t. I have, and as the wife of someone who works tirelessly to make sure cattle are treated humanely, I know that there are worlds of difference between the cattle farming and dog fighting. To compare the two further undermines the cause you’re spouting – why would anyone believe anything you write after the blatant ridiculousness you’ve posted here?

  29. Puzzled Says:

    Is it all the drugs or the shitty ass music that makes deadheads so incapable of reading comprehension?

  30. JessSnark Says:

    Dude, Daisy never said that ALL cattle farmers torture the cattle or raise them in inhumane conditions. Clearly she’s aware of the variety of methods of raising animals for slaughter, so defending humane farmers is beside the point, because Daisy is talking about the ones who aren’t humane.

  31. Katie Says:

    “…the people condemning him are mostly carnivores with nary a single thought about the moral paradox of that.”

    Reading comp: This indicates that carnivores = animal torturers. No qualifiers about humane vs not humane farmers.

  32. J Says:

    Re: eating meat vs. dog fighting; I agree with much of what DaisyDeadHead and others here have said in regards to factory farming and how it is — in many, but not all ways — indistinguishable morally from dogfighting. However, I *do* think there is one *primary* distinction, that is both more significant and less than it may initially seem.

    That is: the purpose of dogfighting is to *derive pleasure from dogfighting* — the primary purpose and enjoyment derives directly from the cruelty. Eating meat — even/especially/only factory farmed meat, is in many ways, primarily pleasure-driven — but the pain caused is *incidental* to the pleasure.

    Now, I say this is both more and less significant than it appears; more significant, because motive is a key part of morality, even if one doesn’t view it as the *only* part (“paved with good intentions” and all that). This is one of the reasons I think hate crime legislation makes, or can make sense [pauses, *crink crink crink*, opens new can of worms], because motive determines the legal severity of many crimes (i.e. self-defense on one extreme and prior intent, conspiracy, and blatant disregard on the other). One really can’t say dog-fighting and eating meat are the same, because one is purposefully cruel and the other can and usually is ignorantly so. And in this ignorance, as well, comes a less important difference — for better or worse, we view more harshly behavior outside the “norm”. Meat eating is a norm and one can’t deny that society sees institutionalized violence less harshly than “fringe” violence, oft-times.

    The distinction is less than it seems, because of course, factory farming is cruel and unnecessary, and so bespeaks a moral imperative to know and learn more and choose alternatives.

  33. J Says:

    As to the original topic, whether Vick should get his pride of place back, I’m off two minds. I do believe that convicted criminals should not be informally punished by society for the rest of their lives, but I also believe that our “criminal rehabilitation system” does nothing of the sort, unless you mean it “rehabilitates” criminals by oft-times training them to be meaner, more hardened, and possibly more efficient criminals, in which case, our system works pretty well.

    So, is Vick genuinely sorry? I don’t know. I doubt most on here know either. Do we hold him to a higher standard than others, that is, it’s hard to ever know if a celeb is “genuine” in anything they do, so should that bar his return to his former place in society? Hmm, I don’t know.

    The idea that having him back in the NFL because he’ll be a powerful spokesperson for his reformed view is a tempting one, but ultimately a bit silly I think — how effective are sports stars as role models anyway? Not that they *aren’t* viewed as role models, and not that their bad (or good) behavior doesn’t affect other people, but really — to what degree do they influence people’s attitudes outside of “Player X kicked ASS in that ’04 game, but he’s lost it since then, I hate that guy now but my wife thinks he’s kind of hot”? And how much return to rarefied fame and fortune does Vick deserve, having “paid his debt” and possibly serving as a spokesperson for animal nicety? And since being an NFL star is a societal privilege much above and beyond elementary citizens’ rights, would it be unreasonable to ask, to *demand* that he continue to pay some penance, for some additional length of time, before he earns the right to be a captain of the sports-celebrity industry? Campaigning and supporting good causes for a bit out of genuine interest, if he has any, before we reopen the gates to him?


  34. Yuck, just another reason I don’t give a shit about the NFL. I’m so over watching old men and young thugs strut around the field. Professional football is so strange to me. College football, on the other hand? Already have my season tickets ordered and ready to queue up the DVR.


  35. It seems to me that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right automatically granted to those with the physical attributes and mental talents to compete at that level. Goodell made a BIG deal about stamping out bad behaviour when he took office, and a lot of teams pay close attention when deciding whom they wish to draft to any indicators of poor decision-making in their personal lives.

    Deciding to host dog-fighting is a monster of bad decision-making!

    Modern professional sports around the world are PR-driven as much as anything; any sportsperson who doesn’t realise this is heading for disaster. By making the decision to host these dog-fights Michael Vick demonstrated that he lacks the judgement that is expected these days of a professional sportsperson.

    Purely on that basis, if I were a GM or team owner, then I would not want him on my team.

    IO also think that, seeing as an NFL career is a hugely highly-paid profession, and many players these days are given specific counselling in how to manage their earnings to be able to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, it truly is a privilege and not something to be taken for granted. I don’t see why Vick should be allowed to resume that privilege as if he had done nothing wrong. He has paid his debt (personally, I think it’s appalling that he is already free, but that’s not my call to make) but that doesn’t mean we have to give him any cookies (like allowing him to play in the NFL).

    If he does play again, I hope there are plenty of players out there who will take delight in sacking him so that it HURTS. If I were on a defense facing him, I would be aiming to put him out of action and to Hell with the fines and suspensions and whatever else the NFL might throw at me for it.

  36. didotwite Says:

    I know I’m extremely biased (one might even say “hella” if one weren’t afraid of not being taken seriously)… but my first teaching job was in a medium security prison.

    I am skeptical that Mr. Vick has learned why it is important not to torture animals.

    I am equally skeptical that further punishment will bring about that enlightenment. As to whether Mr. Vick ought or ought not to be allowed to play professional football, well, I’m an agnostic. Mostly because I don’t give a shit about football.

    As to whether we allow those who have served their sentences to take part in regular society, I’m a bit of an evangelist. This has not much to do with Mr. Vick, and a whole hell of a lot to do with how we treat people who’ve been released from prison. It’s hard enough to reintegrate without a whole lot of people telling you you’re a failure and useless (and apparently strangled at birth) without the general culture telling you that as well.

    And of course this has a lot to do with why we send people to jail in the first place.

    And how long we keep them there. And why. And what goes on there.

    And all of that has little to do with Mr. Vick’s experience.

    People DO get redeemed in prison (no thanks to the generally brutal and inhumane culture). There are ways out.

  37. didotwite Says:

    Ahem, “and (apparently *should have been* strangled at birth).” Important little modal modifier there… Sorry.

  38. vegofish Says:

    If it pisses you off, I am all fucking for it.
    Go Mike

  39. Kim Says:

    I get what Daisy is saying: that there shouldn’t be a hierarchy among animals, that a cow has as much right to life as a dog, that eating meat isn’t necessary.

    But I *also* say fuck Vick.
    Hard.

    http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/sadreality/6.php

  40. Kim Says:

    PS. “Paid debt to society,” my ass.

    Again, see my above link.
    Can’t pay that shit back.

    Sorry.
    I get a bit crazy when I see innocents willfully abused.

  41. smmo Says:

    I hate dog fighting, meat eating (and Daisy is absolutely right) rodeo, horse racing, fur and all the ways in which we torment animals for fun and profit. But denying criminals employment after they’ve served their time is wrong and in the long wrong untenable. The fact that Vick’s employment happens to be highly lucrative and highly visible isn’t relevant. And for all Goodell’s blathering about morality, the NFL is a business and Michael Vick will generate a lot of it. Personally I always felt he was overrated. It will be interesting to watch.

    As for his rehabilitation, I do think it is possible. Nobody here knows whether his remorse is genuine, the only person that knows that is Vick himself. However, he will be required to act as if it is sincere and that will mean lots of money and attention for abused animals.


  42. Is it all the drugs or the shitty ass music that makes deadheads so incapable of reading comprehension?

    Is it ignorance or just plain rudeness that makes anonymous posters such wanton, cowardly, deliberate, and always-predictable assholes?

  43. BikeMonkey Says:

    Rudeness. I am unfortunately not ignorant of crappy repetitive Deadhead fav “music” nor of what passes for dancing.


  44. […] the selection and grooming process for elite NFL quarterbacks. Dude managed to resist bringing up Michael “Dog Abuser” Vick, to his considerable […]


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