The name right now says it all – one of infamy, life and a profitable career wasted.
Right now, all the pundits on the TV talk shows, radio and in print wonder about the fate of Michael Vick and if he’ll truly suffer. Fans who were enthralled with his athletic prowess wonder if he’ll ever come back, or deserves to do so.
On Monday, he pleaded guilty in Richmond, Va. to a dog fighting charge in federal court. As well, as part of his plea, he also admitted bankrolling a dog-breeding enterprise where his animals engaged in fights for money.
Lest we forget, he’s been accused of torturing and killing numerous dogs, all pit bulls.
Most likely, Mr. Vick will spend at least a year incarcerated in federal prison, and will face a lengthy suspension from the National Football League.
Now let’s be honest with ourselves. Is he really going to suffer – I mean really?
I have no sympathy for a stupid, egotistical, ornery millionaire athlete who blew his perfect life, but there are faceless people in America who know the true definition of suffering.
I was home on Monday, and for the most part, every network outlet and cable channel covered the case as if it was one of national importance, much like if a standing United States president was ever impeached for high crimes. In my mind, watching the coverage, I was thinking in my mind, “geez, what does this case say about American culture, our fascination with celebrity and the role of athletic achievement?”
I am not even upset at the gambling or he going to dog-fighting matches, he's lost my respect as a person for lying, his overall arrogance, and the torture of pets he engaged in.
It's almost like he thought he'd get away with the crime, and his lawyers and handlers would take care of him.
Why he would engage in this behavior and throw his life away? This was a man praised, loved and admired not for who he is as a person, but only for his physical gifts – mainly, throwing a football better than most living people and having the legs to shake any defender on the turf.
Again, is Vick truly going to suffer?
Personally, I actually do think the hoopla over this has gone way overboard, and I am even shocked a lot more people are upset over dogs, than let's say assault, or sexual crimes or murder. In every major American city from Washington D.C. to Dallas to Los Angeles, there is a murder, assault, or an abduction that takes place on a daily basis.
The fact of the matter is Mr. Vick committed a serious felony, and he's got to be culpable for his deeds.
However, do those who truly suffer in this country deserve any less sympathy than a man whose coverage has been overblown in the media?
Michael Vick is surely in trouble, but can his bad luck compare with a missing child, Katrina victim waiting for a FEMA trailer, an innocent man accidentally jailed, those honestly down on their luck, or a young teen whose body has been found in a ditch or on an urban street?
Is the life of a football player who will be still wealthy once he’s free take more importance the life of a man, woman or child who is really suffering?
Sure he’s lost his endorsements, his hero status, career and the respect of fans and peers, but are things really going to be that bad for Michael Vick?
It’s something that makes you go, hmm….
I don't advocate barring him from making a living in the NFL, but he'll never be what he was ever again.
Moreover, I really don’t care – I see him for what he is, an athlete and that’s all. What makes me sick is that we have a select group of fans who want Michael Vick back, not because of fairness, but because he’s good at football and forget those who truly have it far worse than him.
However; employment, whether being a garbage man or a football player is a privilege, not a God-given right.
Mr. Vick is the Horatio Alger story gone completely wrong, but in light of his sentence and future suspension from the NFL, he’ll be fine in comparison to the rest of us.
America gives people a second chance routinely; alas, he'll have to be truly remorseful and make serious changes.
However, tens of thousand of people get murdered each year, all almost tragically, but yet America gives celebrities all the coverage – whether they deserve it not. Some, if not all do not get that second chance.
Really, when it comes down to it, Michael Vick will not really know the meaning of suffering, because they are tens of thousands of nameless people who know it already.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
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