I’ve found myself in the most improbable position of defending Michael Vick against various people who are not at all happy with the fact that Vick is returning to the NFL. According to these people, Michael Vick committed a heinous crime and should never be allowed to return to the NFL. This doesn’t seem quite right to me for various reasons. First off, whether we believe that the punishment was severe enough for the crime, Michael Vick served 18 months in Federal prison and lost his fortune. Secondly, our judicial system and our American tradition ensure that when someone is released from prison after serving his or her sentence, that person is allowed to resume their life, albeit with some restrictions. For example, as a Felon, Michael Vick will now be prohibited from voting in Federal primaries such as a presidential election. He has not, by any stretch of the imagination, escaped from taking responsibility for his criminal activities.
The problem, essentially, is that I’m arguing with a bunch of animal activists. This is frustrating to me because it’s kind of like trying to talk politics with Sarah Palin. They’re not going to hear anything you say because they can’t get past their own ideology. Even if Michael Vick has paid a price for what he did, he should be made to continue paying a price from now until the end of time, because he hurt animals. I have a problem with this because I realize that Michael Vick received the most severe sentence that could be imposed upon him by law. Whether or not we agree that the sentence was severe enough, Vick served his time. Now he deserves the chance to prove to us that he’s fit for society. I think even a dunder-head like Michael Vick has to realize that he won’t be afforded a third chance. This is his one and only chance to straighten up and fly right. But American, and Christian, tradition is he should be afforded a chance to redeem himself.
The reason it’s so strange to me that I’ve been put into the position of defending Michael Vick is that I’m Pagan. All life is sacred to me. What Michael Vick did is far beyond the pale. For me, he might as well have been torturing children, because I draw no real distinction between animals and humans when it comes to having a right to exist and live. No, this doesn’t mean that I put animal lives above human lives. It means that I consider us all to be on an equal playing field when it comes to who does and does not have a right to exist. No living being, whether animal or human, deserves what Michael Vick did to his dogs. But the court system sees it differently. They’re simply not going to impose a murder charge on someone who has killed a dog. If we don’t like that, we should campaign to strengthen the animal abuse laws and have sentences for those offenses made more severe. Otherwise, we have no right to complain when someone like Michael Vick serves the sentence that our judicial system has imposed upon him, simply because we don’t feel that he’s paid enough.
Whether or not we like it, Michael Vick served his time. Whether or not he should be allowed to return to the NFL is a rediculous argument to get into. The NFL is a business. They’re in it to make a profit. As long as our judicial system puts animals on a far lower plane of existence as to rights and so on, it’s hypocritical to criticize the NFL for allowing the return of a man who was a gifted quarterback. Michael Vick is money in the bank. So if you disagree with the NFL allowing Michael Vick to return, the only way to make them pay is by pulling your financial support. Don’t watch NFL games. Don’t buy NFL products.
Beyond that, though, I have little sympathy for the people who seem to be calling for Michael Vick’s head. Personally, I think that guy should have been tied to a stump and flogged with a cat o’ nine tails for what he did. But that’s not what our judicial system allows. We have to be happy with what we got, and what we got was the maximum sentence that could be imposed upon him. It’s time to move on already.
Here are some quotes against Vick, right or wrong;
“I don’t think anyone deserves the gift of playing a game for millions of dollars after committing what I consider a violent crime.”
“I dont care if he has paid is debt to society… he is still a scumbag and if he hadnt been caught he would still be doing it.”
“I’m not saying he shouldn’t be able to work, but… should he be put on a pedestal with a big bank account?”
“There is a HUGE link between animal abuse and human abuse and it will NOT suprise me if Vick later does damage to another football player or a woman or a child.”
“Other people who have committed crimes haven’t got their jobs back.”
Of course, there are people on the other side of the argument who piss me off much, much more. Like any asshole who says “they were just animals”. What’s the big deal, right? As long as it’s an animal that gets chewed up in fighting, drowned in buckets of water, or slammed onto the ground until their necks or backs are broken, who really cares? Well, actually, anyone with a conscience. Anyone who doesn’t is not a human being in my book. That’s supposed to be what makes us human, that we can tell the difference. Can you?
So… what do you think?