How do you feel about Michael Vick’s guilty plea? We knew it was coming even before he made it official yesterday. But now he has and I’m sort of relieved. Mainly because his crime won’t go unpunished, but also because the issue has sort of been beat to death. (I’m among those doing the beating, I fully admit!)
I suspect some of you aren’t as interested in it all either anymore. (If you ever were. It’s okay if you weren’t, just means this didn’t interest you. Doesn’t make you any less of an animal lover.) I’ve seen passionate comments left on both blogs I’ve written about it (See: Stick to Football, Not Dogfighting, Michael Vick! and Disturbing Support for Michael Vick) and on a thread I posted in the Forums (See: What do you think should happen to Michael Vick?), but it’s the thread in particular that has me questioning if you’re over this issue.
So far the thread has received 160 views. That’s not bad. A fair number even, considering I just posted it on Sunday. However, one that was posted yesterday, How do you take care of a chicken?, has been viewed a whopping 1,459 times. (Granted, the title is hysterically intriguing, making it a must-click.) So you can see where our interests lie…
But it got me wondering about some of the comments that were left on both the blogs and in the forum. How that when it came to things like manslaughter, rape, gambling and the like, laws that were broken by other players in the past, some had not suffered the spotlight like Vick had for dogfighting charges. Or the potential consequences. And the point was also raised, not so much anywhere within Families.com as much as it was on TV, that Vick was being especially persecuted because of the color of his skin.
This case certainly got a lot of airtime, but I really hope Vick wasn’t made a media target because of his race. I like to think it was so prominent in the news because of groups like PETA and the HSUS who saw the chance to capitalize on the issue. It was a high-profile sports star involved with a major dogfighting ring. How better to raise national awareness and evoke change?
Even though animal lovers banded together on this and proved they’re a force to be reckoned with, at some point interest wanes. It’s natural. Like I said earlier, the issue has sort of been beat to death.
But I hope before it fades entirely it influenced change and set a precedent for how professional athletes will be dealt with if they commit a crime. Any crime. And I hope congress condemning dogfighting is just the first step towards tougher legislation to punish those participating in dogfighting at any level.