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Crossposted at Pet Connection.

Organizers at Change.org are reaching out to the animal community to bring pressure on the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation to deny Michael Vick the award.

Last night, Maria Tchijov, Outreach and Communications Coordinator at Change.org, emailed me and asked for help in getting signatures on a petition to Sam Lamantia, the CEO of the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation:

Dear Mr. Lamantia,

Recently the Philadelphia Eagles have elected Michael Vick as their recipient for this year's Courage Award. Given Mr. Vick's crimes and felony conviction, we do not believe he is worthy of this honor. For several years, in addition to promoting dogfighting, Vick himself tortured, abused, and murdered innocent dogs for his own profit and apparent enjoyment. This is not courage. This is inhumanity, immorality, and sheer brutality and does not warrant giving Vick this or any other reward.

Many of us have protested Vick's reinstatement to the NFL. There has been strong media and PR influence in trying to diminish his past actions and erase the public's memory of his sadistic behavior. We encourage you to stand up for the rights of animals everywhere and the memory of the dogs who endured Vick's cruelty. Please do the right thing and deny Michael Vick the Courage Award.

They've already got around 6000 signatures -- but I think we can do better than that. Sign here.

Do it for the dog in the photo, one of the lucky ones rescued from Vick's Bad Newz Kennels. It's used courtesy of BAD RAP. And if you think it's time we all moved on, read this excerpt from my column on Vick in the San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate.com:

"What Michael Vick did was not just dog fighting," said Marthina McClay of Our Pack, a pit bull rescue group in Santa Clara, and the owner of one of the Vick dogs, Leo. "It went so far beyond that, and most people who defend him are uninformed. They don't really realize what Michael Vick did."

If you're one of the people McClay is talking about, let me invite you into Donna Reynolds' nightmare.

Reynolds is the co-founder of Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls (BAD RAP), an East Bay organization with a national reputation for rescuing and rehabilitating pit bulls. They rehabbed and cared for many of the dogs seized from Vick's Bad Newz Kennels after his arrest in April of 2007.

She's definitely not what you'd call a fragile flower, and she's been working with ex-fighting pits for longer than a lot of the people reading this have been out of kindergarten. It's fair to say she's seen the worst things that people can do to dogs, but there's still a story she can't get out of her mind.

It was a sweltering day in September of 2007, and Reynolds was in Virginia to evaluate the 49 pit bulls found alive on Vicks' property. A federal agent who had been at the scene when the property was searched was driving her to the various facilities holding the dogs, and they got to talking about what the investigation had turned up.

"The details that got to me then and stay with me today involve the swimming pool that was used to kill some of the dogs," Reynolds wrote on her blog. "Jumper cables were clipped onto the ears of underperforming dogs, then, just like with a car, the cables were connected to the terminals of car batteries before lifting and tossing the shamed dogs into the water."

She continued, "We don't know how many suffered this premeditated murder, but the damage to the pool walls tells a story. It seems that while they were scrambling to escape, they scratched and clawed at the pool liner and bit at the dented aluminum sides like a hungry dog on a tin can.

"I wear some pretty thick skin during our work with dogs, but I can't shake my minds-eye image of a little black dog splashing frantically in bloody water ... screaming in pain and terror ... brown eyes saucer wide and tiny black white-toed feet clawing at anything, desperate to get a hold. This death did not come quickly. The rescuer in me keeps trying to think of a way to go back in time and somehow stop this torture and pull the little dog to safety. I think I'll be looking for ways to pull that dog out for the rest of my life."

Vick did all that and more to his dogs, and even threw family pets into the pit with fighters and laughed while they were mauled, according to a witness who testified to federal investigators.

That's what sends dog lovers out to football games with protest signs: knowing that Michael Vick tortured and killed innocent dogs. That he has never paid for that abuse or even apologized for it.

Because the nation's most notorious dogfighter pled "not guilty" to animal cruelty charges -- charges that were eventually dropped in a plea bargain -- and he was convicted only of bankrolling a dogfighting conspiracy, for which he served 18 months in prison before being welcomed back to the public spotlight.

The rest is here. Read it and see if it changes your view that Vick has "done his time."

Originally posted to ChristieKeith on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:22 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes.. (10+ / 0-)

    ...God help us if we don't take a stand by protesting an award voted on by professional football players.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:25:18 PM PST

    •  WHO CARES??? (0+ / 0-)

      Let's see, he was unkind to animals and killed some...ohhhh-kaaay.  

      Ever eat a turkey sandwich or hamburger?  Drive a car?  Breathe?

      People kill/torture animals all the time with no consequence.  Why the fuss about this guy?

      Do you know how the animals are treated at slaughterhouses?  

      •  It isn't the same (9+ / 0-)

        Look, I've been fostering rescue dogs for two years and adopted one of my more difficult fosters.  I'm also an omnivore, and I don't see any contradiction.  I believe there is a difference between killing animals for food or clothing or even research and killing them for pleasure.  And I think that in the case of companion animals, which are bred and raised to trust and depend on humans, killing them for pleasure is far different.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:04:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's an evasion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl, Brooke In Seattle

          We don't simply "kill" animals for food or clothing.  We raise them in shockingly inhumane conditions that no one, including you, seem to object to.  You may not see any contradiction, but I suggest that's only because you're not looking very hard.

          Why is it worse to mistreat a dog than it is to mistreat a calf?  Is dogfighting really worse than pulling the beaks off of millions of chickens so that they won't peck each other in the excruciatingly close quarters in which they're raised?  

          The difference, it seems to me, is that people have a powerful emotional attachment to their pets.  They have no such emotional attachment to the animals that are mistreated by our industrial livestock-raising practices.  So Vick confronts a chorus of righteous indignation from pet owners who, paradoxically, are quite happy to eat the flesh of animals whose entire lives are spent in abominable conditions before they are killed for our tables.

          The world is truly a strange place.

          •  And that's a big brush you're painting with (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            burrow owl, balancedscales

            You have no evidence that I am raising any animals for food or clothing, much less the conditions that I do so.

            Why is it worse?  Well, I said why already, but I'll repeat: for two reasons, the first is that one is being done for pleasure and the other is not, and the second because companion animals are bred differently and to trust humans, and cruelty to them is a different form of torture.

            I love my dog and dogs in general.  But I'd be willing to kill a dog if it was required for food, and I'd have a lot more sympathy for Vick if he'd eaten the dogs he killed.  You can find it as strange as you like.  But utilitarianism isn't some wacko philosophy.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:32:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't suggest that you are personally raising animals for food or clothing, I merely said that "we" as a society do so, and our treatment of those animals leaves a great deal to be desired.

              As for your justifications, I can't say they're terribly convincing.  One is done for pleasure and the other is not?  Seems to me that we raise livestock animals at least in part for pleasure -- for the pleasure of eating them.  And of course that doesn't address the underlying question of why we raise them in the conditions that we do when we are perfectly capable of raising them in more humane conditions.

              Your utilitarian argument also fails to persuade.  We seem to have no problem with people killing animals for the pure sport of it.  It's called hunting.  Sure, some hunters may eat what they kill, but many do not, yet we seem to think that's fine and dandy.  As I pointed out elsewhere, Sarah Palin shoots defenseless animals to death from an aircraft, but there seems to be no outcry from companion animal lovers.  Michael Vick, on the other hand, apparently hasn't been punished enough even though he's served time in jail.  Seems a bit odd to me.

              •  Right. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clues

                So until we reform the food industry, we don't have the moral authority to prevent the torture and murder of animals for sport or pleasure?

                Your purity concern has been noted.

                "Jane, you ignorant slut." --Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live

                by homogenius on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:44:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh dear (0+ / 0-)

                  Having pointed out an inconsistency, I've now been tagged as a "purity troll."  

                  And I'm curious, you allude to "prevent[ing] the torture or murder of animals for sport or pleasure."  Is there some proposal to ban hunting that I'm not aware of?  All I see here is a bunch of people who don't think a young black guy has done enough time in the slammer but who express no particular discomfort about the "murder of animals for sport or pleasure."

                  •  Oh, no... (0+ / 0-)

                    We're not attacking him because he's young or black. We're holding him accountable for doing SOME time in the slammer for conspiracy, but getting off for torturing and killing animals and showing insufficient remorse while collecting millions of dollars in salary and now recieving a "courage" award.

                    Wait--we're not just outraged--we're gagging on it. So, are you defending that?  Really?  And his youth or the color of his skin is relevent...how?

                    "Jane, you ignorant slut." --Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live

                    by homogenius on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 09:57:12 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm just pointing out that it seems odd to me that people seem to consider what Vick did to be somehow heinous when they have no problem with the abominable way in which we treat animals we raise for food or for things like cosmetics testing.  And as I've said elsewhere in these comments, why is what Vick did so much worse that what Sarah Palin did?  She shoots defenseless animals to death from aircraft purely for her own pleasure.  So where are all the protests for that?

                      Seriously, I'm not a PETA member or militant vegan, but I really have difficulty seeing the distinctions you folks are trying to draw.  It looks to me that your concern for animal welfare more or less ceases once the animals in question are something other than your pet cocker spaniel.

              •  What do you want me to do? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                homogenius

                Vote for Sarah Palin less?

                And please, knock it off with the "we" stuff.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:55:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, no (0+ / 0-)

                  but you might explain why the logic (if any) behind putting Vick behind bars for what he did while raising no protest about what Palin (and many others) have done for a long time.

                  •  Well, the "logic" such as it is... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    homogenius

                    ...is that one person knowingly broke the law, and the other did not.

                    But I think the record clearly shows the amount of distaste people here have for hunting from a helicopter.

                    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                    by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 08:46:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, if concern is compliance with the law (0+ / 0-)

                      then Vick should be okay now.  In the eyes of the law, he committed a crime, was sentenced, and served his time.  From the legal system's perspective, he has paid his debt.

                      But I thought the issue here was a moral one.  And that is what I truly can't seem to figure out.  To me, it seems that people here are objecting to what is unquestionably animal cruelty (Vick's dogfighting activities) but their concern for animal welfare evaporates when different animals are at issue (cows, pigs, chickens, deer, etc.)  In other words, why all the hue and cry over Vick and his dogs when hunters kill all sorts of animals every day and do so purely for the pleasure of killing?  The only answer I seem to be getting here is essentially "dogs are special."  Sorry, but that just doesn't seem terribly compelling to me as a moral or ethical distinction.

          •  Speak for yourself (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues

            YOU may eat the flesh of animals raised in abominable conditions and feel no remorse.

            I eat the flesh of animals raised in humane, even loving conditions, animals I myself knew and helped to feed when they were alive. I can tell you first-hand about the conditions they were raised in, the way they were treated, what they ate, who raised them, where they spent their days, where they spent their nights, and even in some cases what their names were. There is nothing industrial about any of it. Free-range chickens need their beaks. Cattle raised for food free-range on pasture grass don't get the feedlot treatment and certainly don't get confined to close quarters. Pigs who are humanely raised and wild fish are also very differently treated from their industrial-livestock relations. But I don't support industrial livestock, and neither do my food dollars.

            So no, no contradiction. No inhumanity. It's all part and parcel of the same thing. I would no more treat a dog inhumanely or permit the inhumane treatment of one around me than I would treat ihumanely or support the inhumane treatment of a steer from which I will eventually eat a steak.

            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

            by Kitsap River on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:33:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  better than the dogs were (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb

        I can assure you.

      •  He also (5+ / 0-)

        Was involved in stealing people's pet cats and dogs and using them as bait to make his fighting dogs "meaner".

        I'm sure plenty of people care, and I'm not sure what you hoped to accomplish with your remarks. I don't think anyone here would deny the inhumane and cruel nature of slaughterhouses (in fact there have been many, many Rec List diaries on that subject), but it's not the same as a dog-fighting ring despite the fact that both are cruel and inhumane.

        •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl, Brooke In Seattle

          You claim:

          it's not the same as a dog-fighting ring despite the fact that both are cruel and inhumane.

          Yet you don't say why.  You admit that the treatment of both sets of animals is cruel and inhumane, yet only one merits your condemnation.  What is the distinction?  Is it the type of animal?  Or perhaps the identity of the perpetrator?  I honestly can't figure this out.

      •  For a few Points to be scored people defend (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb

        and cheer for this Scum and pay him Millions of Dollars and all for just a few Points on the Scoreboard.

      •  wow (7+ / 0-)

        Honestly, I have been on the pro-Vick side of the argument at times, when I felt it was getting too ridiculous.  He was in jail and he served his time, and I also thought it was out of balance how he was treated compared to some other players who have done far worse (although I also feel that the answer there is to oppose the other players more, not support Vick more).  And a lot of the reaction was as if dog fighting had never existed before, when there was a rather disgusting national tolerance of it beforehand - I thought Vick bore a bit of an extra brunt of it.

        BUT.

        This situation is a no-brainer.  The dude is getting recognized and rewarded for being in prison.  That's just fucked up.  And if you had read his comments upon receiving the reward, you'd see he hasn't learned a damn thing.  This is about societal values and the Eagles and Vick deserve all the negative PR they're getting on this thing.

      •  There are also (0+ / 0-)

        plenty of us that eat meat that will not purchase meat from those slaughterhouses for that very reason.

        I think this is near and dear to a lot of folks because we live with dogs - we don't with cows or pigs.  I hate seeing what happens to our food animals on factory farms, but they aren't members of my family - my dog is.  To me, there are few sounds in the world worse than listening to a dog yelp in pain.  Someone capable of hearing that sound, creating that sound and laughing about it while watching an animal writhe in pain is simply incomprehensible to me.

        That person cannot be human.  I'm just sorry.  I don't care how long they spend in jail or how much it cost them - they simply cannot be human.  There is no rehabilitation for that kind of sickness, imo.

        The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits -- Albert Einstein

        by SweetLittleOkie on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:43:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Vick did his time (12+ / 0-)

    And more than that in my mind.  He's demonstrated the possibility for rehabilitation and redemption in our society and should be recognized for that.

  •  Give the guy a break. Maybe he has changed (4+ / 0-)

    and what we have witnessed he is a probable road toward redemption.

    Maybe giving him this award would fasten and strengthen his redemption

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:34:56 PM PST

  •  So all I have to do (7+ / 0-)

    to get an award is to stop training dogs to kill each other?

    Okay.  Where's my award?

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:35:31 PM PST

  •  I do not forgive dog torturers. (12+ / 0-)

    A dog is as intelligent as a young child. I have a dog fighting ring somewhere near me. I have seen a bitch confined to a cellar with only a blanket, both she and her pups trying to live on a floor thick with excrement, and bred again and again to produce puppies for sale to the dog fighting rings. I have had a crazed young Rottweiler who somehow escaped the dog prison frantic to escape and hiding in my back yard. I tried to help him but he was too frantic to let me.

    I pray that Michael Vick develops suppurating venereal boils on his twig and berries that are incurable. I imagine the woman he knowingly gave herpes too concurs. He is a sickening psychopath and they cannot be rehabilitiated. They have no conscience to rehabilitate.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:38:57 PM PST

  •  Former Vick Pit Bull Enjoying Life as Therapy Dog (3+ / 0-)

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:39:55 PM PST

  •  Please (4+ / 0-)

    If that's the case, everybody who have ever been to jail and being released has no paid their due..

    No joining you

  •  I wonder how courageous he'd be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishBiscuit, Dems 2008

    if thrown in a room with a pack of crazed, hungry dogs.

    Oh well - in Vick's case... To err is human... To forgive, canine.

    I don't think they'll forgive him.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:42:41 PM PST

  •  How long should it take to demonstrate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChristieKeith, debedb, JL

    rehabilitation?

    I don't think 6 or 7 months is long enough to demonstrate anything about anyone's character.  (Especially when the bribe is a lucrative NFL contract)

    How does anything Michael Vick has done demonstrate any kind of courage at all?

  •  Primer on Ed Block Award: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Jay Elias, mnguy66

    (because I think people really don't know what this award is, and are reacting to a story because it says "Michael Vick" and "award" in it.)

    The Ed Block Courage Award is an annual award presented to selected players in the National Football League (NFL), who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage.[1] Named in memory of Ed Block, a much-beloved humanitarian and trainer for the Baltimore Colts, the award is administered by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation. Sponsorship proceeds promote the prevention of child abuse by raising awareness of the epidemic and assisting agencies who provide for the care and treatment of abused children.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Award selection and presentation

    Every year, active players on each of the 32 teams in the National Football League vote for one member of their team who, in their eyes, "exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage".[4] Those players selected are announced in late December.
    Each March, the 32 selected players receive their Ed Block Courage Award at a banquet held in Baltimore. Past recipients include Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, and Dan Marino.[1] The award trophy itself is a pewtered football helmet with the recipient's team logo and engraved with the player's name, team and year.

    So, what we have here is Vick getting ONE of THIRTY-TWO Awards voted on by his peers, not ONE award by an independent group of persons sitting in a room.

    That being said, since he was selected as the recipient of the award for the Philadelphia Eagles...who deserves it other than him?  Can anyone so against Vick getting this award tell me who is more deserving amongst the 50+ players on his team?

    I don't think it was said that "When you're going through hell, you should quit".

    by vcthree on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:48:07 PM PST

    •  Westbrook... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mote Dai, debedb, vcthree, tberry

      ...although I agree with your larger point, I think that if I had a vote, I've have voted for Brian Westbrook.

      The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

      by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:50:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay. Good answer. (4+ / 0-)

        Westbrook might have been my choice, too.  But given the context, I'm not against Vick getting this honor, not to the point where I'm just totally bothered over it.

        None of it justifies what happened, but it's not like he was elected Mayor of Philadelphia, or even AP Man of the Year, for crying out loud.

        I don't think it was said that "When you're going through hell, you should quit".

        by vcthree on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:54:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obviously the players wanted to make a statement (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brooke In Seattle, vcthree

          And I'm all for letting them.  It's their business who they feel is the best sportsman in their locker room.

          The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

          by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:56:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure... (6+ / 0-)

            and it's our business what we say in response to it. Right?

            •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle, debedb, vcthree

              Look, if you want to be offended by the Eagles, feel free.  I'd be more offended by the part where they are paying Vick millions of dollars and giving him a major forum to appeal to children, but I have no trouble at all with your being offended by the Eagles.

              I think it is wishy-washy, though, for us to try to get his award denied.  Make the Eagles pay where it hurts - in ticket and merchandise sales.  

              The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

              by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:59:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not offended at the award itself (5+ / 0-)

                Given that its awarded by 50-odd 20-something professional football players.  We're talking about a group of people with massively inflated egos who have mostly led superstar lives from Junior High School onward, who think that living on the league minimum of $400,000 for 6 months work is scraping by in the world.

                What offends is the number of Kossacks who think it's freakin' courageous to return to a $1,600,000/year job (base, excluding incentives) after being punished for inflicting horrific suffering on dogs for amusement.

                •  It's not that I think it's courageous. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  happy camper, vcthree

                  It's that this award was decided on by the man's teammates, so what business is it of anyone NOT on the team to decide he does or doesn't deserve it?

                  "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                  by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:47:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What does it matter what WE think at all? (0+ / 0-)

                  Kossacks don't have a vote in this process either way.

                  Certainly, I can understand the sentiment of either side of this table, but let's face facts: it's a team award, given to 32 people on 32 teams, voted on by the members of those teams.  They were there every day with the man; none of us were.  They were privy to whatever he went through in the attempt to play a stupid game; we just saw the bits and pieces on SportsCenter. \

                  That's why I couldn't care less if they gave him this award or didn't--they must've had some reason for doing so, because they saw him day-to-day.  I wasn't.  None of us were.  It's not like this award makes him eligible to run for public office, or anything like that.  What we think about his crime is a different factor altogether, and certainly had we a say, he doesn't get an award.

                  I don't think it was said that "When you're going through hell, you should quit".

                  by vcthree on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 05:06:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  And that's fine as well. (4+ / 0-)

              Just so, I'm not so up-in-arms over this because it's Michael Damn Vick, either.  It's poutrage-du-jour, as I see it.  What, are we to devote the rest of our lives to stopping Michael Vick from receiving any honor that might make him look less of an asshole?

              No, we shouldn't forget or easily forgive what he (and his leeches of "friends", if I may politely point that out) did to those animals; it was inhumane, wrong, and illegal.  But can we allow him to repent, at least?  It may never satisfy everyone, but we can allow him a chance to at least repent, at a minimum.

              Protesting every award he gets, in all frankness, isn't going to bring those dogs back.

              I don't think it was said that "When you're going through hell, you should quit".

              by vcthree on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:08:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  how does Vick deserve this? (6+ / 0-)

      First of all, he's a scumbag. I am not saying that like, "he's a scumbag so he doesn't deserve to play." He did his time, so if a team wanted him he could come back IMO. I am saying just... the guy's a piece of crap. This is immediately obvious to anyone. I sincerely hope nobody is inspired by Michael Vick for any reason whatsoever.

      Furthermore... wasn't he bitching about playing time earlier in the year? How's that for sportsmanship? Not to mention he stunk it up big time on the field.

      •  Right. He's a scumbag... (0+ / 0-)

        ...based on what he's done.  So, that defaults him for the rest of his life from receiving any positive mention or honor?  He can't change from a piece of crap to a positive person, ever, because of that?  Then let me offer a word of advice--and I paraphrase Jim Valvano--never screw up, don't EVER screw up.

        Oh, and about that bitching...if I recall correctly, I think he said that he was not too keen on being used in "Wildcat" formation, and nothing more; there was a complaint from Donovan McNabb in the preseason about playing time.  So, you know, score another one for context in lieu of attacking people because you hate them.

        Stunk it up on the field...well, not if you saw the game against Atlanta.  But that's an opinion, and we're talking about a guy who was out of football (because he was in jail), so...expecting him to literally come out of confinement and go straight to Pro Bowl ability was never a concept based in reality to begin with.

        As for the question, "How does Vick deserve this"?

        Ask his teammates.  They voted for him; I had no say in the vote, nor did anyone else here.  You want to ask any member of the Philadelphia Eagles team, I'm sure they have emails.

        I don't think it was said that "When you're going through hell, you should quit".

        by vcthree on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:54:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Since the team members decide who gets it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, soothsayer99

    what chance do outside groups have of influencing their choice?

    The Eagles organization, a private group, hired Vick. The team members, employees of that private group, voted the Block award to Vick.

    This seems like an unnecessary continued harassment of a man who went to prison and paid his dues as decided on by a jury of his peers. Why do people want to see him endlessly punished?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 12:51:52 PM PST

    •  So basically you're saying... (0+ / 0-)

      that whatever the criminal justice system awards is right, and we shouldn't question it, or challenge its ethical basis?

      Does that work in reverse, too? Are all the innocent wrongly condemned worthy of scorn?

      •  He paid his dues... (3+ / 0-)

        Are you going to protest all other convicted people, murderers, bank robbers etc?

      •  That isn't what I said, and you know it. (4+ / 0-)

        You seem excessively devoted to punishing this particular man, and I'm not sure why.

        Because it's about poor, innocent animals? There are people arrested every month in Texas, where I now live, for heartbreaking examples of mass animal cruelty, and nobody follows them around after they've served their time and tries to prevent them from working in their chosen profession.

        People murder other people, kill them in drunken driving crashes and a in thousand other ways, and they don't endure the continuing slam Vick is getting. He is being treated like a child molester.

        Our society sometimes seems to care more for animals than they do for people. When all the human beings in the world are well-cared for, perhaps I can spare a little more anger for someone who mistreats animals and has paid the dues demanded by society for that ill treatment.

        I think your efforts could be better spent elsewhere, but that's just my opinion.

        I'm sure that won't make any difference to you.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:40:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because (0+ / 0-)

          like children, our pets cannot speak against abuse themselves.  He is being treated like a child molester - as he should be.  

          And just like child molesters, I believe that kind of sickness cannot be rehabilitated.

          The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits -- Albert Einstein

          by SweetLittleOkie on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:54:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Vick has served his time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    He made mistakes... He went to jail and served his time.

    I wish him and his family well.

    He has lost millions of dollars and years away from his family.

    I am not excusing his actions, but he has paid a great deal for his crimes.

    If the guy hurt humans, this whole site would be on his side, but because he hurts dogs, he is somehow worse of a criminal.

    I do not buy it. He has served his time. Let him try to recover his life.

    I hope he wins the award.

  •  Vick can do some good, people here don't get it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, soothsayer99

    Right now there are young people that cab be persuaded away from repeating the same heinous acts Vick committed.

    I believe it is much more important to use his ordeal for something positiver than to punish him in perpetuity.

    The audience here at DK is not the target audience of Vick's appearances. He can reach them, none of the people refusing to forgive Vick here at DK has the ability or credibility to do the same.

    Sadly, and most disturbing of all, is that dog fighting continues to this day. While many have made this about Mike Vick and some award most here never even heard about before, there are people continuing to kill and abuse dogs just as they have done before Vick was caught, and have continued to do after he went to prison as many apparently believe Vick and his compatriots were the only people guilty of this horror.

    If you are going to continue to wish for yet another pound of flesh from Vick fine, but please have the consistency to demand that this crime continue to be pursued and prosecuted even though the perpetrators are not celebrities. The celebrity hunting really does obscure the fact that this crap is still going on and authorities know it.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:00:49 PM PST

    •  I'd like to suggest a better teacher... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb, Dems 2008, SweetLittleOkie

      I think HSUS would do better bringing around Vick's dogs, not Vick.

      http://www.petconnection.com/...

      •  I'd like to suggest his audience doesn't care... (3+ / 0-)

        ...what people here at DK think, or PETA, or most animal rights groups for that matter.They are resentful of those groups, rightly or wrongly. That is why he can reach people that need to be reach and others cannot.

        He comes from them and so they listen. It really isn't hard to figure it out. Mike Vick has paid a horrible price in the eyes of some and they are going to listen to him, not people they otherwise have very little in common with.

        The point isn't who is the best teacher, the point is that the concern should be about stopping animal abuse, not stopping Mike Vick.

        I do not see that distinction made well enough by those who want Vick to continue to suffer.

        I want others put away for the same crimes, not just celebrity athletes. For me, it's about stopping the abuse, I'm not obsessed with punishing Vick in perpetuity because it leaves the spotlight off of others who should also go to prison.

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

        by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:48:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Forgive me (5+ / 0-)

    But I'm afraid I can't rouse myself to get overly upset about this.  Sarah Palin shoots helpless animals to death from an aircraft, and she's a national political figure.  Michael Vick tortures dogs, does jail time for it, and is now the subject of all kinds of protests.  Pardon me for asking, but has anyone stopped to consider whether race may be playing just a teeny, tiny part in this?  The young black man just can't be punished enough, but the pretty white lady gets off scot free.  

    Besides, what is special about Vick's animal cruelty?  In the industrial livestock business, they rip the beaks off of chickens and confine them to cages so small they can't turn around and have to live atop their own filth.  The same is true of a calf raised for its veal.  I'd wager that a lot of the people protesting Vick ate some dead animal last night for dinner and didn't give it a second thought.  

    Then of course there's the whole question of hunting.  Many hunters kill purely for the sport of it.  Yet we don't seem to find protesters outside of Dick Cheney's duck blind (at least not to protest the fact he's hunting).  Again, what's the difference?  

  •  If you're upset about how little time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River

    Vick did, take it up with the criminal justice system.

    The powerful and well-known typically get breaks not available to the general population -- how many ex-cons are scrambling to find a job, any job, after they get out of prison, not to mention trying to find a place to live?

    As for me, for one of the first times in my NFL fandom, I'm going to be saying, "Go Cowboys!" this weekend. (Cowboys are playing the Eagles.) A couple of weeks ago, when Vick limped off the field hurt, I wonder if he even thought about what it would be like if football teams treated their players the way he treated his dogs. (Probably not.)

    Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:10:03 PM PST

    •  The amount of time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb

      I've not commented on the amount of jail time he did.

      What I'm upset about is how little time it takes to redeem oneself in the eyes of some of our community here.  Is 6 or 7 mos. and a few "I'm sorry" comments enough to establish one's bonafides?  Throw in a few of those PR stunt visits to wherever pro athletes go to prove they "give back to the community", and everyone eats that right up.

      I figure, if you've spent a few years torturing dogs, and stealing people's pets and killing them, if you can behave yourself for 5 years or more, you're on the right track.

      Will be interesting to see how much Vick does in the way of making up for his crimes once the spotlight fades on him.  That would be a better test of how sincere and rehabilitated he is.

      •  Have you ever been to prison? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        Have you ever been inside a prison?  Have you ever lived a life of luxury, then the next morning, woke up in a gray, concrete cell that smells of urine?  He lost everything, and deservedly so.  However, redemption is subjective, it can happen overnight or it can take forever.  It sounds like you would never accept someone as being reformed and redeemed if they committed animal cruelty.  What arbitrary length of time would you choose to show redemption?

        "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums

        by balancedscales on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:54:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He lost everything (3+ / 0-)

          except a multimillion dollar pro sports career.

          But that's not the point, really.

          7 months is not enough time to prove a change of heart.  It's not enough time to prove that he's not faking the whole remorse thing in order to keep his million dollar job.  

          I've mentioned an arbitrary length of time in my comment above, and even to me that's arbitrary.  15 years from now if I found out he'd been quietly going around behind the scenes, funding animal shelters in all 50 states or something, THEN I'd be sure he'd changed.

          Even that is not the point though really.

          The point is that you think going to prison makes someone deserving of an award for courage, and I don't.

          And no, I haven't been to prison, but then I don't torture dogs, I rescue them.  Sometimes that takes a lot of courage, too, but I don't see anyone offering me an award for it.

  •  Sigh. (6+ / 0-)

    The Eagles are giving him this award for two reasons:

    1.  The players have heard from him what it's like to be stripped of everything and put in jail.  From all accounts, he really has turned his life around and is trying to undo some of the damage he caused.  Many also think (rightly or not) that he was unfairly made an example of on account of his stature as a successful black athlete.
    1.  Giving him this award shines a positive light on him for a change, which boosts his trade value.  They will not retain him for next year, and he's on a 2-year contract.  They want something decent in exchange for him (3rd-rounder or some such).

    It's that simple.  Trying to deny him this award looks petty and is not constructive in my opinion.

    "I know this defies the law of gravity, but you see, I never studied law." -Bugs Bunny

    by KroneckerD on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:10:51 PM PST

  •  It makes me angry to (3+ / 0-)

    see the harsh comments so many are comfortable making against someone that has paid his dues for what he did.  

    I know many of you love animals more than humans but in my eyes that kind of costs you some credebility.  

    I got a dog and if they gave him 10 years I would have been okay with it, but once his time is served it's served.  

    I am proud of the Eagles organization for recognizing that there is life after prison and them having money and living priviledged lives doesn't make that time any less difficult.  

    It does take a certain amount of courage to live a public life and have people dedicate their lives to bashing you even if you turned your life around and continue to show good behavior.  

    •  If he had foregone millions of dollars (4+ / 0-)

      to work full-time w/ animal rights groups, that would've been courageous.  This isn't; this is what anyone would've done.

      Mom, the mall is a way for the corporate fatcats to imprison you into a life of servitude. I've got some stuff you should read.

      by burrow owl on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:53:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

        Forgoing millions of dollars and working for animal rights groups would have been what you want, not what is courageous.  

        He is going to live his life and do what he does despite what will end up being years of criticism from people that will never forgive him and he won't even punch them in the face.   Plenty courageous

  •  Where, oh where... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb

    is Lawrence Taylor when we really need him?

    "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression." -Thomas Paine

    by sierrak9s on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:45:12 PM PST

  •  As far as I'm concerned the entire Eagles team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb

    is as bad as Vick just by hiring him,I've seen many games were I rooted for the Eagles to win since I started watching Football in '65 but I never rooted for the Colts ever and that's goes back to then because I was really for Green Bay and so I just took a dislike to the Colts but when they snuck out of town and did what they did to Baltimore as much as I disliked them that was so wrong in my books that I really never Rooted for them no matter who they played,well all that ended this year and for the first time ever I have rooted for Manning(who I really don't like ether no matter what team he ever goes and plays for) and The Colts to beat the Eagles and it's all because they put Vick on their team and the same goes for any team even if it had been Green Bay who had taken him.

  •  Vick is a sick bastard (0+ / 0-)

    I don't care for pit bulls as a breed, mind you, but what he did to them is so stomach-churningly, blood-curdlingly EVIL that Vick doesn't deserve any award, ever.  He should live the rest of his life in shame, silence, and penitence, not adulation for his alleged prowess on the playing field.

    But what can I say, this whole society is sick for worshipping spending millions on football teams while children go hungry.

    Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:20:31 PM PST

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