The NFL should reject Michael Vick

January 14, 2020

The NFL selected former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick to serve as an honorary captain for the 2020 Pro Bowl, despite two popular petitions demanding his removal. The first petition, hosted by Change.org, collected almost 680,000 signatures while the second, featured on Animalvictory.org, gathered upward of 387,000.

In 2007, a judge sentenced Vick to 23 months in prison for running a “cruel and inhumane” dogfighting ring. During the investigation, Vick lied about his involvement, subsequently failing both a drug and lie detector test. On Aug. 27, Vick pled guilty to “conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.” Steering a five-year operation known as “Bad Newz Kennels” on his Surry County, Va., property, Vick oversaw, sponsored and contributed to the forced combat, torture and execution of pit bulls.

Proponents of Michael Vick’s redemption tour, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, point to his humanitarian contributions since his release from prison. The former Falcons and Eagles’ quarterback has publicly supported bills enabling law enforcement to break car windows to free trapped pets. Vick also vocalized support for a bill that prohibits attendance at organized dogfighting events. In other words, Vick now advocates against the very cruelty he once oversaw.

But Vick’s inclusion in NFL celebrations is unwelcome, as evidenced by the overwhelming support for the petitions seeking to ostracize him. In the eyes of many, Vick remains a callous coward, so unconcerned with the sanctity of life that he was once willing to maim and murder canines to satiate his gambling itch.

And while 2007 may seem like a lifetime ago–George Bush was still president, Bob Barker still hosted the “Price is Right” and I’m pretty sure I owned a Nextel walkie-talkie flip phone–the damage of Vick’s atrocities can never be undone.

Vick can never restore the lives stolen from the pitbulls he battered into subservience. He can never unwrap the nylon-cord nooses he placed around the necks of “man’s best friend.” He can never restore life to the dogs he deliberately submerged underwater or remove the domesticated dogs he sacrificed to his trained pitbulls from the combat rings where they incurred fatal injuries. He can never withdraw the electricity that coursed through his victims’ bodies or mend the organs pierced by his bullets.

Furthermore, Vick is a classic case of a perpetrator feigning sorrow not because he is actually sorry, but rather because he regrets the consequences of his actions. The four-time Pro Bowler repeatedly lied to investigators, first refusing to accept guilt for participating in the actual murders before retracting such statements once he failed a polygraph test.

Vick’s attempts to make amends are a textbook case of overcompensation. According to a USDA report dated Aug. 28., 2008., “Vick, [Purnell] Peace and [Quanis] Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pitbull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”

There’s something inherently heinous about harming the vulnerable. Such a concept is why we alienate child molesters. It’s why we emblazon rapists and sex predators with a lifelong label. It’s why we attach a stigma against those who engage in the very same animal cruelty Vick participated in.

In one sense, murdering dogs is the equivalent of murdering children; like children, dogs do not understand why their flesh is being ripped from their bodies as an apathetic group of men savagely cheer the brutality. They do not possess the capacity to understand why their owners subject them to merciless beatings as they labor from the injuries sustained during a needless fight. They don’t understand why they are unable to regain their breath as they dangle five feet above the ground, desperately struggling against their inevitable doom.

Vick’s actions were cowardly. They were vile. They represent a special type of cruelty reserved for only the most inhumane human beings on the planet.

There’s nothing commendable about the NFL’s superficial attempt to portray Vick as a martyr. His “road to redemption” was not worthy of a documentary in 2016. His presence is not welcome at the 2020 Pro Bowl. He deserves nothing short of unconditional rejection.

Perhaps we should stop referring to Vick as “controversial” or “embattled.” Perhaps we should stop prioritizing athletic prowess over morals, values and basic human decency. Perhaps it’s time we start referring to Vick for what he actually is: a murderer who discarded animals once they could no longer serve his purpose.

 

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46 Comments

46 Responses to “The NFL should reject Michael Vick”

  1. Charles Moore on January 14th, 2020 1:33 pm

    I am a 57 year old life long football fan, but I am so disgusted that Michael Vick will be an honorary captain in the pro bowl…if it happens there will NEVER be another NFL game on in our house, we will never again go to games or buy NFL products.
    Talk with officers in Atlanta that were involved back then and you will hear about such horrors…it is hard to believe a human is capable. Vick has problems that are so severe they will never change. I believe he is capable of anything.

  2. MaryAnn Carruthers on January 14th, 2020 7:38 pm

    Michael Vick is an evil man! He is sorry he got caught, not sorry for inflicting pain on those poor dogs!

  3. katie on January 14th, 2020 7:48 pm

    This is a great article that really hits every point.

  4. Tom E Hale on January 14th, 2020 9:20 pm

    Anyone who fights dogs or anything else cruel to any animal should be locked up at the very least and better stay away from me!

  5. Shannon wilcox on January 15th, 2020 2:25 am

    I have a serious problem with the NFL Apparently its ok to beat your wife , rape and horrifically torture dogs but take a knee in peaceful protest over a legitimate issue and you’re out . Obviously there standards and morality are sadly non-existent .

  6. Brande Wood on January 15th, 2020 5:36 pm

    I couldn’t agree more or say it better, I am adding a link to your editorial on my petition. http://chng.it/qwKk5PNw

    Obviously Goodell has some agenda where he or the NFL makes money off of Vick and this controversy. Thank you for speaking out against both of them!!

  7. Angela Pierson on January 16th, 2020 1:20 am

    I’m appalled with his arrogance! The very first time I saw the documentary I saw his arrogance on national TV the journalist who saved one of his dogs was catching him coming in the door out of the door or however it’s what he said next that pissed me off! I don’t give a fuck about dogs or the dog or what the fuck happened he didn’t care! I’m appalled with his arrogance! the very first time I saw the documentary I saw his arrogance on national TV the journalist who saved one of his dogs was catching him coming in the door out of the door or however it’s what he said next that pissed me off! I don’t give a fuk about dogs or the dog or what the fuk happened he didn’t care! He’s a an arrogant son of a bitch. He deserves nothing accept a jail cell and not far money laundering but for murdering dogs

  8. Darren W. on January 16th, 2020 1:12 pm

    Michael Vick did his punishment time. Just let him be now. Vick was one of the best players to watch and entertain. Dog lovers cried (and continue to do so) because he was able to redeem himself and be successful again. Vick to the hall of fame!!!

  9. GPC on January 16th, 2020 1:15 pm

    The NFL wants you to “just get over it” and they believe it will just go away. NEVER!

  10. Stacey Swetil-Rust on January 16th, 2020 2:32 pm

    Michael Vick should never be honored he is a poster child for animal abuse

  11. Joy Wildey on January 16th, 2020 2:32 pm

    Scumbag… ROT IN HELL !!!!!!
    THOSE POOR DOGS !!!!!! 😪😭

  12. norma moore on January 16th, 2020 2:40 pm

    Sadly, the NFL does not care. I hope no one watches this game!

  13. Sandi Akalewicz on January 16th, 2020 2:40 pm

    Michael Vick Deserves to be euthanized

  14. Robin Marsh on January 16th, 2020 3:05 pm

    I haven’t watched football since I first heard bout Vick’s has done and as long as he has anything to do with the NFL I refuse to.
    Vick’s isn’t sorry for anything he’s done to the poor fur babies that were hurt injured and killed. Vick’s is only sorry his butt got caught.
    He needs blocked from football, put on the animal cruelty registry, forbidden from owning or being within 1000 yrs of a dog/animal period.

  15. Hector Hernandez on January 16th, 2020 5:50 pm

    NFL I had rescue almost 150 Dogs from the streets and there is nothing more loyal and grateful than to see the eyes of love and gratitude of this Beautiful Beings please consider not honoring someone that doesn’t deserve this honor that has induced so much pain and cruelty immensely evil thanks I know my feelings and words may not mean much please listen to the ones that speak for compassion for those that suffer

  16. Jill L on January 16th, 2020 8:52 pm

    Excellently written article. I am one of the multitude of signatures on these petitions. It sickens me that the NFL chose to keep the designation in spite of the huge numbers on the petitions. Money talks, but this is one more reason why NFL is feeling the hurt. Maybe not enough to undo it, but it’s certainly losing former fans and it is certainly getting bad press. And deservedly so. Michael Vick is a horrible person who has done evil to poor innocent living beings. He should never be forgiven and his wrongs should never be forgotten.

  17. Cindy Stewart on January 16th, 2020 9:29 pm

    REMOVE THAT SORRY ASS SON OF A BI**H
    IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

    I HATE THAT MOTHER FUCKIN MURDERER

  18. Valencia Hill on January 17th, 2020 5:03 am

    I know he did wrong to all those dogs I’m a dog lover, feel like people it’s more than what happened to the dogs, have taken to a whole another level, a lot of people have done bad things to an animal…. was the job ask for was the position taken jail time. Sounds like a hold lot more going on you just don’t want him to have that position, so using the dogs to help to get Vick out. Sorry don’t agree on this way, he paid for his actions to convict him again what if God did that to use, think about it wrong is wrong and right is right and no matter who and where you come from but just my opinion

  19. Mark Eller Sr on January 17th, 2020 7:15 am

    The NFL and Michael Vick go hand in hand. Both POS garbage!!!

  20. Pamela Bacon on January 17th, 2020 9:27 am

    Excellent article. Thank you!

  21. Carol Tyson on January 17th, 2020 9:34 am

    Michael Vick is not “cured” he will do this again. He will make sure he doesn’t get caught the next time. I can’t believe he’s allowed to have a dog. His children wanted a dog and the spca let him have one. He is NOT rehabilitated. He did horrific things to those animals. He said he didn’t know it was wrong. He’s an adult, he knew it was wrong. I don’t care if he was brought up that way, he knew it was wrong. He doesn’t deserve any respect.

  22. Sally Borman on January 17th, 2020 11:24 am

    I’m always about forgiving, but in No WAY should he be rewarded for his horrendous behavior. I think he should have never bounced out of jail back to the NFL.
    That was the first mistake, and the NFL goes on to make another huge mistake. The NFL needs to redo the rules. If they had better morals, they would hire players with better morals. Looking at the atrocious acts that Michael Vic perpetrated on innocent animals. as well as, listening to him speak about what he did to innocent animals, there is No WAY he should be rewarded with anything. Frankly, a normal minded person would never sleep at night.

  23. Patricia Kruger on January 17th, 2020 12:08 pm

    LOVE THIS COMMENTARY! And 100% agree. Michael Vick can not seek redemption for what he did. There’s none available for this types of crimes.

  24. Lori Buckingham on January 17th, 2020 7:04 pm

    He needs to have done to him what he did to these Defenseless dogs that were in his care

  25. Lori Lazarz on January 17th, 2020 8:52 pm

    He had a choice in what he did. His choice was to sadistically mutilate innocent dogs. He watched as the Life Light in their eyes went out. As they went from begging to live to begging me to die

  26. Sherry Wolfe on January 17th, 2020 9:46 pm

    Have lost ALL RESPECT for the NFL for their decision to let that POS take part IN ANY WAY! The NFL is condoning Vick’s DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR . . . Vick, in my opinion SHOULD BE IN JAIL, PERIOD!

  27. Debbie on January 18th, 2020 7:56 am

    Please people get over it. There are people in the NFL who’s done worst. Example Big Ben the rapist. Some of you commenting probably has done worst. I stand with and for Vick he paid his dues…

  28. Yvonne Maples on January 18th, 2020 8:50 am

    The NFL’s only agenda is money money and more money their morals went down the toilet a long time ago and what better proof of that than this situation with MV he doesn’t even deserve to represent decent upstanding people yes I agree he served his time but him doing that doesn’t bring back any of the fur babies he murdered you can’t just sweep what he did under the rug a thousand years from now he will still be known as the monster that murdered mercilessly and he will answer to that everybody answers for what they do and as one person wrote about him being the poster monster for animal abusers is absolutely right he is once a murderer always a murderer I’d rather see a certain knee bender get that honor than MV and I totally hate knee benders the NFL needs to find it’s morals and put them back on top of their priority list instead of the bottom of it If the NFL insists on sleeping with the likes of MV then they’ll be his roommate in hell is that what they want?

  29. Linda Mancini on January 18th, 2020 12:28 pm

    This is one sick human being and not someone who should be held up to young people as a role model. NFL is concerned about parents pulling kids out if the sport due to potential for traumatic brain injuries. I would say employing a psychopath like Michael Vick in any capacity is not helping their case. He is an extremely disturbed human being and his participation in this event only solidifies the reputation of football as a violent sport. The crimes he committed are unforgivable and he should be banned for life from all professional sports.

  30. Angela Bell on January 19th, 2020 10:05 am

    I think that Michael Vick is just another piece of garbage straight out of the hood that was capable of throwing a ball around and got rich. He is still the same thug with money that is an abuser and a cruel human being that only says he’s sorry just because he got caught. He’s said it himself… “I’d still be dog fighting if I hadn’t got caught”…Anyone who still looks up to this POS is the same caliber human being….. plain old trash! If you can take innocent dogs and do what he did…. you are a monster and I have no use for you at all!

  31. Kristyn DiCostanzo on January 19th, 2020 10:33 am

    Mike Vick the American trash bag!!!!

  32. Lola Bell on January 19th, 2020 10:57 am

    Putting cruel thugs like him in leadership roles sends a message to all players and fans that team owners and big business do not care about athletes as role models nor integrity in national sports. Their “rules” are worthless. Wife beaters, gamblers, felony animal abuse, racketeering all welcome as long as there is money to be made. This is reprehensible. And even Michael Vick, if he had been left in jail, may have redeemed himself. Instead he has learned that rich ppl fix everything.

  33. N McMackin on January 19th, 2020 11:28 am

    I’m sorry this man lives let alone thrives in the lime light again. His crimes of moral turpitude are unforgivable and unforgettable. He’s not sorry – just sorry to be caught! ❤️🐾

  34. John Iannucci on January 19th, 2020 7:44 pm

    There isn’t much more i can say that has already been said! Except for those few people that says Michael Vick has already served his time, are OUT of your minds Tell that to all those dogs that were tortured. NOT just killed quick, THEY WERE TORTURED! A slow death! With extreme pain! While Vick and his cousins watched and laughed. The reason why Vick tortured these dogs in different ways, because he wanted to amuse himself and his pos friends in watching to see the different ways dogs can scream. To see what method of torture was the best! Michael Vick is a MONSTER! For you people that believes he paid his price. Fuck you! You’re a fan of the devil!

  35. Mae on January 19th, 2020 11:02 pm

    I think that this is disgusting that you are allowing Michael Vick to be a captain in the Pro Bowl.
    I bet that my dad is turning in his ashes! When he was alive, he loved his Georgia teams including Atlanta Falcons but couldn’t stand Vick!
    Me signing this petition is in memory of my dad and myself.
    If you’re going to let Vick back in then Colin Kaepernick should be let back in too!

  36. Lisa Poole on January 20th, 2020 9:18 am

    Mike Vick should never be allowed to play in professional football again. What he did to all those poor dogs is unforgivable, he laughed and cheered as dogs were being torn apart how could anyone forgive or forget that? OJ Simpson never got charged for killing his wife and her boyfriend but NFL had standards so they wouldn’t let him back now tell me what’s the difference in OJ and Mike nothing except OJ only killed 2 Mike has killed a hell of a lot stop defending and paying a murder

  37. e clary on January 20th, 2020 11:55 am

    I have to question this bill he is supporting? The article says “He has also vocalized support for a bill that prohibits attendance at organized dogfighting events”. ANY DOG FIGHTING EVENT IS ILLEGAL.

  38. Chris Haeber on January 20th, 2020 7:49 pm

    Its a disgrace to actually allow him to participate at all! He is a coward he should be done the exact same way he treated those innocent animals! I personaly think any and all animal lovers should attack him anywear he goes in public! They should spit in his face anytime he makes a statement. And He should never be given any type of recognition for anything ever again! His name should be pulled from any and every accomplishment he has ever made! Strip every thing from him as he did to the life of any animal that did not satisfy his expectations! Just hope i never get the chance to be in the same room cuz he will not walk away!

  39. Kevin Dailey on January 21st, 2020 2:26 pm

    It’s the Pro Bowl. Choose your battles wisely.

  40. Sharon Whitehouse on January 22nd, 2020 10:08 am

    It’s a disgrace. And I am done with the NFL. No more football at our house.

  41. Cindy on January 26th, 2020 6:04 pm

    Michael Vick is a monster with many faces, he deserves no honors or resoect, he is a poor role model for the young and innocent. Shame on the NFL it is a league of no morals. If I committed those horrific acts I would be in jail and not for just 2 years,and coach Dungy certainly would never promote me as a sorrowful person that has changed, again I would hate to believe because he is black he is getting rewarded by making millions once again. Just look into the NFL and all the shameful events that are put under the rug and forgotten by football players. Nobody should believe they can overcome Karma that will be their finale.

  42. louise rovenger on January 29th, 2020 9:37 pm

    A sadist of any species is the same. Dogs save our lives, during earthquakes, and wars. What you did to them was inhuman. Someday, somewhere, you and your family who heard those dogs crying and screaming will get yours. I am not a vengeful person, but I pray everyday for your pain.

  43. Ryan on February 6th, 2020 10:00 pm

    He served his time in prison. He changed his ways and became a better person who helps the youth and speaks against animal cruelty. This article and opinion of those who sit on such a pedestal is as sickening as dogfighting. Shaming a man who served two years in prison and changed his life…SHAME ON YOU!

  44. Trisha on February 17th, 2020 11:06 am

    This was very well written. People can go back and forth about how he served his time, and deserves forgiveness. The fact of the matter is animal cruelty laws are not worthy of what humans do to them. Any human that can inflict pain and torture an innocent animals has a rotten soul and unstable frame of mind. Trust that there are other things going on with them than just abusing defenseless animals. Time spent in jail never quit fits the crime.

  45. Kim Kammeraad on February 20th, 2020 1:00 am

    For those of you who believe he has seen the error of his ways, has done his time, and has changed, you are sorely mistaken. For someone to torture and murder innocent dogs with impunity, over a long period of time, is OBVIOUSLY void of empathy, conscience, and anything else that makes human beings decent and humane. Mental health experts who have commented on Michael Vick have labeled him a sociopath. Sociopaths will apologize, due community service, mentor young athletes….. but it means nothing to them. It is simply a means to an end for Vick. A sociopath will perform the acts he feels he must to get whatever he wants, which, in this case, is to play football, make a large amount of money, and aquire fame. Along with not feeling empathy for others and a complete lack of a conscience, sociopaths are totally narcissistic! Don’t be fooled, VICK IS SICK, and that will never change.

  46. Leah on March 25th, 2020 6:55 pm

    Anyone who enjoys torturing another living thing (and there’s ample evidence that Michael Vick did enjoy doing it) is intrinsically messed up in the head. Sadists don’t “reform.” He’d need to have his brain replaced with a healthy one for that to happen. His supporters are just as sick as he is. People be warned.

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