Friday, August 24, 2007
According to CNN, Michael Vick has admitted that he and his co-conspirators killed dogs that did not fight well in papers filed on Friday with a federal court in Virginia.
In the plea agreement, Vick said he would plead guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture."
The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, "full restitution, a special assessment, and 3 years of supervised release." Federal prosecutors agreed to ask for the low end of the sentencing guidelines.
In an additional statement of facts, signed by Vick and filed with the agreement, Vick admitted buying the property that was used for dogfighting but said he did not bet on the fights or receive any of the money won.
Meanwhile, Vick's estranged father, Michael Boddie told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week that some time around 2001 his son staged dogfights in the garage of the family's home in Newport News, Va. Boddie also said Vick kept fighting dogs in the family's backyard, including injured ones — "bit up, chewed up, exhausted" — that the father nursed back to health.
And the head of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP, R.L. White, said that Vick has made mistakes but that they should not cost him his football career with the NFL but whatever he's done wrongly, he needs to pay for it. White also said he didn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable and he urged the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons and Vick's commercial sponsors not to dump the troubled athlete.
My take: I do agree with Mr. White in so much that I do not think Vick's playing career should be over. I think he (Vick) should be afforded a second chance. Ours is a very forgiving society if the mea culpa is sincere and genuine. I've thought for the longest time that if Pete Rose came clean from outset, he would be in Cooperstown today. But of course his blatant defiance and pigheadedness got in the way and we all know the sad tale.
I disagree with Mr. White's stance that Vick's endorsement deals should not be affected and I am quite sure those same endorsers will, too. Any advertiser worth its wait in twinkies knows that if the public deems someone connected with their product or service to be less than an exemplary member of society, that same public will look elsewhere when buying similar products. In other words, the bottom line will be greatly compromised. And when that happens, it's a whole new ball game.
I also don't agree with Mr. White's stance on dogfighting. He said he "doesn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable."
Is he serious? Is really trying to intimate that hunting wild animals is akin to dogfighting or vice-versa? Does he not get that these dogs are bred to fight, to kill & to die? Does he not get that these dogs have no choice but to fight, to the death mind you, or else face a most cruel fate themselves? I certainly hope Mr. White comes to his senses and offers the obligatory "my comments were taken out of context" retort.
'Til next time.
Posted by Steve Olenski at Friday, August 24, 2007