"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon."
- George Aiken
We have been analyzing and re-analyzing the Michael Vick saga for a couple of weeks now. So I find it necessary to bring some closure to the argument, at least on my end. Numerous issues exist here, all of which are in some way controversial. In a perfect world I would tell you that racism plays no role in anything, athletes are responsible individuals, and the law is inarguable and just. Of course, none of that is true. Once we can sift through the rubble that is our sanity, we can find some truth and finally reach a conclusion regarding the current state of affairs in American professional sports.
According to our now-famous indictment, it appears that Vick played a role in operating the Bad Newz Kennel that existed on property owned by, but not lived in by, Vick. What does that mean? Once you fight through all the media babble and outrage, we find few facts. What we do know is that people associated with Vick broke the law. There is no doubt that dog-fighting occurred and that property is directly associated with it. Some of you may try, but you can't argue those facts.
Did Vick know dog-fighting was going on? Well, here is where our assumptions come in. Before I get to that, I will state this: If he owned the property and helped establish the kennel, then Vick bears a level of responsibility here. If I owned property I would be mindful enough to keep my eye on it, especially if I knew someone with a questionable past was living there. Just to keep my options open and to keep myself out of trouble. Without doing so, I am leaving myself open. And that's what he did.
Why is Vick the scapegoat here? Well, its not because he's black. I know, I have seen the polls that are recording what people of each race believe. And expectedly, black people think due process should be used, while white people believe he should be pre-emptively punished. Tell me this. When a black man is being tried for a crime, do his lawyers attempt to fill the jury with fellow African-Americans? Do the prosecutors attempt to keep the jury whiter than usual? Yes, and yes. Why? Well we clearly lean in a direction that is predetermined. These polls mean nothing to me. It doesn't mean that the man being tried is guilty or not guilty.
Michael Vick is famous. Rich and famous. He is a millionaire athlete, and that's an understatement. He is arguably the best athlete in the NFL and is the face of the franchise he plays for. He also is (or was) a poster boy for the NFL. At such a high profile, he will face the most scrutiny. That is simple and to the point.
There are white people that want to see him fry. Ignore PETA and all that. They are radicals who are mindless self promoters. They are using Vick. And that's wrong. He hasn't been proven guilty of anything yet. Blank can't listen to them, or worry about their backlash. But back to those white people. You have read on here what they have said. Vick's a thug. He's a gangster. It's the ‘hip hop culture.' Ok, enough of that. Hip-hop isn't real. It's a made up ideal, in a sense. Its this alternate lifestyle, for lack of a better phrase. What they are singing and rapping about has little to do with real life. But sometimes idiots who never grew up carry it over into real life, and if you don't know anything about it, you will just associate blacks with crime directly. That's the wrong idea here.
Michael Vick could very well be found innocent. In fact, I think it's 60-40 in favor of him beating this. I'm white. Do I think he knew about this stuff and participated minimally? Yes. Do I think he was the mastermind? No. Does his high profile make him an easy target for investigation, one that may make prosecutors reach higher for an indictment? Yes. Does that mean he's not guilty? No. It doesn't mean anything. All I know is he's innocent until proven guilty.
What I will say is, something needs to happen with him. You can not suspend Pacman and Henry and then not suspend Vick. They were never indicted. Imagine if Vick was white? My God...wow...the repercussions that would ensue. You message board clowns on the other side would be screaming bloody murder, just like the message board clowns calling for his beheading are now. But since those other 2 were suspended, and an interesting precedent was set, Vick needs to be relieved of his duties for a period of time. It's the only way.
Racism is horrible. Its fueled by ignorance that I can't put to words. True idiots ruin the moral fabric of our country with their pre-disposed racist beliefs. Ok, I got mugged as a kid 3 or 4 times (nah I'm not the town geek who got his butt kicked), and every time it was a group of black kids. Do I **** people? No, quite the contrary. I was in a bad neighborhood. And guess what? Bad neighborhoods make bad kids. I don't care where the hell you are or what race you're dealing with. Bad places make for bad company which makes for bad outcomes.
I wish some of you would walk a mile in another man's shoes. And for those of you who are African American, I know this sounds silly but I would wish for you to walk some in our shoes as well, because we (most of us) are not out to bury Michael Vick. There are thugs, hooligans, and j-offs all over the sports landscape that are both black and white. The media is not technically attempting a smear job on Vick, but it is focusing on what makes us tick. And racism is hot button issue, everyone. Just look at how we're acting. What do you think the media is going to do?
Just imagine if Pete Rose was black and not allowed into the hall of fame? I want you to think about that and you know people would be unleashing hell on here. But he's not. He just broke the law. And he broke baseball's age old conduct policy. There are some things you just don't do.
And Michael Vick did a bad thing somewhere. Punishable by jail time? Who knows. I hope he is innocent, for the sake of a game I love. But something has to happen here unfortunately. The precedents have been set.