As reported by several media outlets, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is very angry at Roger Goodell and the NFL for reinstating Micheal Vick.
It comes as no surprise to hear that PETA is angry about this. The only time you ever hear about PETA, is when they are mad at somebody. That's just what they do.
As a dog lover and owner, I was as appalled as everyone upon hearing what transpired on Vick's property before his arrest and subsequent conviction for sponsoring a dog fighting ring.
I personally am no fan of Mr. Vick's, and won't watch or support any team that signs him, but that is my choice to make, not PETA's.
Michael Vick may be a despicable human being, but he has served his penalty as handed down by a court of law and as such has the right to pursue whatever vocation he so chooses within the confines of the law.
There are many professions where a criminal record prohibits your candidacy. For example, ex-cons cannot be police officers or teachers. But, nowhere does it say an ex-convict cannot be an NFL quarterback, nor should it.
There is absolutely no legal reason not to reinstate Vick to the NFL. The only reason that exists is a moral one. That is the only position that PETA can take at this point as they continue to advocate a lifetime ban from the NFL for the former star quarterback.
The problem with morality is that it is very subjective. Was what Michael Vick did wrong? Yes, according to the laws and customs of North American society what Michael Vick did was wrong, and he was punished accordingly.
Now, if you ask the question is it wrong for those who have abused animals such as Vick did to be allowed to play professional football? In my opinion the answer is a resounding no. The two have nothing to do with one another.
PETA is trying to use Vick's celebrity status as a pro football player to push their political and moral agendas. The way I see it, you'd be as crazy to use PETA as a moral compass as you would using Micheal Vick for the same purpose.
PETA is an organization that lives in its own little world. This is a group that is currently running a campaign aimed at "re-branding" fish as "Sea Kittens". As though fish were a clothing line or something.
The goal of this misguided and ridiculous campaign is to make people associate slimy fish with man's second best furry friend.
This is a group that is trying to lump fishermen into the same category as Vick by comparing fishing to putting a hook in your pet cat's mouth and dragging it behind your car. That is a direct quote.
I for one think it is folly for professional sports to assume the role of society's moral guardians. Professional athletes are entertainers, they are not experts on morality, nor should they be asked to perform that role.
Granted,athletes are considered role models for children. But the virtues they are best suited to impart on kids are hard work, perseverance, fair play and a desire to be the best at what you choose to do.
They are not well suited for the task of imparting society's morals on younger fans. That task falls to parents. If a parent feels that cheering for Micheal Vick on the football field goes against the moral code they are trying to instill in their children, then it is on their shoulders as parents to prohibit them from watching him play...not Roger Goodell's.
PETA has no business attacking the NFL and demanding that Goodell impose a lifetime ban on Michael Vick for his past sins.
I am all for the the rights and ethical treatment of animals, but only to the point where those rights don't infringe on the freedoms of human beings under the law.
Like it or not, Michael Vick has paid his debt to society for what he has done. As a result, he's now a member of society with all the rights and privileges of the rest of us who are free to pursue whatever vocation, under the law, he so chooses; that includes being an NFL quarterback.
PETA has every right to use him as an example of what will happen to you if you abuse animals; as Vick did, you will go to jail. Anything beyond that is an attempt at circumventing Michael Vick's rights as a person who has paid his debt to society, in an empty attempt to fortify a moral and political position held by a group of people who equate fisherman to people who drag cats behind cars.
In my opinion, bowing to the pressures of people like that is not only stupid, but dangerous.
I'd like to smack Vick in the head for what he did. Still, I applaud Roger Goodell for adhering to the letter of the law and reinstating him, rather than assuming a moral position and pandering to a group of people who would be just as inclined to see fishermen go to jail and forfeit their rights, as they would Micheal Vick.