Merry Christmas and happy New Year Mr. Vick!! We the fans love you and also believe you are the most courageous player in the nfl.
The Philadelphia Eagles players awarded Mr. Vick ("Vick") with a team award, the Ed Block Courage Award. I could not be happier, and feel the award could not be more deserving.
What I am not happy about is all the negative press regarding his award. Yahoo Sports in particular has published various articles stating that Vick does not deserve to be honored as courageous, and by implication that his teammates were wrong for rewarding Vick. To me this is outrageous and reflects poorly on our society and media.
First of all, I am a professional, white, in my early thirties, my father's family pet is a beautiful pit-bull named Babe, and my wife and I are huge animal lovers. Second, I wholly agree that pit-bull fighting is despicable and deservingly criminal. However, the way a large part of the media has portrayed Vick, to me, reeks of racism, and is modern day Jim Crow and is far more reprehensible.
Michael Vick has served his time in a federal penitentiary, apologized Ad nauseam, spoken on behalf of the Human Society, and heeded the words of Tony Dungy by purposefully taking a back-up role with the Eagles to stay out of the spotlight. Quite literally he has been the ideal of humility and courageousness.
And please remember this is one of the most gifted athletes of this era, a man that has changed American football, and made millions of dollars for the nfl. In my opinion, people have to realize when persecution has gone too far, when their own behavior of hatred and narrow-mindedness is more detrimental to society than the original misbehavior.
To make my point another way I would like to mention how I personally would have handled these circumstances if I was the talent that Michael Vick is.
First, I would have said that it was completely ridiculous that the Federal government was wasting time and resources to attack me, and that the whole thing was a sham, similar to locking up Muhammad Ali in his prime.
Further, I would have said that the whole thing was about race and class, and that in essence I had a hobby that is not acceptable in the white middle and upper class society, and that it is the irony of all ironies, that as a man, I am treated no better than a prize dog in the nfl.
Then when released from prison, I would tell the Human Society, PETA, and all of the other animal groups that they are out of touch with reality, that they are a product of self-righteousness and privilege, and to make real difference in U.S. society they should focus their effort and money on human beings in poor neighborhoods. And point out that the only thing the U.S. society does for poor black neighborhoods is take their most physically gifted individuals and exploit them in college and pro-sports for the entertainment of the masses and punish them when they do not conform to mainstream culture.
I would tell Tony Dungy that while I agree with his approach to life, I cannot forgive the media and the public for my treatment and that I must speak out against the irony and clear injustice of my situation. I would sign with the Raiders as their starting QB and take them to the playoffs (the Raiders have won 5 games this year without Vick).
I would have become a symbol of anger and disobedience to a society that has only set out to exploit black American athlete. A true RAIDER, my #7 jersey would be the best selling in the nfl and as a black QB I would have set out to represent an antithesis to a white QB’d, white coached, white owned, and white commissioned nfl.
Such a path, would have (believe me) brought out fans in droves, would have been a detriment to animal rights, the nfl, and U.S. society, but in a way a fair, and reasonable way to respond to a blatant public whipping.
Instead, Michael Vick turned the other cheek, he chose humility, sincere apology, deep introspection, grace, and chose to never complain or speak out against his penance. He chose to follow the guidance of Tony Dungy a man with much more integrity and wherewithal than any self-righteous media hack or web publisher than insists on continuing to tarnish Vick despite his incredible courageousness.
I am not particularly religious, but to me, Jesus walks in the shoes of Michael Vick!
(see you in the superbowl)