Michael Vick: Right Owner, Right Coach, Right Team, Wrong City!

Harold BellContributor IIIAugust 19, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 15:  Michael Vick #7 prepares to throw a pass in a workout at the NovaCare Complex on August 15, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Football players and real sports fans across America are wondering, why would Michael Vick choose the worst sports city in America to try to restart his NFL career?

Philadelphia is called "The City of Brotherly Love"—it's anything but a city that loves brothers!

Racial profiling among the city's police department is on par with the LAPD and NYPD and Prince George's County Police Department in the state of Maryland.

Vick's first appearance in a home game in a Philadelphia Eagle football uniform will set American sports back 52 years. Remember 1947 and Jackie Robinson?

Don't be surprised to see a black dog instead of a black cat released on the field of play. The No. 1 played song on the radio in cities that the Eagles visit will be, "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

Vick and his family will need an armed escort to and from games. The best advice his legal team could give him: "Tell your family and friends to stay home and watch the games on television."

Vick's No. 7 jersey was the biggest seller in the NFL before his dog conviction. It has sold out in Philly, but don’t be surprised to see his jersey being used to start bonfires at Eagles pep and tailgate rallies and parties. Racial tensions will run high in the city during the season.

When the race card in America is played, it's clear that there are no "good sports."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

When a man serves 18 months in jail for making a "stupid" mistake and lost $113 million dollars in salary and says, "I am sorry," who are we to say in America, "You don’t deserve a second chance?"

How many times must he say, "I am sorry?"

Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis got away with murder in Atlanta, and WR Donte' Stallworth of the Cleveland Browns walked away a free man after he killed a man with his automobile.

Brendan Haywood of the NBA's Washington Wizards said it best: "When is a dog’s life worth more than a human life?"

The reason Vick chose the Eagles was, the owner wanted him, the coach wanted him, and last but not least, first string quarterback Donovan McNabb wanted him.

The city is another story. 

Philadelphia sports fans are known nationally to be the worst in America. Their sports history speaks for itself—ask the guy who played Santa Claus. While he was being parachuted into the stadium, his arrival was met with a barrage of snowballs from every corner of the stadium.

How can Washington Redskins fans ever forget how their NFL Hall of Fame mascot Chief Zee was almost killed when he was attacked after a game in Philly in 1983? He has not been back since and refuses to even fly over the city. He said, "I would not put it past them to shoot planes down."

It has been proven that most Philadelphia sports fans are not as smart as "Fifth Graders."

Philadelphia is the worst among major cities in America when it comes to college-educated adults; less then 21 percent are college graduates.  

They are definitely not playing with a full deck.

The Eagles were the first team in professional sports in America to have an on-site jail for rowdy and drunken fans.

Despite the first African-American President in the history of the country, race relations are in a sad state. Before President Barack Obama, U.S. Presidents usually received an average of 3,000 death threats a month. Obama receives 12,000 monthly.

In Philadelphia there is a possibility that Vick death threats might just surpass the President’s.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has a long history of waging legal battles on behalf of civil rights, warned, "There is a rise of violent and well-armed White Militias. They are driven by the recession and hatred of Obama."

The Center concluded, "There are at least 50 new militia groups in the nation over the past two years. They are mostly located in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and the deep South."

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) added, "You are seeing the bubbling right now. You are seeing people buying into what they’re saying. It’s primed to grow."

In the meantime, CBS News carried a lengthy report on the groups last week that concluded, "The right-wing extremists, historically motivated by a distrust of government, are now especially angry about the election of America’s first African-American President."

Last week during one of those public forums on Health Care, a woman yelled, "We must take back America." 

My question: "Take it back from whom?"

Dog fighting in America is as American as apple pie. Michael Vick didn't bring dog fighting to America; it was here when his ancestors got off the ship. It's still a thriving business today.

Thanks to the overkill in media and its double standards, the Vick conviction opened up Pandora’s Box.

I was watching the popular America’s Got Talent show on NBC television last week. The show is one of my favorites. The show has moved into the semifinal round.  The winner will receive $1 million and will headline a show in Las Vegas.

What happened next really confirmed my fears that Vick is in real trouble in Philly. 

The host is Nick Cannon (Mariah Carey’s husband), and the judges are Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff.  

A national television audience voted the first four contestants into the semifinals. The last two contestants for this segment were a man and dog act against a talented brother that sang and played a mean piano. Their fate would lie in the hands of the judges instead of the national television audience.

The man and dog’s performance was mainly the dog running through the owner’s legs chasing Frisbees. The dog missed seven out of 10 Frisbees thanks to his trainer. He tossed the Frisbee as if he was drunk. The brother’s performance was flawless.

Osbourne was asked to vote first, but she claimed she was in such a dilemma. She begged Hasselhoff to vote first instead, and he voted for the man and dog act. 

Morgan could not believe his ears, and he said, "If this man does not win this competition, the show is a joke." He voted for the brother, and Sharon voted for the dog. Piers sat in stunned silence and disbelief.

This was a sign of the times and a warning to Vick to watch his back in Philly. It's definitely dogs over black men.

This whole issue of white America and dogs cannot be laid at the feet of all white folks.  There are some blacks in America that are just as dangerous. 

In media there are Juan Williams, Roland Martin, Armstrong Williams, Tavis Smiley, James Brown, Eugene Robinson, and the NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists).

In the case of Vick, these brothers and sisters are sounding more like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, and last but definitely least, "Mr. Pitiful" himself, Michael Steele. He is Chairman of the Republican Party (designated gofer).

For example, there was an email exchange between Jamie Zalac, who is the media liaison for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Barbara Ciara, an African-American television reporter on WTKR News Channel TV3 in Norfolk, Virginia. Ms. Ciara carries the titles of the President of the National Association of Black Journalist and Vice President of UNITY: Journalists of Color.

First, Ms. Zalac thanks Ms. Ciara for contacting her about the despicable acts of Michael Vick, as it relates to dogs in America and asking for a statement from the group.

Ms. Zalac tells her new friend that PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Philadelphia Eagles chose to sign a man who hung dogs from a tree! I wonder who took the worldwide poll, Rush Limbaugh?

Where were Ms. Zalac and PETA and her parents when black men and women were being hung from trees all over America from one decade to another? Where was she when law enforcement blew up a whole city block in Philadelphia, killing innocent women and children while looking for a cop killer? Where was she when the city bulldozed the whole block to destroy any evidence to hide this despicable act? 

Where was she when white cops in New York City were frequently using black men as target practice? Where were Ms. Zalac and Ms. Ciara when a young black man was denied his right to a judge and jury here in Prince George's County last year? He was accused in the hit and run death of a police officer. He was found in his jail cell dead from a broken neck. No one has been brought to justice, and the cover-up continues.

This hideous act took place in the shadows of the nation’s capital and PETA Headquarters in downtown Washington, DC. There was no outcry from PETA or the NABJ!

Then there is the cheerleading email from Bob Butler, a reporter at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. His credentials read, Vice President of Broadcast for the NABJ and President, Bay Area Black Journalists.

Mr. Butler’s email read, "You go Barbara."

I had to go backtrack and double-check the emails to make sure I had not missed an earth-shattering development that Ms. Ciara had uncovered, like a formula for preventing teenage pregnancy among black girls in our community or breaking news of the first black owner of a NFL team! No such luck.

Mr. Butler thought congratulations were in order because on Aug. 13, 2009, at 7:42 PM, Ciara, Barbara wrote:

"NABJ Family, at this hour, PETA (homebased in Norfolk) has not issued a statement regarding the signing of Michael Vick. However, I would like to note that I along with NABJ member Jummy Olabanji broke the story of Vick's contract with Philly at 7:25 on WTKR NewsChannel 3 a full hour and five minutes before anyone else. We got it first—and we got it right."

Ms. Ciara, I will be sure to nominate you and your station for the upcoming Emmy Awards. 

You really must have some slow news days in Norfolk. When I was an on-air personality, I broke community and sports stories days before the Washington Post. It got so bad George Solomon the sports editor assigned his reporters to tune into Inside Sports for breaking news stories.

This dog charade took a turn for the worst when CBS Sports and NFL host James Brown sat down with Vick on 60 Minutes

This was a bad news day for Tiger Woods and Michael Vick fans on CBS (I am sure the ratings went through the roof).

For the first time in his professional golf career, Tiger lost a tournament going into the final round leading the field. The No. 1 golfer in the world lost to Y. E. Yang, ranked No. 155. 

Since the death of Ed Bradley, 60 Minutes has yet to find another black man capable of filling the void he left. He was, in my opinion, the "black Walter Cronkite" of television news. 

Ed, like Mr. Cronkite, had an air of honesty and integrity, something rarely found in the news media today. You could carry what they said to the bank.

Brown was like a bump on a log during his one-on-one interview with Vick. He sat there like he had no idea what it was like to be black in America. The whole interview was well rehearsed. Tony Dungy was the only believable voice on the entire show.

The race card never came up during the entire interview; it was like it never existed. It was obvious they were told not to mention race as being a factor for all the hate being shown to this young man.

I am still trying to figure out what the purpose was of showing Vick's legal team (Billy Martin and company) without a word.

The bottom line: Instead of Michael Vick being a spokesperson for PETA, he should be going around visiting schools, playgrounds, and youth facilities in our cities talking to black youth.

Black on black murder. Over half of minority students in America are dropping out school.  The youth facilities and prisons are busting at the seams with minorities. Black youth are fouling out of the game of life at record rates. 

My advice to Michael Vick: Save a child’s life, and let PETA and the National Association of Black Journalists save the dogs.