Monday, July 20, 2009
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On Monday July 20th, Michael Vick becomes a free man, released entirely from Federal custody after being found guilty of harming dogs as part of a dog fighting business, the former Atlanta Falcons star has his life ahead of him after two years in jail. But what should he do, or more to the point, what should Vick be allowed to do? With the idea of getting an answer to that question, I created this poll:
More on pollsb.com
As you can see, it has five choices one can make. Play in the NFL? Play in the new UFL football league after a one-year suspension? Not be allowed to play football at all? Play in the NFL after a one-year suspension? Be a special councelor to NFL rookie players?
I voted for the first choice: play in the NFL. Look, he's done his time and seems to have learned the error of his ways. But there's a weird double standard at play here that just bugs me. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal, has called Vick all kinds of names regarding this matter, even saying that Vick's brain may be tuned to violence, or words to that effect, and asking for a brain scan.
But what really bugs me about PETA is that they would, ok, dog Vick, and even get after President Obama for swatting a fly, but PETA turns a blind-eye to the dog racing activities of the Rooney Family, which owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dog racing has the same kill-to-weed-out-the-weak process that dog fighting is known for and PETA knows it. But did they say anything about the Rooneys when the Steelers ownership was up for review by the NFL, thus turning a public spotlight on them?
I tried to get a statement from PETA's PR rep on this, and she just sent me the statement they issued about Vick! I have that already! So with that I lost a lot of respect for PETA and chose the "play in the NFL" option. It seems that if one's black and high profile, PETA has no problem aiming its PR machine at you, but if you're white, as is the case for the Rooney Family, you get a pass from PETA. PETA has issued no statement regarding the Rooney Family's involvement in dog racing.
Vick as mentor
But of all the choices, I also like the last one listed in my poll: be a special counselor to NFL rookie players. Vick can be really valuable here as an example of how one can go from rags to riches to rags and yet have a fighting chance to regain his life and to not repeat his mistakes.
Poll can't be gamed
So try my poll. One can't "game" it to get a particular answer outcome. Sorry. If you click on the link "view full results" it asks for your name and photo only once, so it weeds out the double count in the final result.