Michael Vick’s Latest Comments: Off the Cuff and Unbelievable
by Leslie Smith on August 18th, 2011
According to the September issue of GQ Magazine, Michael Vick is mad at me. By me, I mean media. And by mad, I mean wishes I would just be quiet. Or at least only say nice things about him.
This might be the first time since his prison release that Vick’s PR team has allowed him to veer from the official script. His remarks are honest and unrehearsed. And they illustrate why redemption, for Vick as a man, is a long way off. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t come far on the football field. But an athletic comeback is not built on remorse or understanding — redemption is. And Vick shows neither.
First, he tells GQ that while the media won’t let all this pesky dog fighting stuff go, the general public has nothing but praise for him:
“They [media] are writing as if everyone feels that way and has the same opinions they do. But when I go out in public, it's all positive, so that's obviously not true."
Oh really, Mr. Vick? I bet I could find a few non-media types with some less than positive thoughts for you. But if you don’t want to be scrutinized by the media, maybe you shouldn’t engage the media. Perhaps not make comments like this about dog fighting to GQ Magazine which the media can then respond to
"It's almost as if everyone wanted to hate me. But what have I done to anybody? It was something that happened, and it was people trying to make some money."
What have you done to anybody, Mr. Vick? Ok, I’ll bite. You electrocuted live animals. You beat them senseless. You drowned them. You caused years of unimaginable suffering. Ring a bell?
And this was not something that “happened.” This was something you did. You actively thought about your actions and carried them out with the intent of causing horrific suffering — not just once, but again and again. How can there be redemption if you don’t acknowledge that?
As for making money, don’t they pay NFL players? Was your Nike work all volunteer? Sorry folks, can’t control the sarcasm with an excuse that outrageous. (Did he really think we'd swallow that?)
Vick, according to the GQ article checks himself, adding:
"But it's not fair. It's not fair to the animal.”
Fair is so far from what this isn’t, I’m not even sure where to begin. Let’s just say I hope no one is that same kind of “unfair” to your kids, Mr. Vick. You know, the kind of unfair where one gets his head smashed against the cement for “losing” a fight or not performing well.
And then there’s this:
"Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of.”
Not sure what the point is here. Everyone (in urban neighborhoods) is doing it so why can’t I? Or because people should have heard about it, they shouldn’t act like it’s crazy? Or wrong?
I’d heard of dog fighting before you, Michael Vick. I didn’t think it was “crazy,” I thought it was cruel. I hadn’t heard of electrocuting dogs and rape machines, I’ll grant you that. But I don’t think that’s crazy. I think it’s sadistic and psychotic.
The thing is, you weren’t poverty-stricken, living in shambles when you were caught. You were living the life that most people only dream about, hiding and lying about the dog fighting because you knew it was wrong. Still, you refuse to take responsibility.
But here’s where the disconnect is really troubling. Vick says:
"I miss dogs, man... I always had a family pet, always had a dog growing up. It was almost equivalent to the prison sentence, having something taken away from me for three years. I want a dog just for the sake of my kids, but also me. I miss my companions."
Alcoholics miss alcohol. Pedophiles miss children. But hey, you abuse, you lose. And by the way, the privilege of having a dog was not taken away from you. You are not the victim here, Michael Vick. You’re not being deprived of some right. You chose this path, and there are consequences for your actions.
Stop the “poor me” act, Vick. I don’t feel sorry for the millionaire football player living the good life. Money may not be able to buy you a dog. It can’t buy you remorse or the good sense not to make ridiculous comments to the media. It certainly can’t buy you forgiveness.
Of course it can buy you luxury, comfort, admirers, and power. It can buy you almost anything you could ever want. So in the meantime, leave me — the media — my voice. I've promised it to those who have none.