Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nike Re-signs Michael Vick: Counterpoint by a Guest Blogger

In my previous blog post about Nike re-signing Michael Vick, I shared my opinion on the subject including how wrong I thought Nike’s decision was and how I still think Michael Vick is a 'bad guy.' I also said if you think otherwise, I respect your opinion and would like to hear from you. I did, do and always will feel that way. All opinions are valid, respected and welcome here.

Sooooo, blogger and friend Cyndi Griffin (Just Another Day at the Office) took me up on the offer. As always, Cyndi’s thoughts are well thought out and articulate. In the spirit of open-mindedness, I asked Cyndi to do a guest post sharing her views....

I love this blog and I agree with so much of what you are saying about Michael Vick, but I didn't know a lot about what had happened so I didn’t feel comfortable responding until I found out more. I knew that he got caught running a dog fighting ring, a despicable act, and was sent to prison for 18 months. I have read several articles about him since and would like to share some thoughts with you.

First, let me warn you that I am notorious for playing devil's advocate. That being said, I completely agree with you about the seriousness of the crimes he committed. I used to rescue abused dogs and I have seen firsthand the pain and suffering humans can inflict on animals. The Animal Shelter used to call me when they had an abused pet and I ended up taking four dogs from them and rehabbing them back to health. One beautiful black lab was shot four times by his drunken owner for getting in the swimming pool. He weighed 45 pounds when he came to me. I kept him for two years and when he was adopted out to a loving family he was a sleek, enthusiastic 110 pound bundle of energy!

What Vick did to dogs was worse, but he was introduced to dog fighting as a pre-teen. It was part of the culture of his childhood. Granted he should have seen the error of his elders’ ways when he grew up, but when something is ingrained in you early, it sometimes takes a real shake up to jar those "truths" loose. When he got caught, he pleaded guilty and did his time…eighteen months in prison. Some people get less than that for killing a person!  He was an exemplary prisoner and since his release, he has humbled himself and become an advocate against animal cruelty.

He has paid for his crimes and has promised never hurt another animal again. Some may say that they don’t believe he has truly reformed. I don’t presume to know what is in the hearts of others. I can only look to his or her actions and he has conducted himself in a manner to support his claims. He has taken this message to schools and community groups. This wasn’t a condition of his release, he has volunteered to do this, and hopefully, his story will deter many other youths from following the crowd of this culture. I have seen evidence of dog fighting in my career and it is heart breaking.

Hopefully, Vick's high profile story will take some of the macho out of this "sport" and help curb the proliferation of this crime. There were members of my family who used to fight chickens and I grew up thinking that it was perfectly normal. They were very proud of their birds, but that didn't keep them from strapping spurs on their feet and watching them fight to the death. I was an adult before I saw the inhumanity in this.

I haven’t raised these issues to offend or denounce your opinion. I have a great deal of respect for you and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs. I just felt that the other side of the story needed to be told.

I appreciate Cyndi's willingness to step up and share an opposing viewpoint. Would anybody else like to share their thoughts or opinions?


Benny and Lily said...

Momma is saying bad words. Guess it's time to boycott Nike
Benny & Lily

Julia Williams said...

I appreciate her viewpoint on this, but it's still "boycott" for me. I can still remember some of the flippant things he said and I'm just not ready to give him a second chance.

Pat Frederickson said...

Boycott... I appreciate her opinion, but the truth is that Vick's constant media attention and sponsorships is NOT curbing dog fighting. Dog fighting has increased in Chicagoland and elsewhere. Trunking is now on the rise. The attitude out there seems to be that if Vick was able to get rewarded after getting caught, I will be too. The BOYCOTT is ON!

Pat Frederickson said...

By the way, Vick has NOT "humbled himself" not has he apologized or made any sort of offer to financially care for his abused dogs. Apparently, the guest blogger has not seen the videos posted by those who are now caring for the survivors.

227106b4-adb8-11e0-a7a4-000f20980440 said...

Michael Vick has expressed in an interview that the ONLY thing he would change in his past is his Prison sentence. He would reduce it... and then he laughed. How can anyone support this man as an example to our children.. A man that has no regrets. A man that has not contributed financially to anything but his greedy wife. He is a CONVICTED FELON. Since when do we use Felons as examples to follow.... oh yes, my bad... the National Felons League, forgot about the good old NFL.

AJ Tyne said...

I saw him on TV, and he was revisiting his home where the fighting had taken place. He was marveling that he had done this. He was saying he always loved dogs, and he loved his dogs. His voice sounded as if he couldn't believe he had done what he had done, even tho he was recounting some of it in the same conversation. As the guest blogger noted, when you are raised with something it is often very, very difficult to overcome those beliefs and it often takes quite a jolt to begin to overcome. As I mentioned in my comment on Langley's post, I disagree completely with Nike working with him. It might be different if brands had not spent decades constantly dumping any celebrity who did or said any little thing to sully the brand. It's well accepted, IMO, that these brands want quality people who are good role models. I just feel that not getting endorsements is one thing that should forever be his lot, some things you can pay for by doing your time, but some things can't ever be undone. He is becoming a good role model, but there HAS to be some lasting consequences of his actions.

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