Michael Vick: Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

At the risk of beating a dead horse (no pun intended), I have decided to address Michael Vick and his dog fight with the federal government (after weeks of requests via email/text/facebook etc). However, we are going to engage this controversy in a different manner from the mainstream media. I don’t want to start a feud over whether or not what he did was right-I think we can all agree that Michael Vick’s actions were deplorable. What I would like to address is the greater social implications of Vick’s punishment, as well as the value that we place on life, human and otherwise. For those who have been living under a rock for the past month, I offer this brief bullet-point synapses to bring you up to speed:


June 7, 2007: Vick’s property searched
July 2, 2007: Federal authorities allege that a dogfighting venture called Bad Newz Kennels had operated at the Vick property for the past five years. 53 dogs seized.
July 17, 2007: Vick indicted by a federal grand jury on dog fighting charges. If convicted, Vick would face six years in prison and $350,000 in fines.
July 23, 2007: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell orders Vick not to report to the Falcons’ training camp until the league reviews the dog fighting charges
July 30, 2007: Co-defendant Tony Taylor pleads guilty to dog-fighting charges.
Aug. 17, 2007: Vick’s other two co-defendants, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips, plead guilty to dogfighting charges.
Aug. 23, 2007: Vick signs plea agreement and statement of facts admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring and helping kill pit bulls. He denied betting on the fights, only bankrolling them.

Vick’s crime was dogfighting. His punishment includes (but is not limited to): 1. Lost Endorsements from Nike, EA Sports, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Kraft, Rawlings, Hasbro and AirTran 2. Indefinite suspension from the NFL without pay (with many analysts predicting that Vick will never play in the NFL again) 3. $22 million of his signing bonus 4. Hundreds of thousands in fines 5. Up to 6 years in prison… Does the punishment fit the crime?

This brings me back to a post I wrote a few months ago called, Killing People for Puppies where two young (Black) boys were sentenced to almost two decades in prison for killing an innocent puppy. Where is this passionate activism/media frenzy when it comes to human lives? Why are we so passionate about dogfighting, when people suffer worse treatment in Iraq? Does Michael Vick’s Blackness have anything to do with the manner in which this crime has been plastered all over every news station over the past several weeks?

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Published on August 28, 2007 at 11:02 pm. 22 Comments.
Filed under news/politics,ridiculousness,sports.