Today's announcement of Vick's soon-to-come release from prison is in the news in this AP story:
Vick is serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia's Surry County. He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.Vick's lawyers have said they expected him to be moved any day into a halfway house in Newport News. But because of a lack of space, Vick will be released instead to his Hampton home at some point on or after May 21...Vick apologists still ask: If boxing and tough man competitions are legal, why is dogfighting so wrong? Can't dogfighting be seen as just another bloody sport, like hunting? If animals are shamefully abused all the time by the companies that raise them by the millions in torturous conditions, to eventually be food for us, why did Vick have go to jail for merely slaughtering a few bred-to-be-mean pit bulls? Why did the media play his story up so much?
OK, Vick went to jail because he got caught breaking the law. And, while there’s no single reason Vick's superstar-turned-bad-boy story has been so big, there is one reason that overshadows the others. While other sports celebrities have committed crimes that might properly be seen as worse than Vick’s, none of those crimes were as bizarre ... even unthinkable.
After Vick went to prison it was revealed that a few family dogs/pets were tossed in the Bad Newz ring, just for grins. Well, Americans love their pet dogs. No doubt, some prefer dogs to people. That a cocky millionaire jock was regularly torturing dogs to amuse himself was too much! It was beyond the pale; quite simply, it made John Q. Public's skin crawl.
There are those Vick fans who have refused to accept -- no matter what -- that one of their favorite pro football players is not just a great scrambler, he's also a soulless scumbag. They want him back on the playing field because he’s fun to watch. They assume his talent for football will trump all else, because they're ready to forgive him almost anything.
Well, it says here that the National Football League is by far the most buttoned-down of all the professional sports overseeing bodies. It certainly doesn’t want PETA activists dressed up like bloody dogs demonstrating at every game. And, that’s exactly what will happen if Vick returns.
Furthermore, I doubt the image-conscious corporations that act as sponsors and partners of NFL games are ever going to want anything to do with Michael Vick. And, because that money -- which will be harder than ever to round up, because of the current economic troubles -- is the life blood of all professional sports, I will be amazed if we ever see the radioactive Mr. Vick play another down in a NFL game.
When the NFL season opens, try to imagine a game's broadcast beginning with a series of corporate logos flashing up over the pictures of PETA demonstrators tailgating in the parking lot and dancing around in front of the stadium. Then imagine the boycotts of the products made by companies that sponsor such broadcasts.
Do you get the picture?