Most days I can pretend that Michael Vick doesn’t exist. When Ray was alive I would look at him and see that he never spent a single moment of the day thinking about his past abuse. Vick had ceased to exist as far as he was concerned. And that is truly what I strive for. Most days….
But then something happens. Something like Vick being signed to the Steelers. It is hard to ignore the man when he is everywhere in the news and on social media. His supporters rabidly contend “he has done his time” and “everyone deserves a second chance”. At the same time, dog advocates are showing horrible photos of his dogs and screaming for his head.
This is the one and only time I will address this situation publicly. I will not share or comment on anything having to do with Michael Vick, ever again. He doesn’t need or deserve my attention. But I do feel the need to lay my thoughts down on paper, this one time.
First: Michael Vick went to prison for racketeering, having to do with the illegal gambling associated with dog fighting. This is the same thing the Feds used to convict Mafia bosses. Any charges having to do with animal cruelty were dismissed or plea bargained down. So no, he didn’t serve a single day in prison for the abuse he heaped upon the dogs. He has not done his time for that.
Secondly: Michael Vick has been adamant that he cooperated fully with the Federal investigation. Nice thought….unfortunately totally untrue. He failed a polygraph dismally AFTER he had reached a plea agreement with the Feds. He couldn’t even tell the truth when he knew nothing more was going to happen to him.
Thirdly: Michael Vick has continued to contend that dog fighting is a cultural phenomena. And in some sense, he is right. Animal fighting has always been associated with urban or poorer segments of the population, although there are plenty of doctors and lawyers involved as well.
What is NOT cultural is the way he treated his dogs. It takes a pretty sick and twisted mind to come up with new and increasingly horrific ways to dispose of unwanted, under-performing dogs. He didn’t just kill them….he tortured them. The sides of his pool bear silent testimony to the dogs who were thrown in to the water after being hooked to car batteries. The claw and tooth marks show the horror these dogs experienced in their last minutes. Dogs were drowned in buckets, held under water until they succumbed. Dogs were hung by the neck or slammed in to the ground. It takes an incredibly evil man to take his own children’s beloved pets and throw them into the pit to be torn apart during training, and laugh while they died. Don’t believe all this happened? Read the court transcripts. Long time “dog men” (men who have been in the dog fighting “sport” for years) testified AGAINST Vick at his trial. Why? Because they said he didn’t “respect the dogs”. How low do you have to be for the dog fighters to think you are trash?
Micheal Vick displays all the earmarks of a sociopath. And if he truly is, as I believe in my heart, a psychopath, there is no fixing that. You cannot be contrite or sincerely ask for forgiveness if you do not have a soul or a conscience. I really think he has no idea what all the fuss was about, or why it continues. Vicktory Dog parent Richard Hunter tried to talk to Mr. Vick about Mel, and you can watch the video yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_Ra0J-V7ZM These are not the actions of a man who regrets his past.
The Steelers PR team has gone to work trying to portray Vick as an newly minted animal advocate who has made it his life’s mission to eliminate dog fighting. Sure, there were a few token appearances during his first year out of prison, but please show me proof that he has done anything since to help protect dogs. Let the man play football. I don’t give a rat’s patootie. But don’t try and paint him as an empathetic caring individual. That flag won’t fly.
Another power will judge Michael Vick. I just am tired of thinking about him. He has no power to ever touch or hurt our dogs again. The final Vicktory belongs to Cherry, Dan, Mel, Halle, Oscar, Ray, Layla, Ellen, Lucas and the other dogs rescued from Vick’s hell.