Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dogfighting

As you probably know, NFL star Michael Vick is accused of financing and running a dogfighting operation in Virginia.

ESPN has an intriguing article on the situation. It begins,

A History of Mistrust
Having trouble understanding why so many black Atlantans see the Michael Vick case as a racial conspiracy? Try walking a mile in their shoes...

I thought the article does a great job of outlining the overwhelming role race plays in peoples' reactions whenever drama such as this plays out so publicly, especially in the south. One can quickly remember how quickly blacks sought to defend OJ a decade ago.

To be honest, though, I do wonder if the reaction is greater because Vick is black. Lang Whitaker points out,


Obviously, the food we eat — and yes, I am a world class carnivore — isn’t made to fight each other before we tuck into it, but is it any worse to electrocute a dog than it is to shoot a bolt into a cow’s head? Nobody cares that Brett Favre, the NFL’s golden child, spends his off-season in the wilderness hunting unsuspecting animals?


I too, though a dogowner, wonder if this issue is being blown up more than it should be. The Sports Guy notes,


Vick could have been accused of murdering a stripper, blowing up a shopping mall or funneling his Nike money to Al Qaeda, and people wouldn't have been even 1% as outraged as they are about the dogfighting allegations. You can get away with just about anything these days; just don't tick off dog lovers.


Is the dog worthy of more moral consideration only because it's domesticated? Is the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' discarded when the defendent is black? Tough questions, but worth asking.

3 comments:

Greg said...

A dog is a man's best friend.

Chairman said...

Unless you're Korean, in which case, "Dog. It's what's for dinner."

And OJ, while not necessarily being innocent, was not guilty. That's good enough for me.

-Chairman

Greg said...

Well, today Vick has pretty much agreed to jail time and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely.

I can still remember him in the national championship game against Florida State. Even though FSU had VT outmanned athletically, Vick was the best athlete on the field and single-handedly kept his team in that game through the first half. At the time I wondered what his NFL career would be like.

Interestingly, his first full season as a starter was his best, but he never seemed to progress beyond that. My only guess is that in his first full season as a starter, he was able to more frequently rely on his running ability to change games and help his team win. Then when NFL defenses adjusted to keep that aspect of his game somewhat in check, he never really improved on his passing.

As far as the Falcons are concerned for this season, they still should be a playoff contender. Joey Harrington is a better QB than most people think. His biggest problem was being drafted by Matt Millen.