Michael Vick was thrown to the dogs in 2007 after being charged with dogfighting. Michael Vick was the premier quarterback in the NFL for a couple of years for the Atlanta Falcons until tragedy struck. Mike was charged with one count of unlawful torturing, killing of dogs, and promoting dog fights. He pleaded guilty and got a 23-month sentence on dogfighting charges. Many people felt like Michael Vick may have been judged too harshly. But, more importantly, the NFL along with the Atlanta Falcons threw Michael Vick away like worn-out trash. It seemed like Arthur Blank and the Falcons wouldn’t be standing behind the number one quarterback in the league.
Michael Vick was a Marked Man
Michael Vick owned the property that his boys would have dog fights on, but he was not present at the dog fights allegedly. In 2007, in Surry County Virginia, the local authorities discovered a dogfighting ring. Over seventy dogs, mostly pit bull terriers, showed some signs of injuries and were seized, along with physical evidence during several searches of Vick’s 15-acre property.
Michael Vick was a marked man by local state and federal authorities. At the height of his career, Michael Vick was brought to his knees. He was ordered to do 21 months in jail for dogfighting. The Atlanta Falcons and Arthur Blank made a quick exit out the back door of his situation. People in the league couldn’t understand how no one would back Mike up during his ordeal for dogfighting.
Michael Vick completed his sentence and was free to return to the NFL. But, fans had a different agenda for his career. He was no longer working for the Falcons and a homeless quarterback of sorts. The Falcons now had Matt Ryan as their starting quarterback. Matt Ryan was an ok quarterback for the Falcons, but couldn’t finish the big plays.
Mike was looking to Return to his Old Position
Mike was looking to return to his old position with the Falcons but was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles instead. The Eagles signed him to a five-year deal in 2009. He had the best statistics of his career and he made it to his fourth pro bowl in 2010. As the world kept turning, Mike Vick kept reaching for the stars but it seems the NFL’s dog loving fans wanted him to continue to pay for his sins.
While playing for the Eagles Mike probably knew his time there would be short but he pushed on anyway. Mike Vick was soon traded and picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers which began the death of his career. Pittsburgh Steeler fans would soon show their loyalty to the dogs versus the man who served his time.
Steelers fans were pissed that Vick was even picked up and offered to play on the team. Many fans protested at practices and boycotted games due to Mike being on the team. The NFL knew it was a gamble bringing Vick back, but they did no PR to help win over the fans who were once Vick Supporters.
Mike said after playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers “If I don’t get a job with a new team I will retire” and shortly after his time in Pittsburgh he retired.
Michael Vick was probably advised to retire from the league by his handlers. The NFL didn’t stand behind Michael Vick one bit in his scandal with dogfighting. Organizations like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment Of Animals) did everything in their power to make Vick look like a psychopath for his treatment of dogs. But, when you visit PETA’s website site, they talk about how they Euthanize animals. Do all animals need to be put to death?
Grady Roach said, “PETA kills dogs everyday and big game hunters go to Africa to kill animals all the time, and no one is prosecuted for that!”
During the Vietnam War thousands of Dogs were killed
During the Vietnam War thousands of dogs were used and killed in the war efforts to help win the war. In a New York Times article titled The Dogs of the Vietnam War more than 4,000 dogs were used in military operations, fewer than 200 made it back home after the war. Dogs and their handlers were killed by Vietnam soldiers. A lot of dogs were injured and left to their own demise, only a few hundred made it to loving families. The United States Government didn’t do a rescue mission to save the dogs. Many dogs who were injured were left to die and fend for themselves in the country of Vietnam. So who is at fault when the government left them to die?
Why did America get so bent out of shape over Michael Vick? Michael Vick is not the only person who fought dogs. The NFL didn’t want the backlash of dealing with fans and sponsors who thought Vick was a dogfighting criminal, in my opinion. But, the NFL doesn’t seem to have a problem with murders, alleged rapist, and domestic violence issues inside the league. The NFL has a host of players who violated the law, but is still playing, or played out the rest of their careers after the fact. Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in 2010. He also was accused of rape in 20008 by a woman who alleged he raped her. Roethlisberger was suspended for a few games but never kicked out the league.
Ray Lewis, in 2000, escaped murder and assault charges after the death of two men at an Atlanta nightclub. The NFL didn’t distance themselves from Lewis or take back all his accolades. They just fined him 250k and he was on a years probation. Ray Rice in 2014 knocked out his then-girlfriend in an elevator. He was released by the Ravens and put on an indefinite suspension by the NFL. He hopes to get a second chance to resume his career after the incident. The NFL didn’t push Ray out completely he was just suspended.
The NFL Could of Done More to Support Michael Vick
As you can see, the NFL has a history of players who have more violent offenses than Michael Vick. The league could have did more to support Vick and his career after his prison time. But, it seems like the public at large swayed the league not to extend Michael Vick the opportunity to redeem his career and character. Michael Vick is a good guy and good guys deserve second chances. I think his situation grew bigger than it should have, and the league should have protected the star quarterback like they protected many other players.
Michael Vick served his time, while other players served no time at all for their offenses of murder, domestic violence or sexual assault charges. Michael Vick, Colin Kaepernick, and other players seem to just be disposable athletes by the league. A good quarterback is a dime a dozen I suppose, but great quarterbacks only come once in a lifetime. Vick would have been that guy if the NFL would have supported his career tooth and nail.
Michael Vick had a lot more playing time in him, but someone in the NFL felt it was time he hung up his cleats and get that anchor job on ESPN and Fox Sports.
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