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The Daily Need

What to make of Michael Vick?

Michael Vick just netted one of the biggest contracts in professional football, signing a six-year, $100 million dollar deal to keep playing quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.  Vick is now the only player in NFL history to have signed two $100 million dollar contracts.  As you’ll remember, his first contract – with the Atlanta Falcons – famously fell apart back in 2007 when Vick was convicted and sent to Leavenworth prison for his role orchestrating a dog-fighting ring out of his home in rural Virginia.

By any measure, Vick’s triumphant return to the top of professional sports is amazing.  His talents on the field are undeniable, but Vick’s return to glory – and our collective response to it — is still hotly debated.  (Just browse through the 3,000-plus comments posted on ESPN’s website this weekend about writer Touré’s essay about Michael Vick.  Or read the nearly 2,000 responses to Melissa Harris-Perry’s article last year when she tried to explain her take on Vick.)

Last year, we told you the story of what happened to the dogs from the center of Vick’s ring, and how their redemption became a landmark case for animal rights in the U.S.  Our report was inspired by Jim Gorant’s book, “The Lost Dogs.” Here’s a brief excerpt of my interview with Jim Gorant from last year where he gives his take on Vick’s return to the NFL.

Note: This interview was recorded in 2010.

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  • sqktong 钱奎通
  • Marol Kisan

    We “downplay” what Michael Vick lost and gloss over his suffering when we refuse to support the Eagles anymore or go to his games?  Newsflash, I don’t care that MV spent less than 2 years in prison for his horrific crimes, or that he had to pay a $20 million fine, or that his family lost his financial support while he was away.  While he had his first $100 Million he proved to be no fiscal genius, losing millions of it on bad investments and egotistical expenditures — should I have boohoo’d for his family then?  Now he has another $100 Million to play with.  He only had to pay a $20 Million fine, btw, to be let out of his previous contract so he could accept this more lucractive one.  Hmm, I decide to pay back 20 to get 100.  Please everyone feel sorry for me and mine and stop downplaying my sacrifices — NOT.  Let’s stop downplaying the fact that he was an animal torturer and killer, not just in the ring, but with his bare hands.  He used people’s stolen family pets as bait to “train” his fighting dogs and laughed about it.  His former business partner just this week was cited for animal abuse for maintaining horrific kennel conditions where again dead dogs and deplorable living circumstances have been found.  Have they still been acquainted all this time?  Yes.  Wow, shows just how effective Michael’s proselytizing about animal welfare and turning over a new leaf has been .  Stop drinking the koolaid.  MV has not “suffered” for his crimes.  He is not redeemed.  He was and continues to be a profiteer and the sportsworld and its fans collude, all for “love” of the game.

  • MaggiesMutts

    Vick: A Signpost of Things to Come?

    chrisdurant2000 | August
    31, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Categories: Uncategorized
    | URL:

    I sincerely thought I was done writing about
    Michael Vick and his horrific actions towards animals. I had really hoped that
    I was. It is not that I had found some misguided or unfounded forgiveness, but
    rather I was put off by the sheer ignorance of people and their ability to
    overlook what they think [...]

    more of this post

  • Patw

    Are you ready for some football?

  • Lissette Fabrey

    Michael Vick should have been banned from professional football forever. His new found conviction for animal welfare is merely smoke and mirrors.  He has the psychological makeup of a monster, two years in a country club prison, marginal financial loss can’t change that.  Its far easier for he wicked to wear a guise of repentance, than it is for the good to wear a mask of evil.  I am not fooled for a single second.  It is my fervent hope that he gets his comeuppance on the gridiron this year by failing miserably….

  • Lissette Fabrey

    Michael Vick should have been banned from professional football forever. His new found conviction for animal welfare is merely smoke and mirrors.  He has the psychological makeup of a monster, two years in a country club prison, marginal financial loss can’t change that.  Its far easier for he wicked to wear a guise of repentance, than it is for the good to wear a mask of evil.  I am not fooled for a single second.  It is my fervent hope that he gets his comeuppance on the gridiron this year by failing miserably….

  • patw

    He’s human and a football player. I say hire the best thugs you can get for your professional football team. It’s about winning. Note: They may not be suitable for parlor socials. Get over it. Man at his worst is still in dominion over the animal kingdom. Never put lower forms of animals above humans in the pecking order. Two years for animal abuse vs 6 months for child abuse says it all. Animal rights advocates are C-R-A-Z-Y!

  • Louise Kinnard

    I agree with you.  My own dog was stolen for that same purpose.  He got away, but was torn into hamburger around his neck and shoulder.  5 surgeries and many skin grafts later, he is once again whole, but with many scars to tell the story. The ordeal did not change his temperament. He is the same lovable dog he always was.

  • Geauxbigger

    you need to stop judging people…if you hate michael vick…turn off pro football…that is all you have a right to declare.

  • CeliaSueHecht writer   former vick partner breeder abusing dogs… gee whiz…

    Michael Vick, I’ll never cheer for you – Jon Friedman’s Media Web – MarketWatch  NEVER!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you may rest assured that pro football is not on TV in our home.  Nor are any Nike products, Subway sandwiches, or any other products by companies that gave this POS an endorsement.  Michael Vick did not do one day of time for the felony animal cruelty with which he was charged; otherwise, his sorry arse would still be sitting in prison where it belongs.  He did 18 of 23 months on a RICO charge from a plea bargain.  By his own words, the only thing he’s sorry about is how long he sat in prison.

    There is NO excuse for what he did.  He is no kind of sportsman or role model.  He’s just another dumb jock being glorified for his mediocre skills on the gridiron (15 rushing yards?  Really?).  All ex-cons deserve a second chance — with a job at McDonald’s or similar.  He should NOT have been allowed back in the NFL.  How bad does the felony have to be, people?

  • Anonymous

    Sop judging this man only God can do that!  Michael Vick has paid his debt to civil society by serving his prison sentence.  Whether or not “He is not redeemed” is NOT up to you to know. Only God knows what is truly in Mr. Vick’s heart  As for his being “a profiteer”, yes he is, but he didn’t invent this corrupt devish system.  This sports worshiping system just shows how mixed up the world is when a man/woman is paid millons of dollars for playing games when teachers are condemned in some circles for wanting a living wage and a decent pension in their old age.

    I love animals and I condemn anyone who would torture, hunt for pleasure,kill/ abuse them, but I do not put animals on the same level as human beings.  I wonder if your outrage is as strong against humans suffering mistreatment as it is with the animals?

  • Pit Bull Advocates

    Down playing? His family had to fend for themselves? He’s a millionairre, pretty sure the family was fine and I’m sorry but Daddy committed a felony there, youngins and better people have served more time for far less. Oh, and let’s NOT forget that not one..damn..DAY was served for dog fighting. No, he has NOT done his time and we have banned the NFL entirely. Down playing what? That he got away with literal murder??? How do you down play that? The court docs speak for themselves, this “man” has so NOT paid his debt to society, he only gave a huge chunk of change to the HSUS that was not nearly enough to cover the costs of what Best Friends and other rescues had to shell out to medically save his dogs from their injuries and traumas. He physically held a dog under water while jumper cables were submerged in the pool and watched her until she stopped struggling.  He hung a dog from barbed wire and watched him struggle to his death. All documented, all true. The man is a piece of horse crap and I for one am ashamed that this Country puts his football career ahead of moral practice. Separate Michael Vick the football player from Michael Vick the citizen? They’re the same damn person. I thought I was done w/ this topic and still want to be, he’s not worth my energy, he’s not worth anything but money and that isn’t saying much about a human. Rehabilitated my foot. Admitting in front of a room full of children that had he not gotten caught he’d still be fighting dogs (video available on youtube) really says he’s rehabbed, huh?   People are so under priortized and brain washed it’s extremely disturbing. Clearly, most of the supporters do not know the real facts and if they do…they don’t care about dogs. Fine, but I do and I think their lives are valuable and worthy of love and companionship. I have nothing nice to say about Vick. And I’ll keep my thoughts of my Karma wishes for him to myself.

  • Pit Bull Advocates

    According to Virginia Laws on Dog Fighting, had he been truly sentenced for what he’d done, he’s of served roughly 70 yrs on prison. How does under 2 yrs even come close to that? If he wasn’t a pro player, he never would have gotten off. But we’ll go ahead and put a 19 yr old w/ less that a gram of pot in his car in jail for 7 yrs. Geezus people..wake up!

  • Pit Bull Advocates

    Stupid phone…sorry for all the typos :)

  • Pit Bull Advocates
  • Larry Cage

    Mike Vick is a great football player, how can people judge him when they need to look in the mirror. I’m happy for Vick, if the dog livers WABT to get mad , get mad at the dog pound that kills millions of pit bulls. Vick got his life back and there’s nothing the dog lovers can do about it. I’m loving it.

  • Anonymous

    Vick said it himself in a recent interview: the ONLY thing he’s sorry for is going to prison and the legnth of his sentence (he thinks it should have been shorter).  Does THAT sound like someone who’s been redeemed to you?  If so, then I strongly suggest you look up the definition of the word.  Just to be clear, the interviewer (also an African American) looked at him when he asked him if he was sorry for anything he had done, and his first answer was ‘NO’.  Yes, he said no.  The interviewer’s jaw dropped, repeated it and saie “You mean you’re not sorry for ANYTHING???”, which is when Vick said he was sorry about his prison sentence.  So I really think we can look into this man’s heart…. HE HAS NONE!!!!  He put his own family pets into a ring as bait for his fighting dogs… and enjoyed watching the be torn apart.  This is not a good, nor decent human being,  This is a piece of scum who should still be sitting in a jail cell, and would be if the prosecutors hadn’t bowed to the almighty dollar, which they often do in this Republican run state.  Thank Goodell for getting him off without facing charges here in Virginia: I’d be absolutely shocked if he didn’t have a hand in it. 

    Do yourself a favor and read the indictment against this garbage and also his confession.  If it doesn’t make you sick, or doesn’t bother you enough to think Vick is slimemold, then I feel sorry for you.

  • Xpswingsetgirlxp

    If I did what vick did I wouldn’t even get hired at burger king its pathedic how in America all u have to do is be famous to get away with murder which is exactly what that physco did. He killed dogs and not humanely but I’m brutal ways that made them suffer. And for what because they didn’t perform the first fumble.he makes I want to be able to drown or hang or electrocute or bash into the ground until that ugly soul dies.

  • Pit Bull Advocates

    So Geauxbigger…you’re ok w/ a grown man drowning and electrocuting a live dog because she lost a fight? Or you’re ok w/ a grown man hanging a dog from barbed wire video taping him struggling to his death while blood pours from his shredded neck? And you’re ok w/ a grown man picking up a dog that had newly birthed puppies and slamming her into the ground over and over and over again until her body was so mutilated her heart stopped?  You’re ok w/ that?  God I hope you’re not a parent. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you got your dog back, and very sorry for all the surgeries and pain he went through.  He’s lucky to have a human who loves him as much as you obviously do.

    That’s one part of this story I wish people would really think about: how many people’s pets were stolen by those monsters to be used as bait?  I would think that alone would be enough to turn some of his defenders’ stomachs.  It would turn the stonach of any NORMAL human being.

  • Cloudy47

    I really don’t care about MV’s past – not nearly as much as I care about how our society in general has placed so much ‘value’ on athletes – not those who play because they love their game and show their sincerity to the FANS who really pay them.  I’m a teacher — I’m a great teacher, along with many others.  I will make a very small fraction of what MV has scored.  Just think – I didn’t kill dogs, score a touchdown, or get convicted for a crime he chose to commit.   I simply educate kids, teach them how to be fair, kind and honest, and get along with others, so their lives will be wonderful.  Wake up people!!!

  • Anonymous

    As I responded to the original commenter, Mr. Vick’s redemption is between him and God not you nor any other human.  As much as I condemn what he did to these innocent animals, he has paid his debt to civil society by completing his prison sentence.  IT IS NOT UP TO US TO JUDGE HIM ONLY GOD CAN DO THIS.  WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN SALVATION  AND WHAT IS TRULY IN YOUR OWN HEART.  When we come before God for judgement, we can only answer for ourselves not anyone else not spouse, children, relative, close friend, stranger, etc.  Leave this man alone.  It is now between him and God.

  • Anonymous

    It is obvious, any malious crime, which this was, and if you are a glorified athlete they get a slap on the hand and resume their pompous ass lives.
    If this a hole did not get caught, he would still being doing this crime. The only reason he ” is now a animal advocate” is to keep the monies rolling in. NO, he should not of been back in the NFL. This whole system just comes down to almighty dollar and the hell w/what is really important in life. These guys are suppose to berole models for young ppl.
    give me a break! They are no more role models than the scum from the bottom of my shoe.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t his own words tell you anything?  They would tell any RATIONAL person what he thinks?  If he’s only sorry about goint to jail, then he’s not sorry for the brutality, cruelty, etc (and I’m sofr-pedalling here) he committed.  HE SAID THAT IN THE INTERVIEW, OR DON’T YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND ENGLISH?  Stop making excuses for this POS: he isn’t worth it.  If you really are a Christian, then you need to be concerned about the evil committed by this creature and the example he’s setting for our youth…  I would hope you would be able to see a correlation between the arrival of Vick and the rise in dogfighting in Philadelphia, which he isn’t comitting, but is due to people emulating this creep.  Doesn’t that bother you?  You aren’t concerned about that?  Lady, if you are a Christian, you would be.

  • Daddams2001

    His past is just that, his past. He served his tme in jail and is doing a fine job with trying to speak to others about how wrong and horrible dog fighting is. Why must a person constantly be rebuked about something they have asked forgiveness for? As the bible says…”those who are without sin, cast the first stone.”

  • Pit Bull Advocates

    Yes, there are others that do this but they are not in a position to be a role model, they are not in the public eye, they did not CHOOSE a lifestyle that makes every ounce of their lives public business and do you read other comments on these posts? Curious because if you did you would see that the 19 months he served had absolutely nothing to do w/ dog fighting. Read my post below, read some of the things that “man” did to those animals, then review the court documents posted by Chris Durant. He got away w/ murder. He is on video tape telling children in classrooms he did nothing wrong, had he not been caught he’d still be fighting dogs. Out of HIS mouth those words came and spilled right into the ears of kids. Let’s not forget that anyone feeling he’s done his time….has not done their research. Defend him all you want, had it been you your ass would still be rotting in prison. And I may have sinned in my life but that argument does not hold water because breaking a law by speeding or lying to get out of work does not even come close to MURDER so before you preach about sins, you may want to prioritize what is worse than another. A 19 yr old kid is sentenced to 7 yrs for having a joint, less than a gram of pot in his car, 3 men spent 18 yrs in prison for a crime the didn’t commit….but people like Casey Anthony and Michael Vick just roam the streets. Defending what he did, saying he did his time, is as good as defending this so called “justice system”. That my friend, is something you truly need to open your eyes to, along w/ many others.

  • Pit Bull Advocates

    I am so so so sorry that happened to your family, your dog. There is no excuse for dog fighting. How quick we are as a society to condemn a dog or breeds of dogs for acting like dogs yet these people preach forgiveness of an animal abuser? A dog fighter? Him they want forgiven but the dogs they want punished. Just goes to show that humans really ARE the real problem. Nice priorities.  I am very happy you got your dog back and that he is back to normal.