A Dog Gone Shame

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[Sports And Society]

Michael Vick, the fleet of foot superstar Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback, once speculated by some to be the unofficial anointed poster child for the National Football League (NFL), at the end of a federal investigation and indictment surrounding dog fighting allegations will officially plead guilty. 

Previously, Vick claimed a lack of knowledge about the situation which occurred on his property and that he would be vindicated; he now will cut a deal with federal prosecutors on Monday, August 27, 2007 in Richmond, Virginia.

What does his guilty plead entail? Vick will supposedly admit guilt over one single count of conspiracy to the charge of interstate commerce for the purpose of dog fighting. He will not plead guilt or admit to the killing of dogs or gambling on dog fights as the indictment initially listed. It is possible that the 53 pit bulls found at 1915 Moonlight Road, Smithfield, Virginia will have to be euthanized because these animals were bred to fight and can no longer be a safe family pet. By all accounts, Vick can expect some jail time and substantial fines.

Some may say that this is a race-based attack. The way the media covered or over-covered it may have been different. Ultimately, the bottom line is; is he guilty or not? How did dog carcasses end up on his property? Vick says he did not execute any of the animals via drowning, hanging or electrocution. However if he was present and did nothing to rescue any animal from that fate what does that say about him? 

Another question that arises is if none of the other three co-defendants had pleaded guilty or made deals with the prosecutors would he have pleaded guilty? There is a virtual Pandora’s Box of questions surrounding this situation. This matter boils down to poor judgment and decision making processes. It’s all very disturbing. 

What is still a concern for Commissioner Roger Goodell and what needs to be flushed out is whether or not Vick bet on any dog fighting contests. This could lead to a lifetime ban from the NFL under the new player personal conduct policies instituted by the Commissioner last season. 

Vick has already been banned from the Falcon’s training facility by the NFL and companies that he endorsed have been treating him like a leper. No one wants to get on the wrong side of PETA—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. If Vick receives jail time how does this affect his mega million dollar contract? 

Would the team try to reclaim some of the bonus and guaranteed money?  How many football seasons can and will this situation effect? 

The proverbial other shoe will drop on Monday.



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