As everyone knows by now, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has been indicted for various federal charges related to dog fighting. It may take a year or more for all this to play out in court but there’s not much dispute that Vick lied to the commissioner and that he’s seriously involved in the dog fighting, which took place on his property.
The Associated Press reports that “the NFL has decided to let Michael Vick play football for the ‘foreseeable future’ as the legal process determines the facts.”
That’s a shame. We know enough to know that Vick is a thug, a liar, and a disgrace to the National Football League. Many sportswriters are urging Roger Goodell to suspend Vick now, rather than allowing him to tarnish the league’s reputation while this all plays out. I’m 100 percent behind them.
Jennifer Floyd Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Falcons QB Michael Vick is allegedly a vicious, disgusting criminal who murders dogs by hanging, drowning, electrocuting and body slamming them to death. That allegedly gets kind of lost, huh?
What is not lost is his employer, the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League, or the ugly. He has linked his employers to heinous and abominable acts. And as established by “The Pacman Precedent,” the NFL has to discipline him as a result.
So suspend him, Roger. Right now. Immediately.
Prove that your tough-on-crime policy applies to everybody — even players who sell more jerseys than everybody else, who are sponsored by Nike, who are franchise quarterbacks.
Vick’s conduct certainly has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon himself, his club and the NFL and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league — or exactly the wording you used when explaining to Adam “Pacman” Jones and Chris Henry what led to their lengthy suspensions.
Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News:
It took no courage for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to give Pacman Jones, Chris Henry and Tank Johnson the lengthy suspensions they deserved for disgracing the NFL on a regular basis. Henry and Johnson were hardly household names, and Jones’ notorious off-the-field escapades made him an easy target because the court of public opinion wanted him punished.
It will take courage and conviction to suspend Michael Vick, one of the league’s stars.
But if we’re going to take Goodell’s tough stance on player conduct seriously, that’s exactly what the commissioner must do after federal authorities handed out an 19-page indictment Tuesday that charged Vick with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines.
Terry Frei, Denver Post:
I tend to be a contrarian, and I tried not to join the bandwagon on this one. Among many other things, I was going to ask: Didn’t the Duke lacrosse mess remind us that charges in a grand jury indictment aren’t automatically true? In a market in which many of us justifiably excoriate Barry Bonds as a disgrace, yet many fans and (even more disgracefully) newspaper writers still portray Bill Romanowski as a charming rogue, can’t we at least wonder about our adjustable standards?
Those still are points to ponder. But the disturbing information in the federal grand jury indictment against the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and three others is overwhelming.Those still are points to ponder. But the disturbing information in the federal grand jury indictment against the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and three others is overwhelming. Vick is convincingly linked to the horrific dogfighting operation on his property in rural Virginia, mocking his “Who, me?” claims of innocence.
This is not a dishonorable district attorney taking advantage of a malleable local grand jury. It stems from a careful federal proceeding, and the paucity of leaks was such that there were erroneous reports in recent days that Vick wouldn’t be indicted.
Nancy Armour, Associated Press:
Way to go, Michael Vick.
It doesnâ€™t matter whether youâ€™re innocent or guilty of those federal dogfighting charges, youâ€™ve just trashed your reputation. From now on, when people see you, theyâ€™re going to think of electrocuted puppies.
The NFL affords you fame and riches galore. In return, you have certain responsibilities â€” to your teammates, to your organization, to the league and, most important to the fans, the people who make your charmed life possible.
Nothing too oppressive. Just that you behave like the law-abiding citizen you should be anyway. That youâ€™re not on a first-name basis with the local D.A.
Meanwhile, the NFL and the Falcons are hedging their bets.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Thursday the team is “exploring our options” in the wake of Michael Vick’s federal indictment on dogfighting charges. “We know you’re anxious to hear more from us regarding the indictment of Michael Vick and its implications to the Falcons,” Blank said in his first public comment on the matter, issued as a “statement to fans.”
“Please be assured that we are working diligently on exploring our options and getting the right people involved in this situation,” Blank said in the statement. “This is an emotionally charged and complicated matter. There are a wide range of interests and legal issues that need to be carefully considered as we move ahead, including our need to respect the due process that Michael is entitled to. Also, this situation affects everyone â€“ our club, our players and associates, our sponsors, our fans and the Atlanta community among them â€“ so we must consider all of our customers in making any decisions.
“Given the differing perspectives and strong feelings around this issue, we probably won’t make everyone happy, but we are committed to doing the right thing. As the owner of this club that’s, ultimately, my responsibility,” Blank said.
“In the meantime, know that I’m saddened and distressed about this â€“ not for myself, but for our fans and community who have been so loyal to us. We will do our very best to continue to earn your support,” he concluded.
Then disassociate yourself from this dirtbag.
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