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27 February 2009


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Christie Keith

Christie, you live there. What do you think? I see pickets, endless letters to the editor, radio call-ins, lots of pressure.

Oh yeah.

Susan Fox

You don't live in San Francisco, I suspect. And it's not what the sports fans do or don't do. It's the community and SF LOVES animals. Christie, you live there. What do you think? I see pickets, endless letters to the editor, radio call-ins, lots of pressure.

And remember, VJ, lots of those crazed fans have pets who are family members. I think that they can connect the dots, at least in SF. You should have read the comments about the tiger attack in 2007.

Christie Keith

You should know that its clear the reason you are filled with so much illogical hatred towards Michael Vick has nothing to do with pitbulls or dogfighting or conspiracy to commit or anything related to the charges at all. Please……Post-racial my azz.

New here, hmmmm?


Do you really think the sports crazed fans will give a damn what he did. If he can still play football and give a good show to the fans, I personally think they have already forgotten. As for me, I agree with Christie - the dog or the stranger - is there any doubt.


It doesn't matter what you zealots think because Vick will be in training camp somewhere in the NFL in late July. You should know that its clear the reason you are filled with so much illogical hatred towards Michael Vick has nothing to do with pitbulls or dogfighting or conspiracy to commit or anything related to the charges at all. Please......Post-racial my azz.


He's scum. I hope he rots in hell.

But he does have a right to the same treatment as any other felon who has completed his sentence. He can get on with his life.. unlike the dogs he killed.

OTOH: I think any football team that has the gall to hire him will be sorry, because the outrage will be intense. Vick should look for a job in some other field.

Susan Fox

Lynn, that is sooo funny. And soooo not true. It actually is about the dogs, however weird that may seem to you. I could care less what color the guy is. What he did was W-R-O-N-G.


"I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that while some cats like Bernie Maddoff chill in Manhattan condos, Mike was serving time."

THIS is the kind of thinking that supports Vick???

DUDE.. Madoff hasn't been convicted yet, so duh.. he's not in jail.

But you're right to compare the 2 men: they're both sociopaths who deserve no sympathy.


I am a sports fan and do not want Vick anywhere near the sport again. I actually heard someone (local sports guy) venture the Jets might be interested and I hope like all heck he was just totally clueless. I don't think Vick would fair too well up here. Sure, there are going to be football fans that think he should get a second chance, but I'm guessing there are far more animal lovers (sports fans and non) that will have a much louder voice. Also, a lot of parents aren't too keen on having this guy back again as a "role model".

The thought of him getting out and looking to get back with a team just makes my blood boil. Susan and Christie, I need you to keep him off the Bay Area teams so I can watch them when I move back! (I go back YEARS with the Niners and Raiders) and I'll do my best here if need be. Heh, my fantasy team that I've been playing with for years is in several cities. Let's just say there's no Vick love happenin' there either. I honestly don't know why anyone would take on the headache he's going to bring, no matter how they feel about what he did.

I am glad to see SI/ Gorant keeping this in proper perspective.


Do you really think the sports crazed fans will give a damn what he did. If he can still play football and give a good show to the fans, I personally think they have already forgotten. As for me, I agree with Christie - the dog or the stranger - is there any doubt.

Comment by VJ — February 27, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

Ah, but VJ, it's not about the choice between the dog and the stranger; that's not the choice that Vick made. He made the choice to brutally abuse dogs and to force them to fight to the death against each other purely for his amusement and profit. That's truly and deeply sick--and people who will abuse animals like that, will abuse people, too.

This is not someone you want to meet in a dark alley at night. Or try to have a "team" relationship with, either.


I can't believe there are people so ignorant and foolish that they believe this is racial instead of what it really is - outrage over the murder of innocent animals. Makes me wonder about the human race, not just the racists like the poster above.


We are all animal lovers here but never forget the mass culture - people tend to forget all too easily and quickly. Amongst your friends, family and acquaintances, if you were to bring up the subject of the pet food recall or the subject of MV, they may still be as irate as you but how many people do you in reality think would get irate or even a bit upset. Today's attitude is oh hum it happened, old news, nothing here, move on. I hope he never plays again or gets any type of well-paid job but the reality is that someone will pick him up. I'd love to be wrong.

Christie Keith

It's classic deflection. Someone wants to continue to worship their idol -- sometimes literally, actually; this happens in religious fanaticism, too -- so they explode against anyone who criticizes the object of their idolatry with irrelevant attacks designed to make THEM go on the defensive. It's amusing and predictable.

Michael Vick is a freaking scumbag, and it's insulting beyond belief to Black people to suggest that he should be judged with a reduced standard of morality, compassion, and ethics because he's Black.

Black people have no propensity to torture, electrocute, maim, kill, and laugh at the pain and suffering of dogs. And plenty of white people do exactly those things -- in fact, dogfighting culture has historically been predominantly white.

But there is abundant racism in the cultural dialogue on pit bulls. Any Black or Latino person with a pit bull is clearly a dog fighter or looking for trouble; white couples with pit bulls are rescuers. It degrades the love of dogs to let these stereotypes exist, it perpetuates racism, and it's bad for everyone, everywhere.

But this particular argument is not in service of combating racism; it's about defending a football player that some people idolize. It's very common not only in football or other sports but in the music world, politics, and religion; it's a human nature thing.

And like I said, amusing and predictable. And pathetic, too.

Although we've criticized lots of white people on this blog for their treatment of pit bulls -- and actually, we had a few people who suggested the head of the FDA get treated like his counterpart in China during the pet food recall; for any who have forgotten, the Chinese official was executed -- none of them was famous like Michael Vick.

None of them had bazillions of fans with Google alerts on their names. None of them was a football player. So we didn't get their defenders coming over with their yawn-inducing defense of their idol.

This also reminds me of the dynamic we saw when we were writing about the problems in the animal shelter system in King County, Washington. The deflection there is that criticism against hardworking, often union, employees for the suffering of the dogs and cats in the shelter is a labor issue. That's an accusation that has impact on both the left and right, and I've seen it derail quite a few criticisms of shelters.

But it's crap. It's just an excuse. There are plenty of good shelters with great labor policies and excellent employees, and it's an insult to working people to suggest that neglect and abuse of animals are some form of honorable work. But it can't do its job of silencing criticism unless we let it.

Same with those who start hollering "Racism!" at dog lovers who criticize Michael Vick for killing and torturing dogs. It's meant to shut you up, not challenge racism.

Christie Keith

We didn’t really mean that we wanted the head of the FDA executed.

I certainly don't and I know you don't; personally, I am a total opponent of the death penalty for any crime.

But if you look at the liveblog of one of the FDA conferences where a reporter asked Atcheson about the Chinese execution, you'll see it in the comments from a couple of our readers.

I don't think they were really ready to march with pitchforks and torches, but I don't think they were entirely joking, either.

Colorado Transplant

If a team owner can make money from using him, he will be picked up.

A lot of athletic stars got their sins wiped clean--but not all. Maddening, but that is what happens here in America in regard to sports and sport heros.


Well said, Christie.

The bizarre idolatry of exceptional players in football and other sports is exactly the reason why many Vick defenders lash out against those of us who take his crime seriously.

If this was most any other job we were talking about, I'd say that once someone has served out the sentence for their crime that they should be allowed to get on with their life, which means regaining employment. But in the case of a notorious felony committed by a popular entertainer -- and pro football players are entertainers -- IMO the ex-con should not be allowed to regain his entertainer-hero status.

It would send a terrible message to the nation's sports hero-worshiping football fans if Vick got to play NFL football again. As it stands now, anyone who knows about this story understands it as dogfighting = risk losing your superstar career. But if he gets to play pro football again, dogfighting could, over time, morph into a "cool" part of Vick's regained superstar persona.

Linda Kaim

What Laura intimates is a big risk. The kids who feel that it gives them some 'connection' to their erstwhile hero will be even more enamored of dog fighting since Vick would ostensibly be getting away with the crime.

Serving the last few months of a wholly inadequate 23 month term is viewed as 'doable' now. Imagine what would occur if he actually was allowed to return to football?

Not only was his sentencing a joke, of which many urban kids consider a badge of honor, but he gets to go back to that which made him famous?

Talk about your injustices...

Phyllis DeGioia

>Please……Post-racial my azz.

This belief that Michael Vick's legal troubles over the murder of multiple sentient beings is actually racism is beyond my comprehension.

a) If a rich white guy with a national reputation did the same thing, I'd want him to endure the same punishment. Well, that's not entirely true, I think both the hypothetical white guy and Michael Vick should have harsher sentences. The difference in Vick's sentence and someone's conviction of first-degree murder - which is what Vick is guilty of - is that legally dogs are property while people own property. (That's just a legal definition: I don't own my dogs any more than parents own their children.)

b) Any reasonable person, of any race, would rehome an unwanted dog, not kill them. But even if Vick had thought of that, he wouldn't have rehomed them or sent them to rescue because then other people would know he was heavily involved in an illegal activity that could send him to jail.

>Its the Bay area - well that makes sense, you love dogs but you damn sure don’t love black men

c) I left the Bay Area in 1975. I don't love any man who murders or fights dogs, and I don't give a damn what color his skin is.

Colorado Transplant

Well, I wuz listenin' to Fox News, you know, the station that loves Rush Limbaugh. Well, they seys that Michael Vick wuz sent ta home arrest because the jail wuz overcrowded.

You got to believe those guys, 'cuz why would dey lie?

By the way, Rush Limbaugh was great this afternoon. He rallied his troops on Fox news and spoke some good about Obama, saying he was a great speaker. Wowie!


I often hear that newly released prisoners have a difficult time finding work and have to take what they can get for not much pay. I don't know, maybe that's only in the movies.

Susan Fox

It's going to be interesting. Coach Mike Singletary may, nay, will, be in for a surprise if he makes the faintest ghost of a move toward considering Vick for the Forty-niners. With luck someone has already clued him in that that's a non-starter in the land of San Francisco Values.

Da Raiders may be the only team that will haul out the ten foot pole.

Hey, he could go to work for PeTA. He already knows how to kill animals. He'd fit right in.


Emily, if Maddoff wasn't confined to his digs, he would have to stay up there anyway. NYC streets aren't too safe for him these days . . .


Who cares about crazed SFers and their obsession with dogs? Its the Bay area - well that makes sense, you love dogs but you damn sure don't love black men (see Oscar Grant) - bet none of you had a picket sign to protest THAT. Besides, once the Falcons cut Vick there will be 6 to 8 other teams lined up, the 49ers are but one of them.

Gina Spadafori

We didn't really mean that we wanted the head of the FDA executed. Although it might be the only thing that keeps him from lobbying for after he leaves the agency.

Linda Kaim

Vick is a toxic asset to the football league and they are farming his contract to every team out there. Bad thing is, the bastard will get a job somewhere and the public will forget what trash he really is. To the poster who suggested that he is hated because he's black, no, he's hated because he's a moron. I don't hate him any more or less than any other useless sports figure or celebrity that is overpaid, idolized and still breaks the law with impunity.

AS for the other side of that coin, he is a goldmine to PETA, who will attach itself to his name like a hungry leech until they can no longer gorge on his notoriety. They are as simple and pathetic as he is.

Anne T

Call me racist if you wish, but I see a lot similarity in the behavior of Michael Vick and Mike Tyson: violent abuse of other beings less able to put up a good defense! Instead of focusing on their color, which is a 'red herring' IMO, I wonder if some sort of equal nonsense could be drawn about them having the same first name? Or being in violent sports? Or just being men? Arrgh! Post-racial.

By any race, sex or name, these individuals are despicable! Mandatory speutering with a very dull knife is too good for them.


F**k everybody and them damn dogs!! He done did his time now let the man play football and move on with his life and also PEOPLE GET OVER IT!!!! FREE MIKE VICK!!!!!

Linda Kaim

Sports have become the 'new religion' Gina. In the vacuum created by the decayed belief systems, the analogies that sports provides make an excellent replacement for religions.

The fact that people place *value* on the actions or thoughts of these sports figures and other entertainers speaks volumes to me about their lack of ambition for themselves.

Another matter entirely, no doubt...


There's little doubt that "Marcus" is a troll. Probably a 16 year white boy.

Colorado Transplant

I forgot to say, Christie Keith, I would take care of my animal first and let the stranger walk away, feeling sad for him.

Colorado Transplant

Well, seeing my husband watch sports--you cannot talk to him when the game is on.

We have to come home early for the "game".

His son knows not to call him when an important game is on.

I wouldn't say he is in favor of Michael Vick coming back, though.

How many more people are there out there like that?

I cannot blame him entirely, though, because the sport world knows how to grab and keep their audience!

Anne T

Trust me, I'd take of anyone's pet way before I'd do damn thing for "Marcus".

Susan Fox

Oh, yes.

LuLu and LoLLy

We're 2 Maltese dogs. LoLLy was a rescue. All we have to say is Ugh.


Regardless to the ensuing hoopla this has garnered, at least the Vick case brought light to the fact that pitbulls are not the horrible vicious dogs many people think they are just because of their breed. Or because they were used in fighting rings. The media attention on the dogs that were saved and rehomed did ALOT for the breed. Now if we can keep people continuing in the same vein real progress can be made long term. (hint, hint HSUS)

I agree with whoever said "if they can make money by hiring them, then they will". That is sadly how this society seems to work.

Gina Spadafori

He done did his time now let the man play football and move on with his life.

Comment by Marcus — March 1, 2009

Yes, because nothing's more important than your entertainment.

I frankly believe Marx is wrong: It's not religion that's the opiate of the masses; it's sports. Something to keep people from caring about what's really important in life, getting anything done or demanding better for us all.

Gina Spadafori

He may well be a boy, but I tell you: I have heard grown men express much the same sentiments, including one -- a co-worker -- tell me he didn't get why dog-fighting should be a felony anyway. And that Vick should have paid a fine and played on, since "it's wasn't like he hurt a person."

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to point out the well-documented links between violence against animals and violence against people.

Since then, I think at least that one person started to get it a little more, thanks to articles like the one in Sports Illustrated.

Christie Keith

I just saw this cartoon over on BAD RAP's blog. I think it says it all about whether Vick should have a career in football again:



#Comment by Linda Kaim — March 1, 2009 @ 8:04 am


Sports is not a religion. Yes, it is entertainment and just like all entertainment, excellence is appreciated. I do place value in people dedicated to their sport/art/passion/etc. And it has NOTHING to do with my ambition aside from perhaps encourage me to keep on moving forward with mine.

That said, I still don't want to see Vick on the football field again. Some (most?!) of us sports fans can see the reality here. His actions also take away from the talented players that are positive role models in the sport and who also give back in wonderful ways.

Remember, he's just one player, not the entire sport or the fan base.

Colorado Transplant

I do think, though, a man or woman on a couch watching sports is not the same as being physically engaged in the sport.

I know how much you love animals, so I do respect your positions in many instances.

However, watching a person watching television for as many years as I have is no fun at all!

Pam Holt

Any monster capable of violently killing another soul because they are not mean enough is pretty much capable of anything. He should permanently be removed from society.


Michael vick should spend the rest of his life rotting in jail. What makes a dogs life less valuable than a humans, all because he is a star he recieves simpathy, screw him and all his fans, they are little getto pieces of crap like him. Maybe we should put his ass in a cage everyday with a beast and let them fight, see how he likes it. A buddy of mine works in the prison he is in and told me that he has his own area and still plays ball in prison, if it was up to me, I spend my day throwing a football at his nuts. THANKS FOR LISTENING


...Also, if anyone who works for the nfl reads this, michael vick is a garbage player, all he can do is run, he couldn't get the ball to a player if he went and handed it to him. There are many qb's in the league with more talent and less b.s., treat this scumbag a lesson, make him get a f'n job at the burger king or something...or better yet, put his ass in a dog suit and hand out flyers for a dog rescue foundation..I wish a dog would have bit his damm hands off.

Mojo Celtica

Who in Hell needs Michael Vick? Where are all the other talented young men waiting in the wings for their opportunity to play? Vick is a monster. A moral void. He can and should be replaced.


Celebrity or not; Famous footballer or not; Michael Vick is mentally sick. He needs a medical treatment. Serving a jail term doesn't help him at all, it just appeases the public. Up to now, he hasn't been cured from that mental illness, he will recidivate at any moment and at that time it might be on human being!! He is a dangerous man to the community at large.

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