So, Michael Vick played in an NFL preseason game yesterday. And the media coverage notes that there was very little in the way of protests. I'm not going to debate here whether or not this person should have a second chance in the rarefied air of an NFL quarterback. What I do want to make note of is the way the media is now referring to matters when discussing Vick.
In all the hours and hours of discussion before last night's game addressing whether or not Vick should be allowed to rejoin the league, I consistently heard his transgression referred to as "being involved in dogfighting." This is what really frosted me. Vick wasn't just walking down the street with his pet pit bull and got dragged into a dogfighting den. He had a kennel of pits specificially for that purpose, as far as I could tell from the original media coverage, he arranged some of the dogfights, and there is no doubt that he was involved in killing dogs in rather hideous fashion.
So he was just "involved in dogfighting." And I would like that point -- a pretty major one to my way of thinking -- remembered and restated when discussions revolve around Vick and his "redemption."
And I don't listen to hours and hours of sports broadcasting, but I am pretty interested, and I never heard any announcer refer to the many studies that link cruelty to animals with other crimes such as family abuse and even serial killing. I would really like the media to give this transgression the weight it deserves.
In all the discussion, I haven't heard anything about what Vick is doing to redeem himself. There was a brief flurry of speculation about him involving himself with PETA (wouldn't that be a wonderful thing--read that with heavy sarcasm), but that didn't fly, and I haven't heard anything since about him donating any of his salary to animal welfare or volunteering to clean out kennels at a local shelter, or anything like that.
I'm glad there wasn't a media circus upon his return to the game, but I'm very unhappy with the current coverage. It seems that he "made a mistake" and everyone deserves a second chance. Maybe so, but giving that second chance shouldn't involve any reversion of history. Vick did things far worse than anyone is currently publicly giving him credit for. And that's wrong, no matter how you feel about his future football career.