Hypocrisy begins in Vick case

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 7, 2007

To the Editor:

On Aug. 27,

Michael Vick appeared before Judge Hudson on the plea bargain submitted to the court.

Now the hypocrisy begins.

First, Vick uses his considerable resources for the best legal finagling money can buy. Then an orchestrated program begins with expressions of support from other black athletes and the NAACP and SCLC. Then a confession that isn’t. Falcons owner Arthur Blank describing Vick’s heinous behavior these last six years (longer if Vick’s father is to be believed) as &uot;the incident.&uot; Lastly, we are told by Vick that he has found the Lord.

What does this mean? That brutalization and killing of trusting creatures is trumped by mores of money and big sports. That illegal gambling is ignored.

That the manipulators are relying on mindless fans to put aside making an example of Vick’s immorality so they can focus on their behind-the-scenes effort to salvage some value from Vick.

Did you hear what Vick said? To whom did he apologize first? His family? No, to his team — to the deep pockets. Did you hear what Mr. Blank said? He thought it might make everyone feel good to suspend or release Vick, but that wouldn’t be good for the &uot;franchise.&uot; Vick, Mr. Blank, what about the dogs?

The mores?

The awful behavior and its exemplar value?

Vick says he’s sorry.

You bet — sorry he got caught. After years of dogfighting and only four months since he last killed a dog horribly, he’s now sorry. Yes, sorry he got caught.

Vick killed in the most evil and deliberate way. He tortured. And he lied — to his employer and the world. The media calm after the storm suggests this is now over.

Contrition rules.

We await sentencing for Michael Vick, but it is time now to doze off, forgive, forget.

Can Vick be saved? Yes, but not by apologies or promises. Let Michael Vick perform first and ask forgiveness later.

Let him — from afar, without being able to so much as smell a dog — give and do good in the way of Bob Barker and Dave Duffield, founder of Maddie’s Fund. Let Vick cooperate fully with prosecutors by naming others involved in illegal activities, whether dogfighting related or not.

Until this is done, Vick should be banished — disappeared — ignored — ostracized.

It isn’t too late for Mr. Vick, but surely it’s too late for his victims.

Lillian Clancy and Don Marro

Virginia Voters for Animal Welfare/

Virginians for Animal Welfare

The Plains