Poor Michael Vick. No, I really mean it. Poor Michael Vick. Arrested, tried, and incarcerated and deprived of a livelihood, in this case, millions of dollars as an NFL quarterback. All for engaging is a sport as old as mankind itself: dogfighting. Sure, he broke some NFL rules about gambling, although he has never been accused of gambling on his own sport, football. Here is a man who makes, (used to) his living in a blood sport predicated on for success sheer brute force, violence and breakneck clashing of human bodies in pursuit of thrusting an inflated rubber bladder wrapped in the skin of a cow across a goal line. (earliest footballs were actual inflated pig bladders.)
Americans today spend about $41 billion dollars a year on their pampered pets…..that’s about what we spend on food stamps for 26 million hungry Americans (mostly children) each year. Personally, I do not endorse a sport that violently pits animals against one another…(don’t endorse, but do enjoy watching footballers maim each other) but neither do I see the point of making dogfighting a capital offense deserving of serious jail time. There are obviously more serious crimes that society might address…prisons are already overflowing…indeed prison-building remains the last robust housing market in the country. Other sports involving humans result in brutality, blood, viciousness; other sports, such as golf, inflict a level of mind-numbing senselessness as to deserve equally harsh penal punishments. Dogfighting is a sport. These highly-trained pugilistic canines are warriors, 4-pawed gladiators with hearts and courage equal to any NFL running back or tight end. But let’s not forget…these are canines, dogs, bred by man to serve man. This is not human life were talking here. This is not murder. If Michael Vick euthanizes one of his four-footed fighters because it’s injured, he is doing exactly what any responsible horse race horse trainer would do. Vick’s punishment is completely out of whack with his “crime.” Just some (dog) food for thought.