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Comments made to the media by black activists and football fans …

... about dog killer Michael Vick:

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (7/29/07): About 200 people braved rain and thunderclaps outside the Georgia Dome on Sunday to condemn the country, the media, Nike and, most of all, the Atlanta Falcons for treating Michael Vick like a dog. "We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs," was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive. Other supporters said they believed Vick should be given the benefit of the doubt until his day in court.

"Look at what he has done for this city — he's made this city a ton of money every Sunday," said Hiram Melvin, 50 of Decatur. "This dogfighting has been going on for years. It's not something that just started. It's not a big deal." [Emphasis mine. kh]

Charles Steele, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said that the SCLC "prefers to focus on Vick's redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention [in August] in Atlanta." "We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals," Steele said.

Citizens of Atlanta support the dog killer.

Anisa Wright, holding dog DJ, her mother Charita Wright, and Imani Wright show their support for Michael Vick.

[Dressing the dog up in a #7 jersey is a particularly classy touch, don't you think?]

The same article goes on to say that The New Order National Human Rights Organization, a non-profit group purportedly established to deal with human rights violations experienced by people of any "race, creed, color, or religion" but which appears to have only black members (based on the photos displayed on its web site), "is calling for a boycott and protest of Falcons games until Vick returns to the field — and season-ticket holders in the crowd plan to demand their money back." New Order President Gerald Rose says, "This is still his dome. This is still his house."


From (8/22/07): Atlanta NACCP President R.L. White says that Michael Vick's "mistakes" should not cost him his football career and that "he didn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable."


From (8/22/07): New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick, calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting. "I think it's tough," Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors .... I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down," Marbury said. "I think he's one of the superb athletes, and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation." [Again, emphasis is mine. kh]


And let's not forget Deion Sanders, former NFL player/current NFL Network analyst/part-owner of the Austin Wranglers (of the Arena Football League), who offered this take on the situation in a piece he wrote for the Florida News-Press on 7/02/07 (and who has since been silenced by the NFL based on the terms of a contract he signed, a situation that the News-Press is NOT happy about).

The potential impact [of the indictment] could be devastating.

This is all the result of perspective.

What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I. Hold on, don’t start shaking your head just yet. Listen to me.

Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.

And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. You’re probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest. Maybe, he identified with them in some way.

Why are we indicting him? Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else? The fights allegedly occurred at a property that he purchased for a family member. They apparently found carcasses on the property, but I must ask you again, is he the ringleader?

Are we using Vick to get to the ringleader? Are we using him to bring an end to dogfighting in the United States?

The only thing I can gather from this situation is that we’re using Vick.

I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. It’s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn’t tap out when he knows he can’t win.

It reminds me of when I wore a lot of jewelry back in the day because I always wanted to have the biggest chain or the biggest, baddest car. It gives you status.

The reason this is turning into a three-ring circus is that baseball is boring, basketball is months away, football is around the corner and we in the media don’t have a thing interesting to write about.


The population in general seems to have strong negative feelings about Michael Vick and his behavior. However, I have spent a significant amount of time searching the Internet for examples of black individuals (prominent or otherwise) who have publicly condemned Michael Vick's behavior (even if the condemnation came after the announcement of his plea deal) and I have been unable to find a single example.

Is the media reporting on this situation in a way that makes it appear that most blacks are supportive of Vick when this is not the case? (And if so, why would they do that?)


Do most blacks think that this is all much ado about nothing and Vick should be at training camp right now? (And if so, how do people grow up in the same country, surrounded by animals that are, to most of us, like members of the family, and end up with such different opinions about this issue, with those opinions split evenly along racial lines?)

OR something else???

What do you think? And why?

[I bet this is my longest blog post ever!]

Billie Holiday - The Essence of Billie Holiday - How Could You?
iTunes is currently playing: How Could You? from the album Billie Holiday: Portrait by Billie Holiday.