Friday, July 20, 2007
Dear NFL - A fan speaks out about Mike Vick
I have watched the news and read all the various statements being made by the Falcons, The NFL , Arthur Blank and the AKC. I've also read the 18-page indictment. Now, I want to give you a message from me and my wife and family....and also a message on behalf of our dogs.
This is a dog...Our smallest and youngest dog. Faith is about 50 pounds, a Border Collie/German Shepard/Husky mix. She is loving and fun and smart. She is the kind of dog that dog fighters steal, or get from the pound, to use as fodder for dogs they are teaching to be crazed warriors. We also have an 80-pound Chow and a 120 pound Pointer/Rottweiler who stands 27" at the shoulder. We obviously love dogs.
So understand this. We will not spend a penny on the NFL as long as Mike Vick is allowed to practice and play in the NFL. No more trips to games, no more purchases of the NFL TV package on our satellite TV, no more buying Bears t-shirts and hoodies and so on...zip. nada. We are not alone, I am sure. There currently are 74.8 million dogs in the USA. (American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey.) The number of dog-owning homes was estimated by the Kansas City Star at 68 million. I cannot imagine that very many of these millions of dog owners will have the tiniest bit of tolerance for a league in which Mike Vick is allowed to participate.
Is Michael Vick innocent of the charges until proven guilty? Of course, that is the legal standard and a sign of the greatness of our nation. However, the indictments are a witness to Vick's intimate involvement in dog fighting whether or not he is guilty of each individual charge and whether or not he is convicted. He should not be jailed unless and until he is convicted. But he has forfeited his right to participate in the NFL by his bad behavior. The NFL is family entertainment. I won't disgust and horrify my audience by sharing pictures of dogs after a fight, but I guarantee you that anyone who understands what dog fighting entails should be able to see why the NFL doesn't want to be associated with the practice in any way, shape or form.
Roger Goodell, you suspended Tank Johnson and PacMan Jones and Chris Henry for activities detrimental to the league. But not one of them was a megastar like Vick. If Chris Henry can go down for simply adding a traffic stop to his previous troubles, how can you not suspend Mike Vick for being involved in such a heinous mess of cruelty and evil?
Every dog owner and every dog lover is watching. Will the NFL allow fame and fortune to trump common decency? If so, they will have lost my business and my respect....and I bet you those who stand with me will number in the millions!
This just in....