In Louisville, Kentucky, a football camp for kids was cancelled on Wednesday after social media outrage from animal advocates strongly opposed the involvement of former NFL player Michael Vick. Created Player, LLC and Prototype Athletics, a for-profit organization, arranged for the camp.
According to Kentucky.com the camp had been scheduled for May 18 and included Michael Vick and Chad Johnson. In 2007, Vick was convicted of a felony relating to dog fighting and spent 18 months in prison. His defenders state Vick served his time, and since his release Vick has been involved in youth programs as well as animal advocacy.
Animal advocates, however do not believe Vick should be any kind of role model for children considering the egregious treatment of dogs he admitted to having been involved.
For anyone who has ever forgotten what happened, in 2007 Vick and three other men were indicted on charges related to an illegal dog-fighting ring known as “Bad Newz Kennels.” Although some fans will tell animal advocates to forgive and forget, and that Vick showed remorse for those convictions, it was the degree of inhumanity, cruelty and downright sadistic treatment of the dogs who did not win as fighting dogs, and the degree and torture the innocent animals endured by Vick’s own hands that rocks so many people to the core of human decency.
A carefully written blog described in detail what happened to the dogs:
“The details that got to me … involve the swimming pool that was used to kill some of the dogs. Jumper cables were clipped onto the ears of underperforming dogs, then just like with a car, the cables were connected to the terminals of car batteries before lifting and tossing the shamed dogs into the water. We don’t know how many suffered this premeditated murder, but the damage to the pool walls tells a story. It seems that while they were scrambling to escape, they scratched and clawed at the pool liner and bit at the dented aluminum sides like a hungry dog on a tin can.
And then there was more:
“…my mind’s image of a little black dog splashing frantically in bloody water … screaming in pain and terror…brown eyes saucer wide and tiny black white-toed feet clawing at anything, desperate to get a hold. This death did not come quickly. The rescuer in me keeps trying to think of a way to go back in time and somehow stop this torture and pull this little dog to safety. I think I will be looking for ways to pull that dog to safety for the rest of my life.”
The cancellation of the program also occurred because the “application didn’t meet the requirements for facility usage.”
In addition a peaceful protest had been scheduled – “Just Say No to Michael Vick Lexington.” Less than a week prior, at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, Vick spoke about his animal cruelty conviction and time in prison and stated he “continues to help animals beyond what was mandated by the court… Words will never hurt me. I spent two years in prison. I get it. I understand it. I can’t change the past; you can only control and try to dictate the present,” Vick stated.
What do you think? Should Vick be forgiven?
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