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What a difference two years makes. Here is a picture of Michael Vick with a dog. The difference? That this dog isn’t hanging upside down from a chain and being electrocuted to death with a cattle prod. Don’t worry, friends. I’m not going to go on a rant on how Michael Vick should get prodded with batons, injured, forced to fight for money, or whatever else these crackpot dog loving weirdos think he deserves.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel what he did was pretty damn awful. Although i consider myself a cat person (mostly due to my own laziness and the fact that cats do whatever the hell they want all day and don’t need to be cared for 24/7), I love dogs and would never want to see one harmed. This holds especially true in a situation like dog fighting. These dogs are abused and taught only violence, and then put down when their injuries or ineffectiveness render them unable to fight anymore. That’s pretty brutal.

Also, I am not one of those people who will defend Michael Vick’s cultural upbringing as the main cause for these problems. He may have grown up with a different view on the value of dogs, but it certainly doesn’t excuse treating an animal in that way. I don’t believe environment has all the power when it comes to how someone grows up or how they do in their lives.

What I want to say about Michael Vick in this post is this: leave the man alone. He did a terrible thing. He then was tried in a court of law, convicted and sentenced to 23 months in prison. After serving 19 months and giving up almost three prime seasons of his football career, he came out of his incarceration claiming to be truly sorry for his actions and with a better understanding of the wrong he did, as well as a newly found respect for animals. This man not only lost almost two years of freedom, he also lost tens of millions of dollars. He lost his job as a football player, had his contract voided and lost millions upon millions of dollars in endorsements. I can’t stress this enough: he spent 19 months in prison. Has anyone seen Oz? Prison is not fun! He didn’t go to summer camp for 19 months. There are bad men in prison; men who won’t just steal your lunch money if they don’t like you… (psssst I’m talking about sexual assault!)

The point is, the man has served his punishment and claims to be rehabilitated. I’m dumbfounded when i hear stupid people like Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle say things like this:

“(Vick) had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we watched the game and I know it’s bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt. Everything you’ve done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”

Yes. He needs something bad to happen to him. Bad like 19 months in jail? Or is that good old time fun? How can a professional athlete wish bodily harm on another? Basically, Mark Buehrle wants Michael Vick to die homeless and alone. He also wants his young children to die homeless and alone. I feel like that’s pretty bad for Buehrle’s karma, especially in a contract season at age 32. Shut your mouth and throw a ball into a glove.

As I said, i love animals. However, i also believe that everyone deserves a real second chance to redeem themselves. So far, Michael Vick has done just that. Look at the way he’s holding that dog. Do i see a hint of love in his eyes? I think I might. No one can really tell. So everyone should shut up and let the man live his life. He paid his price. If he’s found tomorrow with 8 dead pitbulls in his trunk and a bunch of wads of cash, then we can jump all over the hatred band wagon. For now, leave Michael Vick alone!

image courtesy of: http://fastcache.gawkerassets.com

Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.

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