Just four short years ago, Michael Vick was torturing & murdering innocent dogs. In fact, and his buddies killed at least 13 dogs by methods including wetting & electrocuting, hanging, drowning, shooting and slamming them into the ground. Not to mention starving them so they’d be more vicious in the ring.
And for those who never heard the details, here’s a grim reminder from the book, Lost Dogs: “As that dog lay on the ground, fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs & Michael Vick grabbed its back legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So, Phillips & Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground until, at last, the little red dog was dead.” (Thanks to Jeff Daniels of Justice for Bella for the quote)
Did he pay his dues, because he spent some time in prison? Some might argue yes, but frankly, there’s a much bigger issue at stake here. In my opinion, Vick is a sociopath – defined as “a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.”
Anyone who could torture (not just kill, but TORTURE) sentient beings obviously doesn’t have a sense of moral responsibility. I don’t believe such a person can be “rehabilitated”. He got caught, and he’s doing his obligatory positive PR to make people believe he’s a changed man … but he’s not. That was demonstrated when a Dallas man who’d adopted one of his former dogs tried to show him a picture, and Vick turned and walked away as his bodyguards chanted, “We don’t care about the dog”. It’s also demonstrated in the simple fact that he’s never apologized to his victims – not once.
When Vick was sentenced, it seemed like the whole world was outraged. Sponsors (including Nike) dropped him, and condemned his actions. But now, just four short years later, it seems the world is back on Vick’s side. And why? Because he’s joined up with the Humane Society (the same organization who lobbied to have all his former dogs killed)? Or because he “paid his dues”?
What he did is unforgivable. And while he may be allowed to play football again, and rake in the big bucks again – by no means should he be celebrated. Animal lovers the world over will NEVER forget this man’s actions. And the corporations that survive on our spending money shouldn’t forget either. But this week, it seems Subway and Nike have both decided that Vick’s marketable again. He won the Subway-sponsored BET Sportsman of the Year award, and has been re-signed as a spokesman for Nike.
What is wrong with these companies? Have they forgotten? Did they really think we had?
Any endorsement of Vick is an endorsement of his heinous behavior. Four years isn’t long enough to let torture & murder fade into the background. Four hundred years wouldn’t be enough.
Despite major protestations from the public regarding their actions, neither Subway nor Nike has reversed their decisions from this week. Facebook pages have sprung up encouraging people to boycott both companies: No Way Subway and Boycott Nike for Signing Michael Vick. Hopefully, enough people will participate to put a dent in these corporation’s pockets. $ talks, after all – hence why these companies got back on the Vick bandwagon in the first place.
I did see a post from someone who talked to a Subway representative on the phone, who relayed that they will likely not sponsor the award again next year, due to the amount of negative feedback they’ve received. But that’s not really enough – they need to make a public statement that they do not support the award.
And Nike – well, they’re even worse. They handpicked Vick to become a part of their team again. Why choose him, when there are hundreds of other professional athletes who could have appropriately represented the brand? Athletes who aren’t sociopathic felons?
Bottom line: these endorsements of Michael Vick are unacceptable on the part of these corporations, and they need to backtrack, now. Until then, let’s hit ‘em in the pocketbook.