Written by PETA
At least one corporation that stood to profit from Michael Vick's NFL reinstatement has decided to put morals before money.
While the NFL rushed to reinstate Michael Vick the second his ankle bracelet hit the floor, sporting goods giant Dick's has made it clear that it cares more about animals then it does its bottom line by refusing to sell replicas of Vick's Philadelphia Eagles jersey in any of its stores nationwide.
We hope you'll join us in letting Dick's know that it made the right decision by calling 1-877-846-9997 (dial 3 to speak to the operator). And if your dialing digits still feel like dancing, you can also call and complain to the NFL.
Written by Karin Bennett
Thanks to Richard Cohen for his Washington Post piece in which he asks if some sports reporters have a special key on their typewriters for "He's served his time."
Michael Vick has indeed served his time, and that entitles him to walk free in our society. And as he walks, he can remember how lucky he is to have been able to afford an army of high-priced attorneys who got him a plea bargain so that he wouldn't be charged with all the many abuses and crimes that took place when he purposely built a major gambling operation and the grounds on which to house it. He can remember how lucky he is to have been charged only with maiming and killing some dogs, although his carefully designed fighting operation went back at least 8 years. Serving his time entitles him to live in one of his big houses, but it doesn't mean he's sorry.
Did you see this video of Vick's homecoming? Did you see any remorse in his eyes? As the champagne flows, does he look ashamed about the deeds he's done? Vick shows as much remorse for the dogs he abused as he did his first night out of prison, when he went to a strip club. Perhaps that's why the video, in which his eyes are blurred and his speech is slurred, has been pulled from YouTube by its poster, and the original version can no longer be found on the Web.
So, Vick can no longer just blame a lack of parental guidance or bad influences in his youth. And the last USDA report blew out of the water his protest that he has always loved his "pets," but didn't see that the "pits" were also deserving of respect. That report reveals that Vick enjoyed throwing those "pets" into the ring with the fighting dogs and laughed as they were torn apart.
We gave the man the benefit of the doubt, but he tested positive for marijuana on the day he was taking an empathy course. Then, weeks before he was set to go to jail, he went into a pet shop in Newport News, Virginia, and bought a bulldog. Frankly, nothing sat right. We worried that "I'm sorry" might just be words in the wind. We didn't want his empty words or his money (offered and rejected). We wanted him to take the latest neurological test that's now being given to violent offenders—a test that can tell if the part of one's brain that registers empathy is active. He wouldn't do it. That's when we said, "So long."
Michael Vick may deserve to walk free, but he doesn't deserve to be a football star or a hero to children, and no group has any business helping him do so. We thank Richard Cohen for remembering the dogs Vick personally electrocuted, held underwater in a swimming pool, strung up like hammocks, and slammed into the ground until their backs broke.
Written by Joel Bartlett
Michael Vick was released from prison early this morning after less than two years behind bars and is headed back to Hampton, Virginia, where he'll serve the final two months of his sentence under house arrest.
In January, after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Vick's dogfighting activities revealed that Vick had enjoyed placing family pets in the ring with the pit bulls he'd bred, raised, and trained to fight, PETA called on NFL Commissioner Goodell to require that Vick undergo a full psychological evaluation before any decisions were made about the future of his football career.
Until Michael Vick undergoes the rigorous psychiatric tests now available to determine his ability to experience remorse, there's no way to establish whether he will reoffend. Someone who trained dogs to torture and kill one another for sport, who drowned and hanged dogs who wouldn't fight, and who laughed while watching his own family dogs fight for their lives as they were maimed and finally killed does not deserve to be rewarded with a multimillion-dollar contract or be given the privilege to serve as a role model to millions of children. PETA will not take anything off the table when it comes to any team or league that may sign Michael Vick.
In the meantime, PETA has increased our efforts to get other athletes on board to speak out against dogfighting. Houston Rockets forward Ron Artest, mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz, and world welterweight champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley, who shot an anti-dogfighting ad for PETA this week, have all spoken out against this cruel and illegal blood sport.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Huge thumbs up to Wyoming and Idaho! It’s wonderful to have legislators in all 50 states recognize that forcing dogs to tear each other to shreds in a bloody pit is a felony level crime that must be taken seriously. Sometimes a high-profile scandal like the Vick case shocks people in high places into officially recognizing that we simply can’t keep turning a blind eye to atrocities that are going on around us. Whatever the catalyst, a result like this one is something to celebrate.
As of this week, when Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal signed legislation to make dogfighting a felony in his state (following Idaho’s similar decision last week), every state in the U.S. considers participating in dogfighting to be a felony offense. A huge thank you to the governors of both of these states for taking this compassionate step forward.
I’m looking forward to the day when I can announce that foie gras is illegal in all 50 states as well. We’ll get there.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.