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Is Michael Vick a Changed Man?

Written by PETA | August 13, 2009

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.

Michael Vick Sentencing
This is me holding the “Dogs Deserve Justice” sign outside the courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, during Vick’s sentencing.

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

Commenting is closed.
  • Linda Tumillo says:

    Michael Vick as we all agree should not ever have any contact with any animals. The only reason why he is going to schools and explaining to children about animal abuse is that it was part of his probation. People should start protesting the presence of Michael Vick in games and stop buying products that he sponsors. It is very interesting that his own family is still continuing to abuse animals and he does nothing. This man does not deserve the respect of this society.

  • lovindmutts says:

    With power comes responsibility. We have power over our dogs b/c of our intellect and often our size, and their utter willingness to trust us. With that power comes the responsibility to take care of them- to teach them good manners and obedience, to make sure they have sufficient water and food, to make sure they get the medical attention and maintenance they require to stay healthy, to keep them safe. Mike Vick abused the power he had over those dogs. Is he a changed man? I don’t know.. but as yet, I don’t trust him… with a dog, with a kid.. with a woman.

  • George Gardner says:

    What’s him testing positive for marijuana have to do with anything? So what if he spent time in prison and wanted to go to a strip club after he got out? What if the part brain that registers empathy isn’t active in his? Would that be his fault too? Whether you like it or not he’s paid his debt. Children and fans alike love him and he just signed a 100$ million contract.

  • Krista says:

    “I don’t agree with anyone who says Vick paid his debt to society. When you knowingly and willingly kill and torture animals that is not a mistake. You make a conscience decision to do it he ENJOYED doing it.” Exactly. Consciously, purposely causing so much suffering. He knew it was illegal, why else would he have ever hidden it? He knew it was wrong, and continued to do these things for his sick pleasure. His entertainment…that’s it. He did not need the money, he was making plenty. I don’t care about how he’s crying because of how he grew up, that’s completely irrelevant. People can better themselves. People can rise above, and set an example, especially if they’re popular, rich, and famous. People like this monster, and everyone making excuses for him, choose not to. There ARE no excuses for this. Keep religion out of it. To sin is one thing, but not everything is forgivable. If someone was brutally tortured, and slaughtered in front of you, perhaps someone you know, someone you care about, or if you yourself were in the victims’ place, I very much doubt you would be so forgiving, and supportive. Forgiveness is one thing, and justice is another. Keep your “it’s just a dog” attitude out of it. Dogs love us without ANY judgment. They are naturally loyal. They trust us. Trust us to protect, and care for them. They are alive. They feel, they love, they fear, they celebrate, and mourn. A dog’s blood is just as red as your own. No, not just dogs, but we’re not talking about that here. Keep other people who have done the same, or (keep in mind, in YOUR opinion) done “worse” out of it. They have nothing to do with this. They are not the topic at hand. Vick, and everyone who participated, these are the ones who need to be shoved into the fire here. Vick being a role model, glorified his monstrous deeds, and made cruelty the “cool” thing to do.The reason Vick is singled out, instead of all the unknown people still doing this in the shadows, is because he glorified it, and made dog fighting more popular. Some people are saying they don’t care if he’s sincere about animal cruelty awareness, they don’t care if he means what he says, as long as he sets an example. Guess what…if it’s all a lie, then it’s all for nothing. Nobody believes him. He’s an athlete, not an actor. What he’s showing people now, is that they can simply get away with it.

  • Brian says:

    I’m glad that so many people KNOW the heart and mind of another. What he did was deplorable. He paid the price that our judicial system deemed for him and now he is trying to move on. Maybe others should do the same.

  • Rita says:

    Everytime the Eagles are playing on T.V. I turn it off. I love to watch football but I refuse to watch a team that would hire a killer and brag about what a changed person he is! I say what Michael Vick did is as bad as what OJ Simpson did.I hope when he dies it is very painfull and takes a long time as he suffers.

  • Ann Marie Fiorenza says:

    I just want everyone to know that the channel BET is giving Michael Vick his own reality show. Modells is still selling Vicks shirts both his old shirts and his new ones with dirtbags known as the Eagels. People please call your cable company can complain about the reality chow and BET and do not shop at modells.

  • kathie says:

    I heard recently Vick was hired back by Nike. if this is true i will never buy another nike brand anything again. Our laws are not tough enough and we all must pull together and protest. I had a hard time believing he got afootball job back. if they play the bronco’s i will protest. Lets do someting lets make a stand. kathie in Colorado

  • Ryan Schildroth says:

    Im glad Mike Vick is back in the NFL. Back on track to the Hall of Fame!

  • Wanda says:

    Vick should be in prison for the rest of his life! I feel anyone who hires this person or even watches him play ball apparently condones child torture! These are children he tortured killed people!!!!! I hope any team who even hires him never wins another game! I can’t even think about these poor little babies forced to fight each other! He deserves the worst torture we can imagine! When are we as a society going to protect our children furchildren?!!!

  • Bob D. says:

    Vick is a discusting cruel individual. He will be that way forever. Until the NFL eliminates people of this nature I will never watch another game. The NFL is loaded with wierdo’s like him and our children watch this garbage. Ever wonder what went wrong with our society? Watch professional sports and you will know.

  • Sabrina says:

    Vic did admit sorrow sorrow for ruining his immage sorrow cause “no team should go through what I put them through”. He did talk to youth about not fighting dogs and that its wrong “cause you could ruin your chances at your dream your one and only dream like I did”. He never read one part of his script in a tv interview “dogs have suffered at my hands and for that I am sorry”. He never said “no dog should go through what I put them through”. What has he learned in prison? That prison sucks and you have to lay in a bad bed. Thats what he learned. My problem with vic is not as a football player either but as a hero and like it or not anyone in sports or on tv and esp on both and esp qb will be considered a hero as will EVERYTHING they do. Did you hear about the teen you threw his pit oreo off the 6th floor? hey his hero vic did it. Like it or not being a football player and a hero go hand in hand and I have a problem with kids wanting to be “just like Vic”. A 6th grader wearing a vic jacket was asked if he knew what vic did and he said “yes but Michael Vic did itso its ok”. Does this mean peta is actually protesting at sights? There is a extreme vic sight where you can donate to them or to one of 3 pitbull rescues or a pet charity of your choice and as long as you sent them proof of donation they will pay the other team to basically do to vic what he did to the dogs with one major difference the dogs were not wearing helmets or pads the player with the most “mistakes” made on vic will get a plague at the end of the seasonthere will be extra cash and points for biting and for “accidentally getting Goddell when possible. Goddell has made nothing but bad deceissions who is above him to talk to about replacing him?

  • Marianne Brennan says:

    No he is not a changed man. In time he will secretly do it again. No one that evil ever changes. Animals are just objects to him. He is the devil.

  • Jake says:

    As the owner of a pit bull that I rescued years ago from abuse nobody was more outraged about Vick’s actions than me. However there are a few things that people are overlooking 1Nobody knows if Vick is remorseful or judging by what you see on television is ignorant. 2The NFL is filled with players who have been arrested for dui dwi assault domestic violence robbery even manslaughter. This doesn’t justify his actions but I think protesting drunk driving should be a slightly higher priority. 3 I truly think that regardless of how Vick may really feel he is going to do a lot of good for the community. By playing football he will be in a position to have a positive impact on others. That should be the most important thing. What’s done is done it’s time to look forward and at least give the man a chance to do some good for society.

  • dallas says:

    Screw Michael Vick! He is a disgusting DISGUSTING person.

  • Ken says:

    Have you people ever heard of forgiveness? He who is without any sin may cast the first stone. Everyone on this earth has done things that they are not proud of. Even you gossip mongers! Go one day with out sin! Of course what he did was wrong. But the American prison system does not produce reformed people they just house them. Let his new life speak for it’s self.

  • Jolie Kersse says:

    Michael Vick along with all of the other violent offenders have no conscience. He doesn’t feel remorse. Eight years is a long time to commit ongoing crimes. Would we extend the same courtesy to a killer of humans?

  • Richard says:

    I’m sick of hearing people say that Vick served his time and deservers a second chance. The only reason he’s speaking out against animal cruelty is to revive his career. He came from the slums had a brilliant career going and was making lots of money. So for fun and entertainment he chose to torture maim and murder dogs! Why don’t you people who think he is rehabilitated look at some of the pictures of the mutilated dogs that he’s responsible for or look at how the “trainers” teach those dogs to kill? Then maybe more people will realize that this man didn’t suddenly turn a road and take a different path because of a short prison sentence. Remember Jeffrey Dahmer started out by torturing animals. This is not Vick’s first encounter with the law and I guarantee you it won’t be his last. I’m boycotting all the sponsors of the Eagles and urging all my friends and family to do the same.

  • Animal Lover says:

    MIchael Vick is NOT remourseful he is only interested in his own future and in making money. He is only making statements about helping end animal fighting and being involved in those activities because that is what he is being told to do. He would NEVER come up with those helpful activities on his own. Thisis strictly for PR purposes and to help save his image so that what he did to all those innocent dogs gets is ‘forgotten and forgiven’. Well people are not that stupid we know it’s all being done in the name of greed and $$$$$. What a sad thing to see when powerful groups of people move backwards instead of forwards. This mistake will haunt them!!!!

  • Steve says:

    I was appalled to learn that the NFL reinstated that piece of garbage Michael Vick. This man is a murderer and comitted unspeakable cruelty to many innocent dogs for fun pleasure and profit.His declarations of remorse are bogus and he had demonstrated no evidence or remorse for the attrocities he comitted. His prison time was not nearly enough and in my opinion and many otherpeople he should have suffered the same fate as the many dogs he deliberately killed. This man is true scum! The NFL is an organization where people especially young kids see many of these people as role models and look up to these fine athletes. How could anyone look up to this piece of trash. I believe this compromises the integrity of both the NFL and especially the comissioner. The other thing that people need to remember is that if Vick didn’t get caught doing this dogfighting he would still be doing it. The only reason he stopped is because he got caught.

  • walter sibert 3rd says:

    joe jackson is a lost man