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Is Michael Vick a Clinically Diagnosable Psychopath or a Reformed Dogfighter?

Written by PETA | January 21, 2009
clevelandleader / CC
Michael Vick

Today, PETA sent a letter to the National Football League asking that convicted dogfighter Michael Vick be subjected to a psychological test as well as an MRI brain scan like the one now in use at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in order to look for evidence of clinical psychopathy or anti-social personality disorder. Based on the fact that Vick funded and participated in a massive dogfighting operation (playing a direct role in hanging, drowning, or shooting countless dogs—and even slamming dogs to the ground to break their backs), it might seem obvious that there’s something wrong with the guy. But whether or not Vick is indeed a clinical psychopath is an important piece of a bigger puzzle.

For the past 18 months, PETA has been meeting with Vick’s management and legal teams behind the scenes about having Vick deliver a strong anti-dogfighting TV spot. If Vick is truly remorseful for what he’s done, as he’s said publically and privately, then a message from him telling people to stop these crimes could get through to dogfighters who relate to him. However, that’s a big “if.”

The only way to know for sure if Vick can change his ways is for him to submit himself for a brain scan and psychological test. Based on a number of factors—such as the fact that the right side of the hippocampus is larger than the left in 94 percent of captured psychopaths—these tests can help determine if Vick can ever truly understand that dog fighting is a sick, cruel business. Or, they could suggest that he’s doomed to repeat mean, violent behavior in the future—whether with dogs or other human beings. And given that Vick plans to be around a lot of kids, to give talks to them, and to be a star in their eyes again, the world deserves to know who he is inside.

Vick’s lawyers have run screaming, but unless and until he passes such a test, PETA will not participate in the production of a Michael Vick anti-dogfighting PSA. We hope that the NFL will require such a test as a precondition to even discussing the possibility of Vick’s reinstatement. You can click here to add your name to a petition calling on the NFL to stick to its guns and maintain Vick’s suspension until he’s taken and passed a brain scan and psychological evaluation.

Written by Dan Shannon

Commenting is closed.
  • Maria says:

    anyone that has behaved that way in the past surely is capable of human murder too. Go get tested. Cannot believe people support this pathetic excuse for a man but then most people who fanatically support sport are rather dim. those who say you love him…let him go with your daughter or leave him with your dog hes an abuser and murderer. i know their ilk and he’s not changed he’s playing the game.

  • sparkle says:

    Clint Pick, your comparing a squished bug or an ant to a full grown dog completely renders your argument invalid.

  • JimK says:

    Michael Vick in my opinion should be judged by his behavior. In this country we have to be willing to uphold some one who has changed from evil to good, and Vick seems to have done that. What he did was hideous, but he knows that now and that is a great victory for all animal-loving people in the world.

  • Dawn Risner says:

    Michael Vicks remorse is in being caught. This is unbelievable evil. The pain and suffering he inflicted on the dogs in his care could only have beeen done by a person compleatly lacking any human feelings or conscience. He should not and can not ever be trusted .

  • elaine vandermark says:

    Michael Vick could get away with killing God

  • juri says:

    He deserves to be treated like the way he treated his dogs. No animals deserve to be hurt especially like the way he did. And this is the reason why he is in the 2010 most disliked people in sports. NFL isnt thinking why pay millions of dollars to a animal abuser? He just needs to be checked.

  • Billie Jo says:

    He has abused repeatedly before he was caught and only paid the money because he was made to. He is only doing what he is doing now is so he can go back to doing the only thing he now’s how to besides fighting these poor dogs who want only to please their owner. I truly believe he will do this again only this time he will hide it better.

  • Sally says:

    Mr Vick is a young man we should let him grow. I believe he is remorseful. The money was given to the humane society. I don’t like football or animals but I like Mike. You armchair quarterbacks need to shut h up. Leave him alone.

  • Kelly says:

    If GOD can forgive so can I. Ilove him as what he brings to the furture not what he has done in his past.

  • Cathy Dawson says:

    Why is he being allowed is own TV show? Period..for all of us who find harming any animal as he ENJOYED….why is he even allowed to associate with humans……….

  • deantay says:

    the man thought that he could make some more money but that what wrong what he did to the dogs. but the man served his time now it nothing what we can do now he out but think that should teach him a lesson. but he problem ain’t going to do that no more.

  • g.d says:

    if peta ever decides to boycott vick in protest let me know i will join.i am memeber of peta as it is rewarding vick for what he didthey gave him back his job he has his own show so all the money he cryin bout he has shovel out oh boohoo for you he made all that money back.and he still blamin others for the actual killings.vick has his life back but does those dogs no they dont and he will do it again

  • sgpd101 says:

    Even though this was found out a while ago I still think that he is a maniac and that he should have NEVER been rewarded by getting back to playing football. HE is a murdering FREAK of nature. He plays nice to the camera’s….but do you think he has really stopped??? I think not. He has just learned to hide it better. Give his a Labotomy instead of a Scan. These are my feelings.

  • MrsB says:

    Michael Vick needs to be kicked out of the NFL. Any team that he plays on will be ostracized and the other players will be penalized by bad press which is not fair to them. I imagine any team he’s traded to will cringe knowing he’s coming into their ranks. Maybe if we’re lucky a dog will attack and kill him. That would be justice!

  • syl says:

    Well it’s been a full season for Michael Vick with the Eagles and I have not seen any work done by hime on behalf of any animals! He’s acting like it all never happened. Never should he have been allowed back in the NFL should have had to stay at the $10hr construction job and worked for a living like the rest of us. How much of his millions have been given to animal charities? Haven’t heard about a dime and I’m sure it would have been big news that he would broadcast if he had! This guy is a complete monster and should be treated as such!

  • CH says:

    He chose to committ these crimes. If he lied about the crimes at first then he knew it was wrong. He was punished by law for these crimes. The right punishment?I don’t think so. Should he be given a second chance?I don’t know. Should we forget what he did? Never!! This case is not just about dogfighting it is much more throwing a dog against the wall to break it’s back a red flag for more violence later. Studies have shown that people who hurt animals will go on to hurt people. He needs to be watched!! Does he need a test? Probably not. We already know how he is. His actions showed us. CanWill he change? I won’t believe until I see it with my own two eyes. Should he give talks to children? No!! Not until he has truly proven he has changed. Should he play in the NFL? I won’t watch him play.

  • CGrant says:

    The man did his punishment you need to let it go. Try treating a human being like you treat your animals. Stop bashing him. In parts of the south unfortunately dog fighting has been going on for hundreds of years. That is what the men do they take there sons and it was looked as entertainment and betting. He came up around this he didn’t invent this. But he has moved on so should you.

  • Susie Ashby says:

    Athletes are supposed to set an example of true sportsmanship. They are paid an unbelievable amount of money by their organizations but we all realize that. Michael Vick is a cruel and dispicable person. There is no excuse for his behavior. A short time in prison hasn’t turned this villian into a good guy. Doesn’t happen that way. I would like to see him banned from all sports and put in a pen with the dogs he taught to rip and tear flesh from the bone. Following that he should linger in a muddy fecal and bloody mess until he begged for death. Aside from the appauling idea that he is being nominated for an honor everyone who owns a pet should be made aware of the “bait” used for these poor creatures who fight for life. The bait could be your pet or mine. Of course that is another facet of this horrible action. He deserves no more compassion than the most helpless animal that died at his bidding.

  • Ebony Kearse says:

    Let this man live his life. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect but we are all human. Should I say for those who are so judgemental no one is human but we are all perfect. I believe he has suffured enough but in some sick twisted way we all pretend to be God. Only God can judge me.

  • Jeff says:

    Hey ep Once an idiot always an idiot!!

  • C Johnson says:

    Hey Michael Vick may have done dog fighting I’m a dog lover but you can’t hold it against him. I looked up to Michael Vick I still do because I’m giving him a chance. Atleaste give him a chance.

  • Rachel Eaton says:

    Shame on the NFL for allowing Mike Vick to ever play football again. He is definatly a piss poor example of a man. I beleive an eye for an eye. He should have been hung up beside the losing dog and eaten alive too. I will never excuse his behavior. MURDER you give pit bull owners and the NFL a bad name. I’ll be at any game he plays in denver with 50 friends with signs to berate him. What a fing loser. Shame on the NFL your just as guilty as he is.

  • Teddyb says:

    I agree mike vick has a problem to me he is no different than a serial killer and mass murderer. Though shall not kill. Yes he needs to be tested.


    I’am a dog loverhave a lahas german shepard and all the love for my babys.vick ouchbut he paid the price went to jail let him playleave him alone.Ithink peta can do better things with there time.

  • EUNICE TATE says:

    MICHEAL VICK has gift to offer us.I know he done wrong but all of us have something we done wrong before.I belive in this man.A dog is a dog not a human. WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE WORST AND GOT A PAT ON THE BACK.THEY WERE FOOTBALL PLAYERS TO.

  • quatravious says:

    you suck i used to love you i was a kid i look up to u you just let go do me a favour give me a 100 what ever game you play

  • janice says:

    the NFL is only interested in their arrogance and pride. I am glad Vick is losing little taste of what he did to the animals…

  • ep says:

    Once a THUG always a THUG!!!! Leopards do not change their spots. Hope he goes back to prison where he belongs. Scumbag dirt ball. Eagles are just as bad. Lose every game!!

  • ron says:

    Micheal vick is an outstandind and very talented quarterback to ever come to the NFL he’s paid his debt now let him get on with his life you all point the finger at him well the next time you do that just remember you have three more pointed right back at you.

  • bryce says:

    Come on guys. I would hate to think that you have to pass a psychological test to be allowed to get a job after you’ve served time. Why should Vick be treated as a special case and have to have his brain scanned? I think this is just ridiculous. I already think that Vick has been judged and convicted harsher than any other lower profile thug that runs a dog fighting ring. You have guys in the NFL like Ray Lewis and Dante Stallworth who have killed HUMAN BEINGS for crying out loud. Maybe PETA should be petitioning the NFL to fire these guys….human beings after all are animals.

  • Andy Carmichael says:

    vick should stay in the nfl he know what he did was bad but i think he can improve his attuide be kind give him a second chance

  • rina says:

    wow..everyone makes mistakes yo..yeah this was very very bad and ill never forget but damn ya act like ya have never done anything wrong..just let it go and stop worrying about the past all the time..its the present.lets focuse on the future.that whats wrong with the world now..i mean as christans we are to of what jesus forgive him and shutup about it already

  • Richard says:

    He went to prison for his crimeso he has paid his do.The man isn’t an anglebut then again none of us are.He needs to workso he can support himself.Second chance They should have tested him while in prison. I believe it’s alittle to late at this point.

  • Dan says:

    OMG people get over it! If people can commit murder do their time get paroled and then reenter society why can’t Vick?

  • Donna McAlister says:

    Yes God does forgive and thats why we dont have too. Michael Vick would still be fighting shooting drowning electrocuting body slamming the very animals he owned. He didnt have a revelation on how cruel he is was to his own animals. Like any other criminal he got caught. He is not remorseful for the cruelty he inflected on dog and dog after dog. If he had of been the first kill would have been the last. He is remorseful because this has ruined him. I believe it is the NFL that needs the brain scan for even considering to let him come back. I hope Michael Vicks never has a child who brings home a bad report card or maybe gets pinned at wrestling competition since he only equates value with performance. And folks that is what you see Michael Vicks doing now and what he does best this is just another one of his performances.

  • Robert says:

    Come on people. i agree that was cruel what he did to the animals. But even JESUS forgives. He went through or justice system and did everything he is supposed to do. A person that hates and keeps on hating is just as cruel. You have to truly forgive and wish the best for that person and let God judge him. now as far as a brain scanning I dont like that idea at all because its not 100 because people make choices everyday that can alter decidions in their lives. i think that what the court decides is what best for Vick and the way he handle himself through all of this shows me that he is not a monster. he is nothing but a man that made a bad decidion. Now to me the way people are acting around him with trying to use and destroy the man sounds like monsters. You know if you really wanted to stop dog fighting in which i hope that you do all you have to do is concentrate on the south. Most people there dont even hide it. Having Vick as a spokes person is great for the rich but it does not do anything for the poor. They can care less what Vick says. What we really need is more animal cops in rural areas.Now I am a Dog owner I have a male boxer “briefs” and a female Pitbull “bella”.Two of the most beautiful gentle dog ever created and I would never put them in harms way. And i am saying to I wish the best for Micheal Vick and his career. i am glad that the NFL let him back in and i prey for prosperity for his life.

  • Clint Pickens says:

    How many of you people have ever squished a bug or fried an ant with a magnifying glass? Yet your all wishing hellfire damnation on Vick?! That is beside the main points though. FIRST Vick did the time for the crime. If you don’t like it lobby for more severe punishment in future cases because there is no way you can throw Vick back into jail. SECOND This bankrupt guy owes like $20 million because of what he has done. How else is he going to pay that off unless he plays a few years in the NFL? THIRD Requiring Vick to have his brain scanned would be a serious violation of his rights. And if somehow you people did get that required what’s to keep it from being a requirement for us all? FOURTH and final People who have great reputations like Tony Dungy and the majority of the Eagles team have talked to Vick behind closed doors without Vick’s written responses and are convinced that he is truly remorseful.

  • Pam says:

    I wonder how many skeletons are in these haters closet.If you dont forgive others God will not forgive you.

  • susan says:

    An intelligent and considered approach as always PETA. It’s extraordinary how some people are still prepared to accept what this repeating liar has to say anyway.He reads scripted sham ‘apologies’ written by his PR team because HE has NOTHING to say from the heart.He doesn’t understand what the fuss has been about!However he’s been told that reading ‘apology’ scripts will replenish his pocket book and catarpult him back into idolatry. He understands that. Hey this is easy no contrition necessary! What he did wasn’t the celebrity tantrum or immature mistake we constantly forgive as a nation. He didn’t WANT to get caught and have to stop pulverizing back breaking electrocuting drowning removing the teeth from or gloating over dog rape. What mind could even imagine this sick stuff. Vick still has that mind. Worse he acted out these atrocities. Psychological testing should surely be a minimum requirement for someone who wants so much money and glory from Americans and will be spending so much time with them in such a public position.

  • Vincent Marshall says:

    All this rah rah about Michael Vick and dogfighting is getting out of hand. I will not dismiss the fact that what he did was wrong however the man has served his term and isn’t it constitutional that he was proven guilty and did his time and should be afforded the same respect as others. Where are all the concerned persons when it comes to children being abused and killed women being abused battered and kill. We make all this hoopla about the animals and rightly so because they don’t know better. Come on people there are persons who have committed more haneous crime and are being revered with Book and Movie Deals. Come on PETA let’s get over it and continue going after the folks who are out there and have not paid their debts to society.

  • Jackie says:

    vick should not be allowed to play for a while. but devote his time to the humane society and peta. go to schools and let the kids know it is wrong what he did. and we must love our pets. and he needs to go and seek help for what he did. he has shown no remorse for what he did.

  • Vick Prodigy says:

    I hope they put vick in the wildcat Offensepun intended Mna I bet he still can pick up 500 rushing yards a season. I think Philly picked him up because mc nabb career is coming to an end with all those injuries he gets 5 mill next season so I think Mc Nabb be out soon. I really hope he gets a big contract from them Philly is the reason he never even saw the super bowl. This works out for him cant beat them join them. Im glad he did his time and can go back to the way it was. Honorable

  • Linda says:

    Mistake??? No way. Vic’s torturing of dogs was a premeditated horrible act. Electrocuting drowning hanging and beating dogs is not a mistake. Car accidents having unprotected sex getting into a fight because you’re drunk or high these are mistakes. Could you yourself stand by and watch the torture Vic imposed on the dogs? Could you yourself torture? Vic does not deserve anything except the same things he did to the dogs. Football is a huge money making machine and that’s all they care about….Vic will make them money.

  • Donna Marie says:

    What hurts me is that Mr. Tony Dungy once a person I held in the highest respect was instrumental in peddling Vick’s “remorse” to various NFL teams. How could Mr. Dungy not see that Vick was pulling a quarterback sneak and setting up Dungy to lose this game and lose badly. Vick has had 2 years to diligently practice his “game of remorse” and it looks like he has sucked in NFL heavyweights like Mr. Dungy. Although I don’t believe that Vick means a word of his remorse I hope for the sake of Mr. Dungy’s reputation that Vick doesn’t embarrass him so early in his ministry.

  • nicole says:

    I am so disgusted that Michael Vick is being given another opportunity to play in the NFL and live a life of luxury after he tortured those poor animals. Sports stars are often role models for our countries youth and is this the kind of person our children should be looking up to? The NFL must be insane. I understand that Mr Vick served time but that doesn’t mean he is a changed man. Lets keep in mind that Michael Vick didn’t fight dogs for money he fought dogs for pure entertainment. A man who has all of the resources in the world at his fingertips and he chooses to torture animals. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. And yes we may all have done things in the past we are ashamed of but for most of us that doesn’t include getting enjoyment from seeing living things suffer.

  • Richard K says:

    This ahole Vick deserves a lethal injection not “a second chance.” ANY CIVILIZED SOCIETY would give him the same chance he gave those helpless animals. It’s a shame the cultures and practices human beings exhibit the world over are as ignorant as Vick including ours in the U.S. for not executing this prick. I’ve been to NFL games since Vick entered the league therefore I funded dogfighting nothing shy of a lethal injection would suffice PERIOD. Animal abusers and child molesters are one in the same. It’s a shame the overwhelming majority of the scum filled society the rest us are forced to live in fail to see this.

  • Joe says:

    This is truly a sad day for the once proud fans of the Philadelphia eagles. In my forty plus years of Super Bowl disappointments and emotional roller coaster seasons Jeff Lurie is willing to sell our pride and hope for something lower then a human being makes me embarrassed to wear Eagles green. I guess Jeff Lurie should now change the team name to the Philadelphia dog killers and let the world really know what kind of a person he is. Money money money is all that matters to the NFL.

  • Becky Alke says:

    Mr. Vick got sent to club med when he went to JAIL. What a stupid joke his punishment was. He needs to do a LOT of community time serving in the animal rehabtrauma centers caring for these traumatized animals that he enjoyed torturing. He needs to see the animals feed them hold them mend them hear their shrieks of pain morning noon and night. He also needs to PAY financially. Pay A LOT. He made a lot of dirty money with dog fighting MAKE him pay it BACK. To H with the NFL and football and the winning team. THE MAN DOES NOT DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE. He is a liar and an abuser. He truely is a psychopath and enjoys pain to other living creatures who cannot defent themselves. He has a GREATER THAN GOD syndrome free from the LAW because of who he thinks he is and his money. If any Joe Blow American were to do what he did we’d be in jail with fines we could not possibly pay. The man SHOULD be brought to his knees. Make him suffer what he did to the dogs. Electrocution drowning hanging mauling. Our government has become limp as a wet noodle because our gov’t has no balls to make the BAD GUY PAY. THe man is WRONG. So why is he allowed to play ball? I’m ashamed of my gov’t and will support efforts to stop animal cruelty till I die. Let the a hole be booed right out of the ballpark. He’s just another stupid jurk who beat the system. THanks for nothing justice system. Snohomish WA. 82009

  • Fredrick Kroos says:

    I vote no about Michael Vick in my opinion he should never be allowed to play in the NFL ever again. no no no vick