Hypocrisy, Culture, Murder, and Vick
August 9, 2007 by Kevin Beane • Print Story •
I have to be careful writing this column, it can be very easily misconstrued. It could also, I suppose, be mistaken for satire (which my last column was). But I'm serious, even though I'm sure I'm in the minority.
The fury over the Mike Vick situation has been blown WAAAAAAAAY out of proportion. It should rank towards the middle of illegal outrages committed by professional athletes, ranking behind hurting or killing, you know, a human. Like Leonard Little and Rae Carruth have done.
Take this article by Peter King. He sounds about ready to execute Vick personally. Notice how he moves on to other topics, but keeps coming back to Vick. He's too furious, too consumed, not to.
King is in the majority from what I've seen. Apparently, not only has Vick been conducted dogfighting, but actually invented the sport.
That's my first problem with this. Dogfighting is nothing new, everyone's heard about it. But have you reached this level or anger over dogfighting previously? Do you donate to PETA and groups that work tirelessly to end this scourge, or did you before the Vick thing happened? Or did you just sneer at that liberal wacko organization?
Another SI writer at least touches on it. Don Banks complains that Deion Sanders uses "twisted logic" when he points out that Vick may not have the same love affair with dogs that most of us have.
I'm really glad he finds that logic twisted, because it means he can't really argue my second point: animals suffer and are tortured for our entertainment all the time. Peter King is fat, and I think I safely say that eats a lot of animals and, I would guess, doesn't make a point to limit his meat purchases to free range animals. King, and the rest of us, would be a lot healthier if we stopped eating cows and pigs, and we know it. We eat them anyway because they taste good. It's entertainment to us, no more morally acceptable than dogfighting.
The lives and deaths of slaughterhouse animals are just as painful and torturous as a dogfighting dog's. Probably moreso. And their nervous systems are just as developed as a dog. But no, Vick is Hitler and the rest of us McDonaldites are juuuuuuust fine.
What, you say, we humans have a special bond with dogs? That's what makes it sick? Careful, that's that "twisted logic" Banks was complaining about, basing our judgment of Vick's crime based on personal or cultural setiments. In China, I'm sure they'd be very perplexed by our outrage, and in India, cows are sacred. I again point out the pain a factory farm pig feels is every bit as real as what these dogs feel. Dogs don't have a greater capacity for pain than cows because Americans like them more.
This outrage is because we don't like Vick's kind, anyway. He has had minor scrapes with the law before and, much worse, he's a corn-rowed FUBU wearer that clearly isn't following the Johnny Unitas Guide to Life, Hair, and Quarterbacking like he should be. It's why we hate guys like Allen Iverson, too, and why David Stern implemented his dress code. It's not exactly racism, but it's something close: we are now prejudiced not against blacks per se, but against black culture. We now like and accept black guys if they act white, and we now hate white guys if they act black, and call them wiggers.
It bears repeating that we haven't been particularly outraged at the two football players (one active!) who have actually killed people, and I can't list all the athletes who have been busted for beating their wives and girlfriends because I'm dealing with a one gigabyte limit.
But those guys get at least somewhat of a pass because, to our knowledge, they don't embody cornrowed hip-hoppery the way that Mike Vick does, and we even give them the benefit of the doubt when we don't know for sure. Such progress!
Note: One Sports Illustrated guy gets it: Pete McEntegart. I must thank him of reminding me of Little and, oh yes, the rapists and sexual assault artists that I haven't even mentioned. Don't grow cornrows, Kobe.