The Humiliation of Michael Vick
I was tuned in to ESPN’s Outside the Lines this morning; one of the topics was Michael Vick taking an Empathy Towards Animals course. Vick participated in the 8-hour session at PETA headquarters in Norfolk, Va. which included videos geared more towards my 4 year-old son than a man in his mid-20’s. It was noted in the segment that the videos were made to teach children that animals carry many of the same characteristics and emotions as humans and need to be treated with care. This is to supposedly prepare Vick to speak to children on the topic of animal cruelty.
After a day of “learning” empathy towards animals, Vick returns a few days later to take a written exam (which he passed) on what he “learned” during the session. PETA assistant director Dan Shannon states his initial reaction, when he saw Vick for the first time, was he “Felt like he could get through to this guy.” He would continue by saying he really didn’t care too much for people that mistreat animals. Shannon stated that Vick seemed “Nervous at first, but he seemed really interested.”
Also in the segment, Michael Strahan and some other professional athletes were shown in PETA sanctioned commercials cuddling with their dogs speaking out against animal cruelty.
In a final attempt to degrade Vick, he was advised that regardless of his success in the course PETA would not change their stance on seeing Vick serve a lengthy jail sentence and serving a lifetime ban as an animal owner.
This was IMHO a blatant attempt to humiliate an individual that has apologized for his actions and is willing to take whatever punishment is handed down to him. I also believe ESPN is greasing the skids for Vick’s trial which begins on December 10th (Barry Bonds is December 7, and Pac-Man Jones is December 5th WTF!!!) Why does ESPN feel the need to report on Vick taking an animal empathy class? They spoke to a psychologist who says Vick has deep rooted issues that 8 hours of sensitivity courses cannot cure. Now he’s Ted Bundy? Where was the segment on John Daly when he entered an alcohol rehab some years back? Ben Roethlisberger took motorcycle safety classes in the wake of his accident minus a helmet last year, where was ESPN’s OTL during that intervention?
I don’t agree with Vick’s actions at all, but in no way am I trying to watch an already humiliated individual be crucified in the media. He stayed away and is waiting for his day in court. He has lost millions in salary, endorsements and even a few friends, if you choose to call them that. He has fallen on God and his family for support.
When this is all said and done I’m sure Vick will gladly accept a lifetime ban on owning an animal…it looks like in the next few weeks he’ll be dealing with his share of jackasses.