Mike Vick was signed Thursday. Im typing Sunday. Generally im not a knee-jerk reaction type of guy. I have gathered my thoughts along with others to compose what i think is an interesting dichotomy of America. Those that loathe Vick, and those that enamor him. I think this topic has uncovered more about cultural differences and principles than any discussion has in a while.
Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagels 8/13/09, the announcement was made as a Philadelphia Eagles preseason game was simultaneously taking place. As this transpires i hear reports that some fans decided to leave the game in a fruitless preseason protest. There was one lady who was crying and stated that she has to now give up her season tickets. I've seen facebook status' that wished the worst of occurrences to Vick and all sorts of venomous outrage. As i observed and quelled my own statements i realized an interesting point; this is not about written laws its about moral codes.
In society we are technically governed by laws and unwritten moral codes/laws. There have been plenty of athletes to break the "Law", but none so viciously ostracized. He has served his sentence but yet the public arena looks to brutally bury him, however not everyone. From what i have observed there is generally a culture/race line that is drawn separating the furious from the forgiving. Generally in the European-American circle dogs are obviously more revered than in the African-American circle, so although it was a felony one sector really has no quarrels while the other sector boils over with rage. So although this was a crime committed i think it is paramount to understand that the community that Vick has been apart of virtually his entire life generally did not hold this behavior in contempt, even though it is against the law. As a matter of fact there were others football players who spoke when the actions were first uncovered and felt this was no big deal. Before a stone is thrown at my laptop, please understand that i think the actions were foolish. However there are things people do everyday that are illegal but morally it elicits very little outcry or concern, such as smoking/selling weed. See i've known quite a few popular weed sellers and no one makes a stink. Im sure that is how his dog-fighting ring worked, his background and those he was involved with saw no fuss to make, thus he was not persuaded to change.
The amount of lamenting against Vick is uncanny to anything i've witnessed in sports. But on the other hand why are African-Americans so laissez-faire about dogs? I hate to become a historian but one school of thought builds from the idea that African-Americans were often chased down by dogs of slave masters so the connotation of "dogs" isn't a pleasant one. And on the reverse side of that one can make a case that this is why European-Americans have embraced them so; they really have taken this personal, but it is so unclear why. People continued to root for Dallas when they signed Pacman Jones and people also rooted for the Ravens when Ray Lewis had the murder trial. These two were never convicted but the people hated Vick before he was convicted.
I hold the idea that everyone deserves a chance to be forgiven. Sometimes it takes someone like that to reach other people. What will you ever get out of forever banning him from the NFL, that benefits society none! We have all made some mistakes, some more public than others but it bothers me to see so much vile commentary tossed around like everyone is perfect. He paid his dues and i think we need to move on and continue to make this world better, not continue to try to hold people down. Besides he's playing football, not running for Mayor, where his character needs to be tried and true. I don't think people realize how much hate tears down the world. Look at what Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished by reciprocating love, he could have easily looked to kill everyone that had hung, tortured, and abused his people, but he chose love and learning instead and accomplished wayyyy more. Apparently we have given him a holiday and don't even know what for. Although i can understand some not liking this gentleman, but this is bigger for some people, and this hate has to stop.