If guilty, Vick deserves harshest penalty

Several people have asked me what I think about Michael Vick and his dog fighting trouble. It’s pretty simple, I think. If he’s guilty of being involved in any way whatsoever, he’s an incredibly huge idiot and deserves any penalties the National Football League or the Atlanta Falcons impose.

Why would someone who’s making millions of dollars in the NFL risk it all to watch two dogs try to kill one another? Is this his idea of entertainment? How much more barbaric and inhumane can one get? If this is, indeed, the kind of person Vick truly is, I don’t believe he deserves the privilege of playing professional football to make his living.

In my opinion, playing any professional sport to earn a living is a privilege. I think it is perfectly acceptable for the leagues and owners to have rules and regulations regarding what type of people they hire to represent them on the field. If they desire to incorporate some type of character requirement in a contract, I say more power to them. I also say if any athlete fails to meet that expectation, then the team or owner has the right to terminate the contract. Vick is no exception.

So far, he hasn’t been found guilty of anything regarding these allegations. He’s even pleaded innocent to the charges. I think, and believe, a person is innocent until proven guilty. These charges alone have cost him millions of dollars in endorsements. Nike has canceled the release of his shoe. Reebok has pulled his jersey from stores and their Web site. Guilty or not, just being charged with something so heinous has a price. Whether that is fair is arguable.

However, if he is proven guilty, I think it’s not only fair that he should lose his job in the NFL, but that he should also have to serve the maximum allowable jail time for this type of crime. Remember, some of the dogs involved got the death penalty.

from the Aug 1-7, 2007, issue

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