Hypothetical questions, knowing nothing about a person except the following:
If you had to select one of the following people to baby-sit your child, and could only eliminate one from consideration, who would you choose?
A. Someone who had received a dui.
B. Someone who accidentally killed someone while being over the limit
C. someone who has smoked marijuana or has used other drugs
D. Someone who owns an illegal firearm and has carried it in public
E. someone who has been arrested for assault in there lifetime
F. someone who has been arrested in a domestic dispute
G. a dog torturer, dog killer and ring leader in an interstate dog fighting ring
To have as a neighbor?
To have as a coworker?
To patronize their business?
To play for your favorite football team?
There is of course no right or wrong answer. My guess, of course, is that most people would choose G. I certainly would. I have or could conceivably have A-F as friends, coworkers and neighbors. G ….not so much. For instance, I have good friends that have received a dui. They aren’t reckless drunks or menaces to society. Youthful, stupid indiscretions by and large. As terrible as it is to imagine, one of them could have conceivably killed someone driving home while over the limit. If that would have happened, I can assure you I wouldn’t have disowned them. Ditto on C,D,E, and F.
If, on the other hand, I found out my buddy was out drowning dogs, smashing their heads in, strangling them and buying dogs from shelters to use as “practice” for the “professional” pittbulls, well that would be the end of the line for me. A friend would no longer be one, a coworker would be reported on and shunned, the patronizing of said dog killers business would end, no hiring would take place and lastly I wouldn’t want him to play for the Denver Broncos.
I realize that this comparison could be looked at as not being fair. After all I am comparing vague dui’s to a more specific hypothetical about killing and torturing dogs. You might ask “ Well what about a guy with 7 dui’s that killed 5 people in a mini van with a BAC of 2.5?” This would be a fair point. Plenty of the people that have been involved with A-F are degenerates, low life riffraff, and multiple offenders that are a drain on society.
Not all are though. Probably most aren’t. Can you say the same about dog torturers? Dog killers? Could you see yourself at some point in your life being arrested or convicted of A-F? How about G?
I would submit that most people could conceivably see themselves involved with A-F in some form or another. Maybe you had to much wine at dinner. Maybe you smoke a joint from time to time. Maybe you moved and forgot to register your gun. Maybe you punched some asshole in a bar. Maybe you slapped your girlfriend after she threw a lamp at you. This doesn’t work for G. I see someone that engages in G as having a screw loose. A sociopath. Is this “rehabilitatable“? I figure if you are capable of that level of barbarism, what else are you capable of?
This is aimed at the relatively small percentage of Michael Vick apologists. The champions of moral equivalence. People, in my view, that aren’t very good at making distinctions. The sportswriters and fans that seek to make Vick a victim of an over the top public backlash. Or at least think that everyone should shut up and be willing to welcome him to their favorite team’s sidelines. I hear things like second chances and paying his debt to society and rehabilitation. I am told that I should feel as much or more outrage about Donte Stallworth (see B) as I do about Vick.
Donte Stallworth might be a terrible person. He might sell meth to third graders. He might steal purses from little old ladies. It’s also possible he is a decent guy that made one incredibly bad decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. If he is the latter I would be o.k. with the Denver Broncos signing him after he paid his debt to society and after he was punished by the NFL.
I can only think of a few crimes that should warrant more outrage than Vick’s. Pedophilia, murder and rape ( the knife wielding kind not the “date rape” variety). This is for a single crime, not for repeated assault against handicapped people for example. I have not forgotten about gambling, however, I am talking about the feelings one would have toward an individual not just a general sense of outrage. I can only speak for myself but I have more contempt for Michael Vick as a human being than I do for Pete Rose or Tim Donaghy, the former NBA ref. I say this knowing that gambling is usually worse for a sport then even a murder committed by one of its marquee players.
If I could decide Michael Vick’s football fate, my emotion would tell him to take a hike and take his job search elsewhere. My reason tells me differently. An 8 game suspension that allows him to sign with a team anytime he likes sounds about right. Keep in mind that Vick wasn’t a model citizen before he was caught torturing dogs. Google Ron Mexico for just one example. To the Vick apologists, having a lawyer making contrite statements on your behalf and working at a construction job for a few weeks is evidence enough of his rehabilitation. Color me more skeptical.
This is a NIMBY( not in my back yard) moment for me. I can live with any team besides the Denver Broncos signing the dog torturer. They can enjoy the rehab, second chances and PETA protests. I can enjoy rooting against him.