Friday, July 20, 2007

Is Michael Vick guilty?--Doggone if I know

Pity Michael Vick.The poor guy has just been named in a multi-count Federal indictment charging him with running a large dog fighting operation on a property he owns in Virginia. Allegedly, he's been at it since 2001, and the indictment reveals some of the gruesome, inhumane methods that were used to dispose of under-performing dogs. It is almost as if they had been sent to Abu Ghraib prison.

Anyway, consider this a heads-up to all of you fantasy football fans. Draft somebody else. Same to the Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback is in the dog pound over this stuff, and has a $100 million contract plus endorsement money at stake. The NFL hasn't said what they plan to do, since Vick hasn't been found guilty, but the public outcry may force their hand.

From Pensito Review:

NFL Quarterback Accused of Hanging, Drowning, Electrocuting, Shooting and Beating Dogs
Posted by Jon Ponder Jul. 19, 2007, 8:29 am

[] A raid on a kennel in Virginia co-owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick on Wednesday uncovered a horrendous animal abuse operation:
The news focus on this story is all about what these allegations will do to Vick’s career and his $100 million-plus NFL contract, not to mention product endorsements.
Vick, 27, and three others are accused of violating federal laws against staging dogfights, gambling and engaging in unlawful activities across state lines. According to the indictment, they ran Bad Newz Kennels out of a property the quarterback owns in Surry, Va., and executed pit bulls - by methods such as hanging, drowning, electrocution, shooting and beating - that didn’t perform well as fighters

How involved was Vick?

The indictment identifies Vick as a key player in an operation that dated to 2001, just before his rookie season with the Falcons. Listed are at least 30 fights that Vick or other members of the kennel arranged or participated in, including details such as the names of the dogs and the amount of money — often thousands of dollars — awarded to the owners of the winners of matches that were frequently fought to the death.

Peace, Phillips and Vick also allegedly executed “approximately eight” dogs that did not perform well during so-called “testing” sessions in April. Later, authorities seized from the property 60 dogs — most of them pit bulls — along with treadmills, a stick used to pry fighting animals apart, and a “rape stand” device used to hold down aggressive females for breeding.
The news focus on this story is all about what these allegations will do to Vick’s career and his $100 million-plus NFL contract, not to mention product endorsements. But it’s hard to see what football has to do with this — other than providing the revenue that funded this horror.

One interesting side note is that Al Sharpton, along with music producer Russell Simmons, have teamed up with PETA to send a letter of protest to the NFL, which says, “dogfighting is unacceptable. Hurting animals for human pleasure or gain is despicable. Cruelty is just plain wrong.”[ ]

Al Sharpton must be having nightmares about all the horrible things that weren't done to Tawana Brawley.

For their part , the Atlanta Falcons, in a strong show of support for their franchise player, have announced that at their first exhibition game, the fans will be treated to a pre-game show from the SPCA Drum and Beagle Corpse, free hot dogs wrapped in PETA bread will be offered throughout the game, and kennels will be available to keep the kids out of trouble.

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