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Jesse Compares Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson

Since this article was written, Vick has been signed… ” Michael Vick Signs Two-Year Deal With NFL’s Eagles” read the headline.  $1.6 million the first year and $5.2 million the second.  Nice reward for brutal treatment of animals and being a despicable example for America’s Youth!  And being compared to Jackie Robinson is absolutely an insult to Robinson’s memory!

Steve Helber/Associated Press

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says signing Michael Vick will require someone to make a courageous move and asks why lesser players have jobs in the N.F.L.

Published: August 7, 2009

The Rev. Jesse Jackson became the latest public figure to offer an opinion on the future of Michael Vick. Jackson said he wondered whether there had been collusion among N.F.L. owners to keep Vick out of the league.

“I want to make it an issue,” Jackson said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I want teams to explain why they have a quarterback who has less skills but is playing or at least is on the taxi squad, and a guy with more skills can’t get into training camp.”

Two years ago this month, Vick pleaded guilty to felony charges related to his participation in an unlawful dogfighting ring and was indefinitely suspended from the N.F.L. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison in December 2007.  (Definitely not long enough based on the level of cruelty of his offenses  including the drowning, electricution and hanging of dogs and even throwing his family dogs into the ring to watch them torn up as he laughed.  That is a level of evil that I certainly would not want to reward or have out on the field and by any standard would require years of counseling to counteract.  Vick can’t even make the sorry case that he needed the money!)

He was conditionally reinstated to the league last month by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Under terms of the reinstatement, Vick can take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and may play in the final two preseason games — if a team signs him.

When the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games. Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6.

“Democracy does not guarantee success,” Jackson said. “Democracy guarantees an opportunity. It’s not fair to de facto try to lock him out of his right to compete. If he can’t make the team, don’t let him play. If he can, let him work.”

Jesse Jackson Compares Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson

Jesse Jackson Compares Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson

Jackson, born in 1941, has been a civil rights activist for most of his adult life. He said that in some ways, Vick’s attempt to re-enter the N.F.L. was similar to Jackie Robinson’s entering Major League Baseball.

Although their situations were drastically different, Jackson said, the challenge was the same: Which owner would have the courage to make a controversial signing?

Viewed from a 2009 prism, that comparison seems blasphemous. Robinson became an American icon because of his courage and perseverance. The only thing he did wrong — in some eyes — was to be born African-American.

But in the era in which Robinson came of age, his admirable qualities mattered to Major League Baseball owners. A significant segment of the American population knew little to nothing about Robinson, and saw him as someone who threatened a way of life. Owners were not going to allow Robinson or any other African-American to play major league baseball, regardless of how much character and fortitude he possessed.

If we are going to make a comparison of unfair scenarios…  How about comparing Vick’s rehiring by the NFL after only 23-months in prison for torturing and killing numerous dogs with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Ted Kennedy after his involvement in Chappaquiddick; running away and leaving a young girl to die in a car he had driven into the water accidentally at best and perhaps not so accidentally in the opinion of others, and never spending a moment in prison. The comparison is indeed closer.  The comparison of Vick to Robinson is blasphemous and insulting to Robinson’s memory!!  What do they have in common other than the color of their skin?!?  Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing that Jesse Jackson would rip a white person into pieces for…  for making that kind of comparison because of race?

Many fair-minded baseball owners had the same concerns about Robinson that fair-minded N.F.L. owners today have about Vick: What will critics say? How will the public respond?

Finally one organization, the Dodgers, and one man, Branch Rickey, were bold and pragmatic enough to weigh the risks and take the leap of signing Robinson.

Vick, unlike Robinson in 1947, has a proven track record. Vick has performed at a star level in the N.F.L. Robinson performed briefly in the Negro Leagues before joining the Dodgers.

The question is: How severely have Vick’s skills eroded? You would think that one owner, one team would at least be curious; training camps have been open for only a week.

“If the guy has paid his dues to the criminal justice system, paid his debt to the N.F.L. and shows remorse, what else does he need to do?” Jackson asked.  23-months in prison for torturing and murdering dogs is hardly enough of a punishment for his crimes. He should have received at least a year or two for every dog her mistreated, tortured, abused and killed and should have been from playing football for life.  If you are really going to compare unfairness, what should be compared is Ted Kennedy receiving the

For many, the nonnegotiable issue in the Vick case is cruelty to animals. But let’s climb off our high horses. We know many fans hunt. They track down innocent animals, blast them with shotguns, shoot them out of the sky with rifles — for sport. Some take off animals’ heads and mount them as trophies.

Perfectly legal.

But the issue here is that Vick served his time in prison for breaking the law. The issue is degrees of cruelty. Who is worse: someone who tortures in the name of sport and then apologizes, or the one who kills in the name of sport and continues to hunt?

Vick was cruel and was punished. Now he has promised to be compassionate.

Jackson pointed out that Vick had satisfied the demands of the legal system. Now, like thousands of young men who are released from prison each year, Vick is eager to become a productive citizen. So far, he has been unable to find a job and his options are limited.

The Canadian Football League will not consider Vick or any player under full or partial suspension by the N.F.L.

“One of the big issues of re-entry is that when people come out, can they get gainful employment?” Jackson said.  Sure… How about a job somewhere between minimum wage and $35,000 a year, spending the rest of his time giving free talks to young people about compassion and kindness and volunteering at animal rescue events, while wearing an electronic ankle bracelet like child abusers?!?

Vick is fortunate. As a quarterback, he has skills that are highly valued.

“He has a right to compete,” Jackson said. “If he doesn’t make the team, then he can’t play. If he can, let him work.”

So far, everyone has said no. Someone should have the guts to say yes.

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN – E-mail: wcr@nytimes.com

Notes by Ask Marion – Marion’s Place/JOMP

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August 14, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

NFL reinstates Michael Vick on conditional basis

Nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia, Michael Vick was reinstated to the National Football League on a conditional basis, according to an NFL statement Monday.

Vick “will be considered for full reinstatement and to play in regular-season games by Week 6 based on the progress he makes in his transition plan,” the statement said. Week 6 of the NFL season is in October.

Vick may participate in practices, workouts and meetings and may play in his club’s final two preseason games under the conditions of his reinstatement, the league said.

Vick, in a statement, thanked the league’s commissioner and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, who has served as his mentor.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Commissioner [Roger] Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League,” Vick said in a statement. “I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given.”

Vick, 29, was freed from federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 20 and returned to his home to serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement.

Vick also said in his statement that he is re-evaluating his life after the “terrible mistakes” he made.

“As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward,” Vick said in the statement. “Again, I would like to thank the commissioner for the chance to return to the game I love and the opportunity to become an example of positive change.”

The former Atlanta Falcons player is a free agent and has not been signed by any team. Goodell said he was not involved in any negotiations between Vick and a team.

Dungy has agreed to continue working with Vick as an adviser and mentor, the NFL statement said.

Goodell said Vick underwent tests after requests from animal rights groups, including a psychiatric evaluation.

We worked with animal rights activist groups, and we are clear,” he said. “We worked with their medical professionals about the aspects of our evaluations. Michael fully cooperated with all of those tests. Those tests did not indicate there was any reason he couldn’t make a transition forward.”

In a letter to Vick, Goodell wrote that his decision regarding full reinstatement “will be based on reports from outside professionals, your probation officer and others charged with supervising your activities, the quality of your work outside football” as well as factors such as the absence of any further law enforcement issues.iReport.com: Should Vick get a second chance?

“This step-by-step approach is not meant to be a further punishment and should not be viewed as such,” Goodell wrote, according to the NFL. “Instead, it is intended to maximize the prospect that you can successfully resume your career and your life. I believe that a transitional approach with a strong network of support will give you the best opportunity to manage effectively the various issues and pressures that you will inevitably face in the coming weeks and months and earn your full reinstatement.” Video Watch Goodell talk about his decision »

The league suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after his guilty plea. Although he was released from federal custody July 20, he must serve three years of probation, the league said.

In reviewing Vick’s status, Goodell considered court records, submissions from Vick and others, reports from outside professionals and conversations with current and former players, among other items.

At a hearing July 22, Goodell spoke to Vick along with his representatives and others including NFL Players’ Association officials.

“As I emphasized to you when we met … it is actions that count,” Goodell wrote to Vick. “I accept that you are sincere when you say that you want to, and will, turn your life around and that you intend to be a positive role model for others. I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands.”

Vick has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At a hearing in that case, he told the judge that he earned 12 cents an hour as an overnight janitor while in prison.

“We take this as a very serious matter,” Goodell said. “We’re dealing with a young man’s life.”

He said Vick admitted lying to him about his involvement in dogfighting and apologized. Goodell said he accepts Vick’s apology.

He acknowledged that he does not like being lied to but said he intends to move forward.

The Humane Society of the United States has said Vick has offered to work with the organization on anti-dogfighting campaigns.

Wayne Pacelle, the organization’s president, has said Vick was to work on programs aimed at preventing youths from getting involved in dogfighting and on programs to assist young people who have been involved.

In testimony before the bankruptcy judge, Vick acknowledged committing a “heinous” act and said he should have acted more maturely.

“Your margin of error is extremely limited,” Goodell wrote to Vick. “I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you.”

Source: CNN

Let the past, be the past, and look into your furture. –BEM Foundation

Welcome back Michael Vick!!!!

Source:  BEM’s Foundation Blog

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Comments:

Announce a Partnership – Yesterday would have been the perfect day to announce a new partnershipbetween the NFL and a group such as the ASPCA  or the Humane Society (Vick did)

NFL Animal Cruelty Initiative – It has been over two years since the Vick incident occurred, and it was clear that decision day for the Commissioner would come.  The months leading up to yesterday should have seen a major campaign against animal cruelty from the League.

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July 28, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment