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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

Toddler dies, python found coiled around her

The snakes are not native to Florida, but many people keep them as pets

python OXFORD, Fla. – A 2-year-old girl apparently was strangled Wednesday by her family’s 12-foot-long pet Burmese python, officials said.

Shaunia Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Charles Jason Darnell, the snake’s owner and the boyfriend of Shaunia’s mother, said he discovered the snake missing from its aquarium and went to the girl’s room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head, Caruthers said.

Darnell, 32, said he stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away, and then called 911.

Authorities remained outside the small, tan home, bordered by cow pastures Wednesday afternoon, awaiting a search warrant to remove the snake from the home. It was unclear if it was still alive.

Darnell did not have a permit for the snake, which would be a second-degree misdemeanor, said Joy Hill, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He has not been charged, but Caruthers said investigators were looking into whether there was child neglect or if any other laws were broken.

NBC affiliate WESH reported that Darnell told deputies he left the snake in an aquarium in a bag when the family went to sleep.

The python was one of two snakes in the home — the other is a 6-foot-long boa constrictor. Both snakes are alive, Carruthers said.

Two other children also lived there, WESH reported.

The Humane Society of the United States said including Wednesday’s death, at least 12 people have been killed in the U.S. by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.

Pythons are not native to Florida, but some residents keep them as pets, especially Burmese pythons, which can grow to more than 15 feet and weigh more than 150 pounds.

When the snakes become too large, some owners release them into the Everglades and other wild areas, Florida officials say.

The fast-growing population of snakes has been invading southern Florida’s ecosystem since 1992, when scientists speculate a bevy of Burmese pythons was released into the wild after Hurricane Andrew shattered many pet shop terrariums.

Scientists don’t have an accurate estimate of how many pythons are in Florida, butBurmese_Python estimates range from thousands to hundreds of thousands.

This is just another example of the epidemic of the  loss of personal responsibility and the loss of common sense that has swept the United States.  These situations come from a lack of thinking things through, a loss of self-responsibility for our actions and a lack of concern for others… people and animals.  Was this the snake’s fault??  Heck no!  It was the owner’s fault – the parents’ fault.

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July 2, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment