Monday, August 17, 2009

To My Fellow Black Falcons Fans

I understand your pain. Really, I do. My household is in possession of no fewer than a dozen items of Mike Vick paraphernalia. We were all on the No 7 bandwagon. From my newborn baby to my senior Grandparents-watching four states away-but rooting for my Falcons because you were assured some excitement when he took the field. Cringed every time one of his good old boy detractors got some local sports radio time to bemoan the loss of the right rhymes-with-white way to play. The same sort of sports fan who is absolutely, positively certain that Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire are steroid free, while wondering why Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa are not serving jail time for perjury.

Not that there were not plenty of legitimate criticisms of the way Ron Mexico handled himself on and off the field.

Until the bitter end, I didn't want to believe the animal cruelty allegations. Not because I thought Vick was above such things ( I grew up in Brooklyn and on several occasions had people ask my 12 year old pony tail wearing self if I wanted to arrange dog fights with our family's Great Danes) but because I thought if he was involved, surely he had enough sense to properly cover his tracks. But his bottom bitch sang and he's broke and fresh out the pen.

I understand the defiant anger. With incarceration rates among black men being what they are, what chance does anyone coming put of prison have to rehabilitate their lives, if he is barred from playing football, which is the rallying cry of so many people. The idea that he has committed offenses that should put him outside the realm of civilized society ( a direct quote- if I wanted to engage in on line fisticuffs I'd put a link) makes me laugh. The black twitterverse was abuzz this past weekend with the idea that Vick has paid his dues to society, when will the human torturers get what they deserve?

Having said all that, Michael Vick is a man who aided and abetted in the torture of animals, threw away a 135 million dollar contract, embarrassed his employer on a national stage and royally screwed our football team. Let's wish him well, because though I didn't need salon to tell me- forgiveness is healthy... Those who have served time should be given the opportunity at full re entry into society, it should be our collective goal. And those who eat meat, especially those of us who don't always consume cows who are hand fed wheatgrass or chickens who roam the plains all days should think long and hard about what cruelty to animals means.

But forgiveness doesn't mean that we have to give him martyr like status. Let's let go of the ghost and leave the Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles jerseys home come December 6th.

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