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From reader Tony Zizza of Hermitage:
"Mike probably just didn't read his handbook on what not to do as a black star," says actor Jamie Foxx. I could not disagree more when it comes to the recently released dog killer Michael Vick. Vick didn't need to read any kind of handbook. What he should have known is that killing dogs is simply something you don't do as a -- human being. He chose to engage in murder and barbarism. Now, the word on the street is that enough time has past. We need to forgive him.
No, we don't need to forgive.
Dwight Lewis, Editorial Page Editor for The Tennessean, writes on the matter of forgiving Michael Vick on August 16th in an editorial titled, "Need to forgive should motivate all of us." Lewis quotes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as having said "Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude." We are blessed that MLK lived on this Earth, but I think putting MLK anywhere near Michael Vick is a stretch. Jesse Jackson has actually compared Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson.
I can appreciate what Lewis is saying about forgiveness. It just doesn't apply to someone like Michael Vick. Lewis writes, "And wouldn't you want a second chance if you made a mistake in life?" We are a forgiving nation. Second chances rule the day. Perhaps it really doesn't make sense to try and condemn a person for life who has served out the prison term they were lawfully handed down. Perhaps I should heed the advice of a friend of mine who implored me to "get over it..."
Um, not so fast. It's difficult to get over pure evil. And that's exactly what dog fighting is. I don't care what former NFLer Deion Sanders says. According to Sanders, "What a dog means to Vick might be a lot more different than what he means to you." With that twisted logic, there's no difference between a human who likes walking dogs and a human who likes to murder dogs. This is almost as surreal as NBA player Stephon Marbury's take on Michael Vick, "They don't say anything about people shooting deer. Dog fighting is a sport!" OK, and the one thing lacking on the bodies of most NBA players are tattoos. Ugh.
I had actually thought that Michael Vick was going to restore his image by working construction at $10 an hour. Ease back into civil society. Instead, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to give their star quarterback Donovan McNabb another head case to deal with. It wasn't enough to burden McNabb for years with T.O. whining about not getting the ball enough. Now, he has a dog killer on his hands. I wonder what this is going to do to team chemistry. To all the players and others on the Eagles who love their dogs -- what about them?
This is why I press stop on the forgiveness button when it comes to Michael Vick. You know, if he did get that job in construction or anything else, perhaps everyone could in time forgive him. What I find disgusting with a capital D is that now that he is back in the NFL, the media will be following his every move. Other players will be cast aside. All for what? He's just another man in a jersey.
If you are someone that believes in good conscience that Michael Vick has paid his debt to society, will you wear a Vick jersey in public? Can you honestly separate what he did to innocent dogs to what you want him to do on the football field again? Will you reach back and wear his #7 from the Falcons days? Or will you spring for a new Eagles jersey? Will you allow your children to wear Vick's jersey and cheer him on?
Forgiveness is for people who are worthy of it. To cheer on Michael Vick again knowing what he did is almost too insane to believe. Forgiving him is forgetting murder all in the name of football. It's almost like asking Rae Caruth to put a helmet on. Have we no shame or moral compass?
I'm sorry, but there are some crimes that warrant no forgiveness.