Justice for Michael Vick

Essay by danmenkeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, September 2008

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Michael Vick may be fast and elusive on the football field, but he could not escape a federal indictment on interstate dog fighting charges for the financial funding of the dog fighting enterprise by the name of “Bad Newz Kennels.” Many people are demanding that Michael Vick serve the maximum sentence allowable in prison for his involvement in illegal dog fighting and the termination of six to eight dogs that didn’t perform well in fights. Vick deserves to be punished – and punished severely. However, there have to be reasonable limits to that punishment. When is enough enough? When does the punishment outweigh the crime? The justice Michael Vick will incur from the humiliation, vilification, and demonization from general public and the mass media, the loss of income and lifestyle from the NFL, and the fines and endorsements he has already lost, will be more than sufficient punishment for Michael Vick and the charges that he must now face for dog fighting.

The man has been an athletic celebrity since the age of sixteen, surrounded by people that refused to tell him “no.” From his coaches, his teachers, Virginia Tech, the Atlanta Falcons, Reebok, Nike, Rawlings, the National Football League, ESPN or any of the sports-media companies, all of which were only too happy to indulge Vick so long as it benefited them. Vick might have believed he had become a Big Man -- someone no one could touch, someone above the rules. People who believe they are above the rules need to learn what integrity means. But only the gifted or philosophical can teach themselves character. The overwhelming majority of men and women need help from others to learn the lessons of character. Many such lessons begin with the word "no." Who in last 10 years has...