In the Blog
My Dog thinks violence against women is worthy of suspension, too.
(yes readers, yet another excuse to post a photo of my dog)
I’m sure by now all of you have heard about the controversy surrounding Atlantic Falcon, Michael Vick. The now disgraced Vick got himself in some very hot legal water for his role in a dog fighting ring. He was suspended from the NFL for illegal gambling (not animal abuse, I might add) and openly admitted to financing the ring, pleading guilty to the charges: “I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts,” he said after pleading guilty to running the dogfighting outfit. “If I’m more disappointed with myself than anything it’s because of all the young people, young kids that I’ve let down, who look at Michael Vick as a role model.”
A majority (80-90%) of the 53 pitbulls that were seized from Vick’s property now face euthanasia with no hope a rehabilitation.
The public outrage to this atrocious form of animal abuse has been massive, as it should be, but Sandra Kobrin at Women’s eNews brings up some interesting points about the reaction (or lack of reaction) to sports heroes involved in violence towards women:
I just wish the NFL had the same outrage toward spousal abuse and other forms of domestic violence. But they don’t. Not by a long shot.
Kobrin goes on to list the statistics regarding male athletes and violence towards women: according to her sources, male student-athletes are 3 percent of the population, they represent 19 percent of sexual assault perpetrators and 35 percent of domestic violence perpetrators. She goes on to cite examples of professional athletes charged and convicted of assaults on women who received no punishment from their teams:
Last summer Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher Brett Myers assaulted his wife on a public Boston street and was charged with assault and battery. Major League Baseball did not penalize him, shrugging it off as an off-field incident…The Sacramento Kings’ Ron Artest … was arrested for domestic violence. For that he got what amounted to a hand slap; an immediate two-game suspension and a $600 fine for a player who makes several million a year.
Maybe if he’d hurt a dog he would have been benched for the season.
I think Vick deserves everything he gets, but I also agree with Kobrin that it is shocking what professional athletes get away with in the realm of sposal abuse. As for the media’s role in this, there’s also this lovely CNN tidbit, where Larry Smith basically says that dog fighting is worse than rape. Nancy Grace, who Smith was in discussion with at the time, had this to say in response:
Did I just hear Larry Smith, CNN sports correspondent and anchor, state that crimes on a dog are much worse than crimes on a woman? Did I hear that?
Yes you did, Nancy. Yes you did.