My Questions for Michael Vick. . .
They’re the ones he’s still never answered
By Michael Mountain
So here we go again. Another load of softball questions for footballer Michael Vick. In the latest interview, with Mara Schiavocampo of theGrio, Vick tells us that he’d like to have a dog, that his daughter wants a dog and that he’s ready to have a dog – which he’s banned from doing by court order.
“I love animals,” he says to her. “I love dogs. I love birds. I love all types of animals … I would love to have a dog in the future.
“You know, I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process.
“I think, you know, just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care and my love and my passion for animals, I think it’d be outstanding.”
This is just the latest in a series of carefully orchestrated interviews in what Vick calls “the rehabilitation process.” While Vick was still in prison, his PR people started reaching out to major humane groups to start rebuilding his image. At that time, I was president of Best Friends Animal Society, and we’d been given charge of 22 of the dogs who’d been rescued from Vick’s dog-fighting kennels – the ones who were most traumatized and needed the greatest care.
As his release date approached, Vick’s PR people called to see if we’d like to invite him to the sanctuary as part of his rehabilitation. We turned them down, explaining that it would not be good for the dogs to be visited by their tormentor.
Apart from that, we also wanted to see, at very least, some true remorse on his part – not just a public relations campaign.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), however, took him on and has been working with him ever since. Asked yesterday about Vick’s remark that he’d like to have a dog, Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “I have been around him a lot, and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner.”
Lisa Lange, vice-president of PETA, strongly disagreed. “Just as convicted pedophiles aren’t allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, or shooting dogs and who causes them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed access to dogs.”
The first major interview Vick did after coming out of prison was with NFL Todayanchor James Brown. It was billed as “asking the hard-hitting questions.” Here’s an excerpt:
JAMES BROWN: And the operation, Michael, that you pleaded guilty to bankrolling, to being a part of, engaged in barbarous treatment of the animals — beating them, shooting them, electrocuting them, drowning them. Horrific things, Michael.
MICHAEL VICK: It’s wrong, man. I don’t know how many times I gotta tell, I gotta say it. I mean, it was wrong. I feel, you know, I feel, you know, tremendous hurt behind what happened. And, you know, I should’ve took the initiative to stop it all. You know, and I didn’t. And I feel so bad about that now. And I know, you know, that I didn’t I didn’t step up. I wasn’t a leader.
In other words, other people had been doing all these terrible things, and Vick simply didn’t intervene to stop them. But that’s not what had actually happened. The fact is, Vick had been right in the middle of it all, right there in his own backyard, torturing and killing dogs himself. Yet Brown never picked up on this in the interview. He simply swallowed the line about how “I wasn’t a leader” and went on to ask how Michael felt about it – as if that’s what mattered. And Vick got away with a carefully scripted response that appeared to take responsibility – but for something else altogether that evaded the real issue.
And so it has gone ever since in his interviews and other appearances.
Rehabilitation starts with acknowledging what you did. So here are some of the questions someone still needs to ask and that Vick needs to answer. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever asked Vick any of these in a formal, public interview. And if the HSUS is so close to Vick, and they really believe he’s a changed man and that he should have a dog, then they need to start by sitting their protégé down in front of a camera and doing the interview that needs to be done, once and for all.
Here are a few of the questions to get started with:
“Michael, describe to us some of the things that took place at your kennels. Let’s start with the dogs who had no teeth when they were rescued. Who pulled them out and why?”
“Many of the dogs were so terrified of people, when they were rescued, that they wouldn’t even walk on a leash for months? What had you done to them to make them so afraid?”
“Tell us exactly what you did with water to the dogs. Did you drown them? Explain how and why.”
“And what were the electric cables for? Did you electrocute them? Again, explain how and why.”
“Please describe what a rape stand is and what you used those for?”
“Tell us, in detail, some of the things you personally did to the dogs yourself. Tell us what, in retrospect, was the worst thing you ever did.”
Only when someone asks questions like these and gets some real answers – or, better yet, Vick steps up himself and tells us the truth without having to be prompted – can any true rehabilitation begin. Until then, we don’t want to hear any more apologetic drivel about how he’s a changed man.
Posted December 17, 2010, by MichaelMountain
I agree with the person who who said the president supports Vick.That is just wrong for him to do so. What kind of message does that send. If you go on Facebook or any other govenment website to ask about this it will be deleted within minutes.Vick is scum and should never own a dog.I love dogs but can't have one because I am on the road a lot. It wouldn't be fair to the dog.Were the dogfights fair to the dogs? Hell No. Should Vick be allowed to own a pet. Hell NO.Vick is no saint. Don't treat him like one. Until he comes clean in public about his envolement then he has NOT taken responsibilty for his actions and will never be rehabilitated.What does Vick get for this, a big fat contract and support from your President.
Thank you so much for this article. I agree with your every word. I am ashamed of our president for his actions on this. And Michael Vick, he should still be in jail.
What is worse, being cruel to a dog or indifference to the thousands who are hurting and dieing each day when you sitting reading this could be pro-active in your daily lives in saving a human life. Does this justify Vick's actions? Absolutely not. Your (The writers who preach hate towards Vick) action (judging another when you are no better)causes you to have no validity in what you are saying.
Steve, what do you mean by judging another when you are no better??? Speaking for myself. I will stand up for abused children and abused animals. I have never raised a hand to hand to abuse a child or an animal. I think most of us who are commenting are not so much judging Vicks but are questioning why he should be praised when he is a criminal. What reason is there to praise a man who tortures and kills innocent beings. What makes you think that people who want justice for animals don't also want justice for humans who are wronged in such ways. I am so tired of the old argument you bring up of why do you want justice for animals ? Why not put your efforts into people who are abused. Who says you have to pick one over the other to defend?? What is wrong about carring about???
Michael, I truly hope that you have somehow sent this article you wrote to President Obama. I am sad that our president is among so many others who is happy to see Vicks get a second chance at playing football. I totally agree with your view on this whole subject. It is like he is now a star once again and being praised for saying he made wrong decisions.
Love your article. Totally agree with your view about this.
Michael Vick was a monster when he did those things, and he's a monster now. He even admitted in that very interview, that he'd still be doing those things now if he hadn't been caught. PETA has only recently jumped on the bandwagon of this opinion. I wonder how many others remember PETA's stance when Vick was released from prison. They were the first to applaud efforts to get him back around animals again. How many times to they have to flip-flop where they stand for the public to realize the entire organization is a bunch of hypocrites?
Vick should never own another animal in his life. I volunteer for a Pit Rescue and I see some very horrible things that are done to these animals. In today's society our four legged friends are now considered our family. How could anyone do this to your own family??? I love my my dogs and will do anything for their wellbeing. As I read more about this issue it makes me sick... once a thief always a thief!!!!! Same with Vick if he is a Sadistic person he will eventually get back into the same scene. Money says everything; so lets dunk his head in a bucket of water and see what he thinks of it?!!! We are the protectors of our furry friends and we are the voices of all of them!!!!!! Don't let him have a pet !!! Tell the youngsters that he speaks to the truth and show them what he did... even though he is a so called celebrity.
I am a football fan and animal lover have not watched the Eagles since M Vick has been back playing. It makes me sick to think of those suffering dogs. They have feelings just like humans. He will pay with pain somehow, somewhere, sometime!
All of you people out there complaining about MV and the dog situation need to take a good look at this country! It sounds like you all are for an eye for an eye, but when it comes right down to it, you all are just standing on ceremony for "YOUR" interests and not those of the world. Why don't you people take a stand at some of the "real world" issues and the garbage going on in this country with our Government and the way that "They" are destroying our future and our children's future instead of worrying about a guy who hurt a few dogs. Show me that you care about other issues instead of this one famous guy tat you wouldn't know anything about if he wasn't a NFL QB. GEEZ! Get a grip people!
Why are you all still talking about this? The man committed a crime and served his time. GET OVER IT! There are much worse problems occurring in the world presently, to actual PEOPLE! All you cry babies are discussing whether or not he should be able to own a dog again? Give me a break...
This saddens me deeply. There is no way that Vick should even have another chance at owning such a gift that a dog is to a person. Someone who could do such cruel and senseless acts to any living individual does not deserve a second chance.
Now in regards to "casey's" comment. I agree with you to a point. I am a black female, and yes, dogfighting is one of those that is accepted in the "black community", but I do not consider myself to be in the black community. But if you are saying that black people should be sent out on a boat and sunk in the Atlantic because this is accepted, then those words should apply to everyone. Therefore, white people should be rounded up on a boat, sent to the Atlantic and sunk for all of the injustices that they have done to Native Americans, and black people when it came to slavery. I am not trying to start an argument, but your words should be applied both ways.
I agree with you, Marisa. This is not a black/white, north/south issue at all. It's happening everywhere. And to those who say--get over it, people/kids are dying, other issues--that is not what this site is about which is why we are talking about the dogs.
Beth says "I thought that in the process of becoming rehabilitated, you had to admit your problem."
Hwylo notes that"his committment toward his own remains suspect"
And Sandra adda that Vick is "nothing but a walking propoganda machine, primed by his publicity team."
So what we have is a carefully scripted series of non-apology "apologies", all serving the interests of the football business and the Michael Vick business. And now we even have the President of the United States weighing in on his behalf. (See my latest column on this!)
Thanks so much for all the comments so far.
How about spending more energy writing out against the 30,000+ kids who die each day, or the number of crack dealers in our streets, or our terrible education system, or anything that has value. Let it go, he did more time in Fed Prison then Drug dealers do on a first offense.
Thank you! I so agree! We ned to spend as much energy figuring out how to help ourselves before we can help others or animals! You know that in some countries they eat dog just like we eat Cow! Do you think they care if a few dogs were abused? or how about rodeos? should we ban them too because of the mistreatment of those ugly animals?
Right on. Indifference is terrible. Picking on Vick and taking a stand for an animal who can't love or hate you is easy. Taking a stand for those who are victims is more difficult. Taking a stand for those who don't appreciate it even more so. Strive die to yourself like Jesus Christ, Ghandi, or MLKJr. in your service to others and spending time judging Vick will be inconsequential. Hating Vick and standing up for dogs is a cop out and allows people to hide from the reality real service takes real effort and the attempt to die to yourself.
No but energy spent defending animals could be spent defending human lives. As could money. Things like human trafficing, drugs, gangs, bad educational system, etc... I vote for house hold animals to be eradicated and the money spent on animals from animal loves go towards feeding kids who are dieing. Obviously sarcasm, however, something like 70% of american dog owners have dogs who are over weight. This is radically wrong when people die from no food.
To those who sit there and chastise the commenters here regarding human issues and poverty,homelessness,hunger etc., THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE OF DISCUSSION. There are plenty of discussions and action regarding those issues, but his is not one of them. This happens to be one on the treatment of animals and the inhumane way one person chose to do so.
So get off your soapbox,march your intolerance to public opinion butt right back over to your side of the fence and stay off this side. Us grown ups are having a discussion about a very horrific person that we choose to take action against.
With over zealous and oh so righteous people like yourself in that corner,I'm sure we can spare a few people to make a stand for animals dontcha think?????
I don't care if he's Joe Blow next door, pro football player or Pres of the US....he does NOT need another nimal. He was wrong no matter WHO he is.
I thought that in the process of becoming rehabilitated, you had to admit your problem. All I've heard from Vick is how he should have 'led' others not to do those awful things. He's not actually admitting to his part in any of it. People may say he's 'better' and he may be doing some sort of awareness tour, but the fact remains that he is a human being who has the capacity to this to helpless animals that had no choice in the matter. The things he did to those poor dogs were atrocious. I hate to say it, but I don't think a person who is capable of this type of heartless torture of animals can EVER be considered 'better'
As an animal control officer you are just a big name who got busted to me. I deal with this every day. With your "comeback kid" luck you have validated every one of those people I deal with. The only difference between you and them is your paycheck. You are just a street trash lowlife who is laughing in every animal lovers face while increasing ticket prices for your ignorant fans.
I never knew of Vick until hearing about the horrible things he did to these precious animals. It saddens me and brings tears to my eyes to know that these lovable loyal dogs went through so much pain and torture from the hands of him. How can any human be so cruel to do this to innocent dogs? NO, VICK DOES NOT DESERVE TO HAVE A DOG EVER! Dogs are God's gift to us, and we are here to protect them, care for them, and love them. Vick is incapable of loving an animal.
i hate to say this because it does sound racial but if i was a black man i would be pretty upset at vick....he has basically hung all his guilt on his race...that this was accepted in his community growing up....i have many black co workers and friends and not one has ever said that due to their race dog fighting is tolerated....im sorry but when you hold an animal down that is squirming in pain and use pliers to rip their teeth out....well honestly if that is an activity that is accepted by the black community then they should never have been freed....they should be rounded up put on a boat sent out into the middle of the atlantic and sunk....i have read this pathetic excuse many places and really have a hard time with all his supporters that are black and call us racist for feeling that someone that could do such horrific things to a living creature does not ever deserve another chance.....i would be looking for his head if he blamed his activity on my race....he is a loser and i am sure there is a place for him in hell....he should enjoy his time on earth....i have a feeling his soul isnt headed for a good place
Never never never should Michael Vick be allowed
to have a dog let alone any other animal.
He shouldn't even be allowed to have a child.
I've followed what happened with all the dogs
some were saved but some were not. It's awfully
sad to know that another human being could be
so savage to another being.
Thanks for this article. I remain conflicted in the Vick case. On the one hand, I believe in redemption. On the other, his committment toward his own remains suspect. Like you, I am not even sure he understands how horrific what he did was. I'd very much like to see him respond to the questions you pose. He might also consider donating a large (and I mean hurtful) portion of the absurd amount of money he makes as an entertainer to some to the chronically underfunded bully rescues.
M. Vick is nothing but a walking propoganda machine, primed by his publicity team with words to save his career as a football player. All those who back him are living off the avails of animal cruelty. His spoken words prove his motives are based only in self preservation of his million dollar career. He is a dispicible excuse for a human being and someone that should never even be allowed in the vicinity of any animal, let alone dogs!! He is an evil, cruel man who gets his jollies from inflicting unspeakable pain and torment on animals. He cannot and should never be trusted to own a dog or any pet, and for him to say he has passion a passion for animals is just plain sick. I DO NOT support any animal organization that would endorse M. Vick in any way. Further M. Vick is the worst possible example to be exposed to children. He needs to answer the tough questions, not that he will, and be banned for lifew from owning animals or living in the same house as anyine who owns a pet. He is dispicable!!!!
Hear, hear, Michael. Vick has never addressed what he did to the dogs and his feelings about what he did. All I hear from him is that he was sorry he was caught.
MICHAEL VICK SHOULD NEVER EVER HAVE ANOTHER DOG....AND HE SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO GO GO TO BEST FRIENDS TO VICTORY LAND TO SEE THE DOGS THAT SURVIVED....HE NEEDS TO HAVE SOME KIND OF LESSON AND BEING HIRED BY THE EAGLES FOR A MILLION TO QB WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA.
I HAVE BURNED ALL OF MY EAGLES CLOTHING AND BANNERS.
This is a scary, scary man. He ought to be in prison not anywhere near animals. If I were the mother of his daughters, I'd have him declared unfit. The statements that he wants a dog "for his daughters" is one of the scariest parts of this whole tawdry episode of his PR story.
MV should not be allowed to have ANY animal period. Simply because he has done jail time does not prove anything.
keeping on top of this and preventing him from ever owning another pet is all we can do....money and football are all many people think about...unfortunatley!
What I find most telling (and chilling) about every Vick interview is the obvious lack of any shred of empathy for his victims. It's all about how this has affected HIM, how HE has paid a price, how HE has been persecuted. The link between animal abuse and violent sociopathy are well documemted. Add in the lack of any empathic response when comfronted by his deeds and victims, and he is standing in the proverbial batter's box , down in the count 0-2. Yet the media sycophants refuse to acknowledge the clear cut warning signs and focus instead on his "personal redemption." Simply vile.
Thank, everyone, for all these comments. I'm particularly struck by one from James F., below, who notes that Vick never talks about the dogs. Instead, "It’s all about how this has affected HIM, how HE has paid a price", and how he's feeling and so on. All symptomatic of the profile of someone who should not have dependent animals in his environment. Michael M.
I agree wholeheartedly! And I also agree that perhaps a LARGE portion of his salary should be "earmarked" for rescue organizations, etcetera, that care for abused and abandoned animals. Thank you for your article. IMHO, MV is a scumbag.
Thank you for keeping this issue alive, and reminding people of what Michael Vice really is. To see him now playing football as a "rehabilitated" man and cheered at that - the public has a short memory.
YES! How true how true! The funny part is, Vick really is such a poor public speaker, who contradicts himself, talks down to the public as if they are fools, and never takes responsibility, and I was wondering why he didnt have a publicist who helped him write his scripts. Now I know why...he owes his publicist a couple thousand dollars, so he's on his own. And doing terribly.
Keep digging your own grave, Michael. I can only hope that it ends up being as deep as the ones you tossed your dogs into.
michael vick needs to be tied up and put in a pit with steak bits and juice from cooked meat poured over his body, so that hungry dogs who haven't eaten for days can knaw at his disgusting body and make it serve a purpose for them. the sick bastard deserves no less than to be eaten alive.
THANK YOU. This "man" NEVER deserves to own any pet. I would not be surprised if we find out that he is a child abuser as well. Those who abuse animals also abuse children. We have not heard the last from MV...we will see him again in prison...thank God, that's where he belongs - for life. I heard he never served the manadatory sentence for running an illegal gambling operation. Is this true? There is not not enough distasteful words for me to discribe this "person". He is the worst of the worst. Thank you for standing up for the animals when writing this story.
Michael Vick is a disgusting name to me! Those poor animals had to endure such awful and horrific pain and suffering because this man is sick and very distubed. NO ABSOLUTELY NO ANIMAL SHOULD EVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH PAIN LIKE THAT! how could anyone sit there and let an animal scream and get pleasure out of it?? Those poor dogs never got to live the wonderful like they were SUPPOSED to have. No treats or belly rubs...no frisbee and sleeping in the sun...NOTHING. Instead they lived a life of pain and being in fear..Yet they let this idiot out into the spotlight again with a slap on the wrist? Society is getting worse and worse...CLEARLY if he didnt love and respect mans best friend before why would he do it now? He truly is a liar and picked and chose his words carefully to make himself look good..NO MORE ANIMALS need to be at the hands of Michael Vick..Plain and simple!!!
Would love to see the interview with the hard questions, but with his smooth handler(s) that is doubtful. Many people profit from abusing animals, now an organization which is supposed to help those animals profits off the one who abused them. Time to support grassroots and local organizations who can be scrutinized and held accountable. The mega-groups have gone the way of all bottom-line corporations.
Thank you Michael for setting out what he did. Those who would defend him should actually see what he did, hear what he did, and live with that horror in their hearts. How can anyone sympathize with someone who behaves in such a sadistic fashion.
Vick is a predator--but his goal isn't sustenance--it is to have power over a helpless victim. I will be sickened for the rest of my life at hearing his name, and having the images in my mind of his vile acts against animals--he shouldn't be allowed to have children and pass on his flawed genes, let alone be able to be given the chance to inflict pain and suffering on another animal. I wish only the worst for him. Shame on you for your false words of sorrow--as others have said--your only sorry because you were exposed for the evil entity you are.
For the act of dog-fighting MV has been charged, convicted and imprisoned. How we respond to him today says more about us than him. His play on the field, though at times inspiring, will forever be marred by the notion that he is less for his past wrongs. Often negative attitudes toward someone elses failures are merely projections upon someone beside ourselves-all of us are marred in some way. Redemption is an interesting thing-we want it for our sins but others sins are more serious than ours and less deserving of such redemption. Dog-fighting is a sin for which we may seek and find forgiveness and redemption.
You are so right Michael. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I had just read Wayne Pacelles bit yesterday about Vicks being ready to own a dog and was quite upset by it. Thank you for the truth as many of us see it. He should never be allowed to own an animal.
When I read It's Our Nature in relation to Michael Vick, I immediately thought of the folktale
The Scorpion and the Frog
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:)
The Scorpion and the Frog is a fable of unknown author, attributed to various West African and European folktales....The story is about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that if it stung, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well. The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming them both.
When asked why, the scorpion explains, "I'm a scorpion; it's my nature."
Variations commonly include a farmer, turtle, or a fox in place of the frog, and a snake in place of the scorpion.
(It is often quoted to illustrate the purportedly insuppressible nature of one's self at its base level.)