The Michael Vick Case Pulls Back the Veil on Who We Really Are

Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Terrence Moore just finished going Scrapple Lips on Outside the Lines. Moore can now be proud to have the new moniker bestowed upon him: “Mr. House.”

Mr. House evoked “protect the shield” in reference to what players, teams, and owners are, if you listen to Moore, god-sworn to do. Moore said Vick has put the Falcons in and “Armageddon state.”

But rather then continue in a flip manner, this matter is too serious for jokes.

On ESPN’s NFL Live Mark Schlereth tugs at the emotions of viewers and evokes the word “discrimination” if Vick is not treated as Adam Jones or Terry Johnson or a “wide receiver” or a defensive tackle. In other words, since Vick is one of the faces of the league, if he is treated differently than these other players, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is practicing discrimination. Was it discrimination that Schlereth and every other player on the Denver Broncos made less money than John Elway? Is it discrimination when you tell players to “get over it” when, say, Brady Quinn at #22 in the draft wants to be paid as if he was the #3 pick?

I thought not.

Almost all of the participants of NFL Live say that “for the sake of the team,” Vick should sit. Tom Jackson says perception is reality. As NFL Live goes to break, Wingo reiterates Jackson’s phrase saying, you heard it from Tom Jackson, “perception is reality.”

Protect the shield.

Armageddon state.


Perception is reality.

What kind of world do we live in today?

Repeat after me: I swear I will protect the shield lest I land my team in an Armageddon state and cause the big boss to be opened to discrimination charges because perception is reality, so help me god, I do.

Is that what it really comes down to here?

We have tied football so closely to war that the symbol of the league is something to be rallied around like the American flag. When a prominent player on a team is indicted for crimes, but has spent not one second in court, his team is thrown into a status rivaling the fabled Christian battle between good an evil for the souls of Earth? If the commissioner of a game allows the justice system to at least begin its course other players are being discriminated against? You mean to liken that situation to landlords in Boston who were caught on video cameras discriminating against black potential tenants based on their skin color?

Are people so brainwashed that our subjective worlds are somehow mistaken for what is actual? Are people so brainwashed that they actually believe that image a – mental representation – has replaced reality?

Apparently so. Apparently that is what the world has come down to.
We are at a place in history where we laud the supposition that we love and value animals more than humans – as evidenced by war. As evidence by allowing people in this country of nearly unlimited resources to live on dirt roads in huts without access to adequate food basic utilities, or clothing to keep them warm. As evidenced by the staunch unwillingness to siphon money from a war that kills, maims, and psychically devours people daily to immediately clean and rebuild a devastated Gulf Coast; killing is more important than restoring the lives of families and men and women and children and the elderly.

We live in a country where an investigation into dog fighting is more important than an investigation into the rape of a woman; the brutal killing of a woman’s spirit is less important than dogs…. because we are a country that loves animals.

Except when it comes time to eat them. Like our present president said in response to PETA protesters (2:35 mark in video) – the same organization that so many people now stand with in the Michael Vick case – and a question about the animal protection agency: “I’m glad I had my bacon for breakfast.” Pigs are perhaps the most intelligent of farm animals and are often domesticated in rural areas.

Where is the uproar?

Where was the uproar when Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney strapped the family dog in its dog carrier to the car roof and drove he and his family from Boston to Ontario, Canada?
These people are our president and a man who wants to become president. Where is the equal outrage?

You see, I do not advocate dog fighting. If Michael Vick is guilty of being involved in dog fighting in any way, he should and probably will be prosecuted.

However, what I also do not advocate is sensationalistic reporting that works to distort the reality of this event as it unfolds. What I do not advocate is the din of voices and the constant tap-tap of keyboards of people whose life frame of reference is so distorted they spend an inordinate amount of time focusing their efforts on vilifying Michael Vick at the expense of vilifying those whose attitudes towards animals are equally as cavalier as Vick is alleged to be. These people, though, are elected servants of the peoples of the United States, not a football player.

What I do not advocate is our seeming disconnect in thinking that these “poor dogs” are utterly defenseless and that it would be better if “Vick slapped up a stripper” Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press on Rome is Burning). Somehow these dogs are defenseless and the woman who said she was raped in former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney’s home was not defenseless. People would rather scream that the woman raped exonerated Kerney at the expense of questioning Kerney’s character for surrounding himself with people capable of this act and investigating the alleged crime itself. What I do not advocate is that somehow these dogs are defenseless and the people of the Gulf Coast and the people living in huts on dirt roads in America are somehow lesser than dogs. If you say that is not true, then where is your venom for the NFL, NBA, and MLB for failing to give 10 times the amount of money athletes have given in support of these peoples?

It is being said that this is a troubling day for the National Football League. It is a much sadder day and time for America.

D. K. WILSON writes for the dynamic sports site The Starting Five. He can be reached at: