Convicted dog abuser Michael Vick—who bankrolled a dog fighting ring operating on his property, and lied to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell about it—has once again crossed into the end zone. But instead of scoring points in a football game, this time he has been the catalyst for exposing yet again the dirty underside of professional football and the amoral pragmatism of America’s largest animal protection organization.
There’s no need to reiterate for ISAR’s supporters the obscene cruelty to animals in which Vick participated, to which he pleaded guilty, and for which he went to prison.
While there, ISAR undertook to collect petition signatures in support of our effort to deny Vick economic and other benefits which he might enjoy as a result of the “celebrity” he acquired from his criminal acts.
When it recently became apparent to ISAR that Vick and his handlers were engaged in a drive to have him reinstated in the NFL, we wrote to Commissioner Goodell registering in the strongest terms our disapproval.
Goodell ignored us and the many, many ISAR supporters and others who signed our petitions.
And now we learn that Vick has been reinstated in the NFL, subject to minimum conditions which are of no importance compared to what Goodell has done.
As ISAR has said repeatedly, Vick’s conduct was not only illegal. It was immoral. While his advocates and sycophants have stressed that Vick “has paid his debt to society—a truism because there’s no doubt he has served his sentence—they miss the point. ISAR asks: Is there no moral price to be paid by Vick for committing horrific animal abuse—and laughing when household pets are savagely dismembered by inherently non-violent dogs who have themselves been tortured into becoming vicious killers?
Obviously the NFL believes not only is there no moral price to be paid, but instead the perpetrator is to be rewarded for his crime. To paraphrase the show business cliché, “the game must go on.” All that’s left for ISAR to do—and do it we will!—is to continue exposing Vick for the animal abusing con-man he is, and encourage football fans to boycott every game he appears in.
A final word—about how Vick was able to pull off his reinstatement. He did it with the aiding and abetting of the publicity hungry HSUS and its chief salesman, Wayne Pacelle. HSUS does some good work, and ISAR respects it for that. But enabling Vick to reenter moral society based on the rationalizations HSUS has propounded, reflects not Vick’s immorality, which everyone knows about and is a given, but something worse: HSUS’s pragmatic amorality, a complete disinterest in whether a moral principle is even involved.
Well, it is.
ISAR knows that.
And we can only hope that football fans know it, too.