Priority Amongst Outrages
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
Porcupine is an avid football fan. He greatly enjoys the Patriots, despises Peyton Manning, and is perturbed by the oxygen wasted lamenting the serial failure of the Red Sox while the Patriots are World Champions over again. But the NFL is not a happy place as another season opens.
Quarterback Michael Vick has agreed to a plea bargain for dog-fighting charges against him, as the world knows. Today, the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP decided to come to his defense.
The more spurious part of the defense can be dealt with quickly. While R.L. White, president of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP said he does not support dog fighting, he also said he considers it as bad as hunting. "His crime is, it was a dog," White said. Now that bear baiting has been brought under control, the comparison between hunting and dog fighting is ludicrous. A deer hunter, killing a buck with a single clean shot bears no resemblance to a man who repeatedly put a dog into a pit to maul and be mauled, until pain or death overcame him and he was finally able to leave the “Bad Newz Kennels”.
The second part of Mr. White’s statement bears a little more examination. In decrying the plea agreement, which curtails Vick’s ability to ‘defend’ himself, Mr. White said, "Some have said things to save their own necks. Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he had killed a human being."
As they say in the world of sports, let’s go to the videotape.
- In 1996, Hall of Famer Warren Moon went to trial for choking his wife during an argument. No games missed.
- In March of 2005, two Tennessee Titans were arrested on domestic violence charges. Titans tackle Brad Hopkins was arrested and charged with domestic assault after a confrontation with his wife outside a Cool Springs restaurant, as he grabbed her by the neck and choked her when she would not end a cell phone conversation. Cornerback Samari Rolle was charged with assaulting his wife at the couple's home in Brentwood after Danisha Rolle was treated for three stitches above her left eye at a local hospital. The Titans later released Rolle, who was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. No need to ruin his career over that.
- November 25, 2005, (Thanksgiving?) Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Lionel Dalton was arrested for domestic violence.
- January 16, 2006, Seattle Seahawks starting right tackle Sean Locklear was in jail for investigation of assault after his girlfriend told police he grabbed her around the neck. He was suspended for Week 8, the game against Kansas.
- October 25, 2006, Reuben Droughns was arrested but later acquitted on drunken driving charges and had a domestic violence case against him dropped by prosecutors in Denver citing a lack of evidence. After missing two games because on injuries, he was traded to the New York Giants.
- May 25, 2007, a false imprisonment charge against Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall stemming from a domestic dispute was dismissed after Marshall completed anger-management classes.
- July 23, 2007, Former Seahawk defensive tackle Chad Eaton was arrested for ‘investigation of domestic violence’.
Porcupine does not wish to gloss over Michael Vick's sadistic and brutal conduct - some of his best friends are dogs. Still, this incident reminds Porcupine that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals existed long before the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - let alone women. Since Michael Vick's career is ending, perhaps it's time the NFL takes a hard look at other behaviors as well, or Mr. White will have a dead human to compare to a dog fight.