Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I would like to dedicate this blog entry to those people who have piling on Michael Vick (and justifiably so I might add). But first, let me get this disclaimer out of the way. Vick was dead wrong for what he did, and in my biased opinion, he deserved every bit of punishment he got for throwing tens of thousands of dollars into killing and gambling with drugs. It speaks to a certain void in the intelligence department, that not even the good Lord that he's now calling upon can provide at this point. I mean we all have our moments but damn...

However to all of the people in and out of the sports community who are acting like this man is Charles Manson, I'd like to present to you the case of Dante Stallworth

Dante was coming back from a night out one night in March, when he struck and killed a pedestrian. His blood alcohol level that night was .126, when the legal limit in Florida is .08. He plead guilty yesterday, and the way I read the story is that he'll do SOME jail time, but nowhere close to the 15 years he could have done for this crime. I know this story is nestled in between the Lakers winning the title and other sports talk, but this is a big deal. This man got in a car legally drunk and struck and killed someone. But there's no outrage, there are no talk radio shows condemning him, and TMZ certainly is stalking him outside his house. Instead he'll quietly serve his time and slip back into the NFL.

I'm well aware he's nowhere near the star that Vick is, and I am (now) aware that dogs are way more valuable then people. But I just find this story way more disturbing. And I haven't even gotten to the story of Leonard Little, who is another football player. Big Leonard left a birthday party drunk in 1998, and struck and killed a pedestrian. He did 90 days in jail and community service, and then resumed his football career. Just six short years later, Little was arrested for driving drunk and speeding. He was magically acquitted of the drunk driving charge, and only charged a misdemeanor for speeding...and he was right back in the NFL shortly thereafter with little or no resistance.

But Vick is the only devil in sports right?


£ said...

IMO they're all wrong. How hard is it to hire a driver (or keep one on deck) after a night of (not so) heavy drinking? Especially since you are more than capable of affording it? How hard is it to NOT fight dogs and/or kill them when the prove to be weak or hurt beyond repair? How hard is it to monitor the goings on at your crib if you are going to claim innocence regarding participation in such disgusting practices?

I think most (lay) folks are equally outraged when they hear about these things. But the media works in mysterious ways, and since we rely upon them to bring us the "news", in a way, their crusades become ours. Why they collectively decided to vilify *him* as opposed to the others, i don't know. The fact remains that Mike Vick was stuck in the crosshairs, becoming the unwilling sacrificial lamb.

Perhaps more upsetting than Vick's actual crimes are the character/mindset they seem to reveal. Correct or not, many people saw/see Vick as a monster, and despite America's seeming love affair with blood and gore, there was a genuine revulsion that someone in real life would participate (or give tacit approval) in such a violent and cruel activity. Its easy to cast stones if you are guiltless regarding that which you are scorning.

But with Donte Stallworth, i think there is more commiseration. We see poor judgment (that more than a few of "us" - journalist and non journalist alike - have made, just with not as dire consequences.)that resulted in the worst kind of tragedy. Leonard Little, well he is an idiot, and as most people suffer from the same affliction, no wonder there isn't more of a hue and cry. Right or wrong, we accuse or excuse according to our own experience.

Personally if i had the kind of money those dudes had access to there is no way i'd be still dabbling in the mundane things that entertained me when i was just another broke cog in the machine. Drinking? Late night clubbing? Gambling? Fighting animals? Oh no. I'd be working on the world's greatest personal library, and when not doing that, you best believe i'd be jet skiing on some remote island, smashing open coconuts and eating them, wearing a grass skirt and getting the ultimate tan.

Sab D said...

Man, Hoops Addict need to let you do a feature story on the Hypocrisy of Heroes.

You would kick a**