I’ve been waiting to do a Mike Vick post (they’re so hot right now).
But I also wanted to wait until all the initial rushing to judgment had somewhat ended.
So, I had a great conversation about the NFL’s rough offseason (Pacman, Vick) with a good friend of mine.
And basically, we decided on one thing.
Pacman, Vick, neither of them should have to use anymore judgment in choosing their friends than we did. Pacman makes it rain, who cares? Vick has a water bottle with a secret compartment, whoop de doo.
Now, don’t think I’m defending law breakers.
But, Michael Vick has not gone to trial. Michael Vick has not been convicted of a crime in a court of law. The only place Vick has been convicted is in newspapers, on Web sites and on ESPN, by their source with the funky voice-altering equipment.
Everyone says athletes need to be held to higher standards, but do they? They are entertainers. I wouldn’t say we hold Lindsey Lohan or Taylor Hicks to higher standards. They might be more scrutinized, but we expect them to do crazy things (That Taylor Hicks, you never know what he’ll do).
But here’s what really irks me. Why is Vick chastised (and will probably be suspended) for something “bad” he hasn’t been convicted of, while Tony Dungy can talk about how much he hates gay people all he wants? It’s not that I condone dog fighting, but I think a certain amount of the judgment passed on players like Vick and Pacman comes from their images – the “thug image.”
Why isn’t Dungy suspended for not representing the tolerance policy I’m sure the NFL has buried somewhere in its Code of Ethics? Seems like a double standard doesn’t it?
I would say that gay rights isn’t popular enough for networks like ESPN to get behind. But poor little cute dogs being killed, that makes for a great news package. Who would want to see a dog killed?
Because the masses think something is right or wrong should not be enough to convict someone of a very serious charge. If Vick, Pacman, and any of the other young NFL stars are guilty of breaking the law, then let it be proven. Until then, we should stop chastising what’s seen as “bad” and letting what’s seen as “good” slide.