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Blog Entry

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:24 am
Posted by Will Brinson

An interview with Michael Vick in GQ is set to hit the Internet on Thursday morning, and you can guarantee that after reading some of the quotes, it's sure to cause a bit of a publicity firestorm.

Well, that's based on some limited quotes, via Deadspin, that Vick gave to Will Leitch (of New York mag and Deadspin fame) anyway.

"Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is," Vick said about the background involved in people hearing his story. "Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know."

This is true, I think. I've argued as much, but whenever you play the "byproduct of culture or society" angle to anyone, they immediately put any number of examples that refute that back in your face. That's cool. It's their prerogative, and it's why there's not a singular opinion about Vick in our society.

Whatever you think about that subject, though, it probably is going to involve some discussion of race. Vick, based on his quotes, is fine with obliging that line of thinking.

Eagles Offseason

"I think that's accurate," Vick tells Leitch when asked if white people don't get how dogfighting plays out in black culture. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."

Hoo boy. Not to make comparisons with football players who have been to prison and then returned to the game, but these sort of quotes kind of sound awfully familiar, yes?

Look, we don't yet know the context of the full discussion between Leitch and Vick. But it's pretty hard to fathom that such quotes are taken out of context to the point that they seem somewhat inflammatory here but not within the scope of the full interview.

What's even harder to fathom is that Vick would actually break character and say anything remotely controversial. To this point, he's been picture perfect when it comes to rehabilitating his image. The comments above are the antithesis of that.

A.J. Daulerio at Deadspin makes a good point though -- from a sports perspective, the most controversial comments that Vick makes might have to do with his decision about where to stage his comeback.

Originally, Vick didn't want to go to Philadelphia. He felt like joining the Bills or Bengals (!) were better options.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia," Vick says. "Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."

Leitch then points out that Vick met with Roger Goodell and the NFL and was steered towards Philly -- "I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation" -- which could seriously fire up those two fanbases, given that having Michael Vick on their respective rosters would certainly change things.

Oh, and the fact that the league steered one of the (now) most dynamic players in the league to a particular situation. That should go over really well with the media in the coming days.

Despite the potential firestorm that could come on that front, though, it's hard to really fault anyone for pushing Vick a certain way -- no one thought he would end up playing as well as he did in 2010.

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Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:39 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

....that many cold blooded prisoners....
This is where your error is. Michael Vick definitely broke a law, but at the end of the day he was cruel to animals and did not present any danger to society, so there was no reason for him to be punished the way he was. The vast majority of cold blooded prisoners are locked up because they are menaces to society; Michael Vick never posed a threat to anybody. Cruelty to animals should not be punishable with years in prison. Violaters should pay a fine, obstain from the activity and go on their way. Michael Vick doesn't need to be sincere in his apologies, he doesn't even need to feel bad, he just needs to not go back to dogfighting, which is exactly what he has done. Violence is part of many cultures and ironically, it is what draws so many people to football. If you want to protect animals, great, but don't go overboard and demand exorbitant punishments for people that, after the dust settles, just abused animals. Animals are not people, and thats a simple truth. 

Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:29 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

There are so many things to hate about Vick and the NFL... 1st, I grew up in a poverty stricken urban neighborhood too.  There was some dogfighting, some drug dealing, some raping, some killing; also some teachers, some community leaders, some of the best people I've ever met in my life.  Vick is just trying to manipulate people and play the victim card.  Saying "we had to adapt to our environment" is another way of saying he is a weak, scared, insecure person who has no beliefs or opinions of his own.  It would be like the white farmer in the 1800s trying to make people feel sorry for him because he couldn't make more money than the farmer next door without using slaves.  That farmer still could have made enough to live without slaves, or he could have become a craftsman if he was against slavery.  The truth is he wasn't against slavery, and Vick loves to torture dogs.  2nd, Goodell, the owners, and the entire NFL are in collusion about everything now and it really isn't much of a sport.  It's more like a reality show that is mostly scripted and only occassionally do things happen naturally or by accident.  It is an entertainment business, just like professional wrestling, at this point.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:27 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

They all say they are sorry.  People think they have learned their lesson and changed.  In the end they are exposed for frauds they are.

Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:22 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Sure seems like Vick is hinting toward the "I was a product of my environment" argument that many cold blooded prisoners use.  At the end of the day, it's all about personal decisions you willingly make and nobody on earth cares about the type of people you grew up with.  Being that he's such an amazing athlete, I doubt he suffered much growing up anyways.  The red carpet always gets rolled out to the elite.  I've felt from the get-go that his apologies were sincere, and I hope he's not trying to justify any part of his behavior and blaming it on his environment.  That would make all his aplogetic actions nothing more than a show. 

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:06 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

I dont think fightin dogs is bad. It's quite entertaining actually. When you grow up around the streets you get use to seeing that sort of stuff. BUT, killing them, in the manners they used, you gotta be a cold sob to do that.

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