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: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 3:00 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

No, it is bad. Period. Fullfils a bloodlust that people need a fix on.


Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:57 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

I beg to differ. I grew up in a predominantly mixed part of Philadelphia, South Philadelphia to be exact. I lived across the street from the Southwark Residential area, aka the “Projects”. Any black person, male or female should not hold nor play the race card when it comes to success of ones endeavor. I had to wonderful and great grandparents who raised me right and proper. They instilled within me, a sense of self accomplishment, regardless of what obstacles are put or thrown in my path. Since the age of 22 I have worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I have two Ph.Ds., Criminal Phycology and Physics. I was a product of my situation. So prove me wrong where all Black males have to struggle and hold the race card for not having what other races have. Michael Vick knew what he was doing was wrong, and immoral. Yet he still chooses to partake in something illegal. Now we praise him for getting his life back on track and making a success of himself with the Eagles. I would have to disagree, this make invoke some diehard Eagle Fans. Michael Vick had no regret on running a dog fighting ring; he had regret for getting caught. What is he going to say, he loved the dog fighting, he loved the money, he loved the bloodshed of the killing of the dogs? Of course not, no chance of getting back in the NFL had he stated the truth. Philadelphia Eagle fans are quick to be hypocritical of anything that is not for them, and would have blasted any other team for landing Vick and giving him a chance. But he is the Quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles and he is a changed man. I wish no ill will on any man; however he will get his fate at a later date in life.

Since: May 1, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:28 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

I thought the NFL gave alot of these players a way out of the ghetto.  Vick and alot of these players today use this as an excuse.  I can understand being a product of the enviroment and for alot of those that can't escape it for what ever reason. However they know better and DECIDE to take the baggage with them. Vick and many players like him should know to walk away from the trouble when they know they will be in the spotlight and givin a great oppurtunity to have a great life with millions being thrown at them.  Look at role model players such as Decon Jones and Barry Sanders from the past. They are black just as he is and kept thier noses clean. It seems alot of black players of today just don't get it.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:12 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

This all much to do about nothing. Vick's right. You are a product of your environment. I absolutely disagree with his dog fighting past, but also realize that a man is gonna say what he needs to say and do what he needs to do to get back into the NFL. Vick has done a great job restoring his image and this article just appears to want to raise a fuss over nothing. Vick has done his time and has worked hard to restore his image and should have a right to express himself. Like he said, most people will come up with something to refute you right away when a black man uses the race card or product of your environment. Yes, you could look at it as he doesn't really feel bad for what he did, or he hasn't learned his lesson, but I think it's more like he has learned his lesson and he really wants people to understand what these environments can do to an individual. White or black! Hopefully he is still spreading a positive message to the younger kids and letting them know what he did was wrong and there is a better path in life. Who cares if the NFL steered him to phili!! This is a really weak article, just reaching for something in the cubboard to smash.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:09 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Obviously he hasn't 'moved on' if he's doing interviews and trying to justify 'dogfighting'.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:03 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Take Vick's quotes and replace 'dogfighting' with 'slavery' and try to make Vick's arguement from a caucasians perspective.

'I don't think 'black' people understand how slavery played out in the white culture.  It was part of who we were at the time.  I don't think it was right, but WE were the ones that got exposed and it led to the Cival War.'

Can you imagine the outcry from such an inflammatory remark!?!

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:00 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

I don't care what Vick did to the dogs. He's paid his time, and they're dogs. Animals, just like any of the many animals that we cut up and eat.  I've always thought he was over-rated as a quarterback. He is a helluva athlete, but I don't think he's a complete enough quarterback to bring Philly their FIRST Superbowl.
That being said, I really H8 everything about Philadelphia. Therefore I now H8 Vick just like all the rest of you haters. My H8 is for a good reason though. He's an Eagle.

I'm with Santa Claus on this one. Philly sux.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 2:00 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

NASTY SNATCH, I dont like Albert Haynesworth either does that make me a super racist, since there are two black athletes who I dont agree with or like.  Oh yeah, and I dont like Eli Manning, does that just make me really confused.  Why must YOU always bring race into issues.  Doesnt that make you racist.  Oh no cause that is not possible only I can be racist.

Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:57 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

It Figures!  Nasty Snatch!  The only racist person in here is you!  By the way, Vick won't be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this year.  In fact, he'll be lucky if he makes it the entire season without getting hurt. Stop interrupting people when they are having a civilized conversation.   WU TANG, Please!  What century do you live in?  WU Tang hasn't been popular since the 90s fool!

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:53 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Well kbdeez, you're right I havent lived on both sides of the fence.  But I do live in an area where there is good and bad people, I dont live in some sunshiny smiley area that nothing bad happens.  But guess what, I CHOOSE to hang with the right crowd, and I CHOOSE to live my life by a code of ethics I see as moral and sound.  But those were choices I made and everyone has the same choices as well.  You are wrong in which we choose to ignore history.  Dog fighting is illegal and hunting is legal, those who do either know those facts so it goes back to choices you make and not what happened in our past.

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