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 12:33 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

This world is so bias!! We talking about a man fighting dogs and being punished, however NO ONE complains about biggame hunting, or cock fighting, even bul riding (the things they do to them bulls to get them fired up!!) The only reason Vick went to jail is because he is a man from the hood that does not fit "corporate americas" image! PPL talking, he should be glad he has another opportunity, NO We should be glad that he is playing, he league has never seen a Mike Vick before and he is a very special talent!! All these ppl walking today for murder of a human being, and ppl stuck that they were killing dogs??!!?? FOH!!!

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:24 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

in most states what vick was convicted of is not a major crime and a slap on the wrist.

and do you know how he got caught ? his cousin got pulled over and didn't have a license on him. when the cop asked him "where did he live" etc, he used vick's va address when he was in atlanta. so the cops go to the house and sees the dog cages etc. vick wasn't even in va when this went down.

it's over now. haters and supporters just move onward.

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:12 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

ChiTown, I think your facts a quite a bit wrong. A drug dealer selling a pound of weed, the least dangerous illegal drug on the planet, would get a LOT of time as long as he didn't cut a deal revealing the larger dealer. Prison terms for small amounts of drugs are completely disproportional to how bad the actual crime is. 10 grams of crack gets you a minimum 5 yrs or something and that disproportional term and punishment is why our prisons are so full.  What Vick did was cruelty to animals, so you're right on there, but it's  still definitely jail worthy. It was an illegal gambling ring, cruelty to animals, and technically tax evasion. AS for weed being worse than dog-fighting...well that's just ridiculous.

Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:10 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial


thanks. He didn't address what I said so I can only assume he couldn't form a proper argument and resorted to the petty comment he posted.

Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:07 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Why don't you actually address my points. Michael Vick went to prison and now no longer fights dogs. That's all that he needs to do. He does not need to have any remorse for it, he just needs to refrain from doing it, which he has. I personally don't feel that what he did was that big of a deal. It was cruel and cold-hearted, but he was cruel to animals; he should have been fined, forced to close up shop and moved on his way. A drug dealer that gets busted selling a pound of weed does more danger to society than Michael Vick, but he won't get the prison time that Vick did. Vick no longer fights dogs and that should be enough for all of you. You have no right to force him to feel exactly like you do on the matter.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:01 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Dooby, what a dumb comment.  Vick broke the law and had to pay the price, not cause the judge is racist but because what he did was illegal.  You're the problem.  You and your have and have nots b.s. is a joke.  I live right in the middle with most people in this country.  I live check by check but am not poor or rich.  Guess what, I'm a good guy, no chip on my shoulder cause what I dont have.  Also, know alot of people like me.  I have good kids who are nice and well raised themselves and they have good friends like them as well.  Its people like you who want to make a rich/poor society to blame for every one of todays problems.  I know that hate breeds more hate and if you think what happened to vick was racism then I can guess where you stand on all issues, always someone elses fault is my guess.  what a joke!

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:00 pm

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Yeah, I agree it sounds like collusion if Roger Goodell steered Michael Vick to play with the Eagles...I guess I'm a bit leery about Vick in that he doesn't sound humble or contrite for his crime. Being black or part of the black culture doesn't excuse him from what he did, because he chose to do one put a gun to his head. Being poor is no excuse either respect life, or you don't...the rules are the same for any race.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:51 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

obviously you have never been to newport news VA where he grew up.
Umm, yes I have!

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:42 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

I couldn't have said it better myself, maurysline.  No one was scrambling to pick up Vick straight out of prison and he was never even a consideration to be the Eagles' starter.  Kolb's injury changed everything.
This is very typical of American society, though.  We tend to build up an individual to the highest of highs and then we wait to pounce on them if they sneeze wrong.  Vick did horrible things in his past, I agree with that whole-heartedly, and I wasn't too thrilled when my Eagles team picked him up, either.  But he has seemingly redeemed himself since leaving prison. Time will only tell if this is a truly a new man or not.  But until then, I'm willing to give the man, any man for that matter, the benefit of the doubt if he's walking the right path.

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:37 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Vick was NEVER convicted on Gambling charges. In fact, the Feds never included any gambling charges in their case against him, which if you ask me, is the most suspicious aspect of the case against him! Clearly, the only reason Vick involved himself in dog fighting in the first place was to gamble on it...hell, the only reason dog fighting exists is so that people can gamble on it. So to not include gambling charges against Vick for his part in this is a CLEAR sign that there was some sort of back room, shady deal that the Feds made with Vick's team of lawyers (and no doubt, his agent too) so that he would still at least have the opportunity to play in the NFL after his prison term was up. You see, if Vick was convicted on gambling charges, the NFL would have had no choice but to give him a lifetime ban because of its rules against players and coaches being involved in illegal gambling. Very early on after the Vick story originally broke, news anchors were talking about how the thing that the NFL was most disturb about in terms of Vick's participation in dog fighting was the gambling aspect (and not the exploitation, torture and killing of dogs)! And low and behold, somehow the Feds decide NOT to include gambling charges against Vick despite the fact that it was arguably the easiest charge upon which to convict him given the nature of his involvement, as well as the testimony of several "associates" who admit to having been personally paid by Vick when they beat one of his dogs. Believe this...the NFL definitely got itself involved (behind the scenes, of course) to make sure that Vick avoided a gambling conviction so that they wouldn't have to ban him. In the end, it's all about money....whether it be dog fighting or the millions that are to be made in the NFL! Any type of behavior can be over-looked if you possess the type of talent and ability to make yourself and someone else a boat load of money!

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