By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – Here in my little burg of Shreveport, a robust debate is underway about Michael Vick; I bring this up because I’m interested in how this debate plays in other parts of the country.
You see, Michael Vick, as you may recall, is now probably more famous for his dogfighting conviction as for any skills he may have on the football field.
In 2007, Michael Vick was convicted in Richmond, Virginia for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. His 23 month sentence was more than that of his co-defendants because the judge found him to be less than truthful about his involvement in the ring. The judge said:
“You were instrumental in facilitating, putting together, organizing and funding this cruel and inhuman sporting activity. While you have acknowledged guilt and apologized, I’m convinced it was not a momentary lapse of judgment on your part. You were a full partner.”
In fact, Vick pleaded guilty to “bankrolling a dogfighting operation…and to helping kill six to eight dogs.”
And now, in Shreveport, one of our most venerable and respecting arts institutions, the Strand Theater, has rented their space to the Michael Vick Comedy Explosion Tour, and Shreveport has drawn lines in the sand.
There are those who are aghast and horrified that any venue would rent to Michael Vick at all, much less one of the most respected and beloved cultural icons of the city. The animal rights community is planning a protest of the event and some have even gone so far as to vow to never support any further endeavors of The Strand at all.
“One must be a true Sociopath to be able to watch animals suffering in horrendous ways at your own hands and not feel guilty. Remember that every serial killer started by torturing, mutilating and killing animals. Vick is no different than Jeffery Dahmer, Albert “The Boston Strangler” DeSalvo, The Columbine Killers, and Denis Rader (The BTK Killer). Vick may not be a “human” serial killer but he is a serial killer none-the-less. No amount of jail time can rehabilitate an already corrupt, empty soul. He has shown no remorse, when doing interviews and when the dogs are mentioned you can blatantly see his eyes turn cold and dark, and his “involvement” with the Humane Society was the best “PR” move ever by his publicists.
So with that being said, I will speak loudly and proudly against him, stand up for what’s right, never forget the innocent lives lost, and never again support a company that has endorsed him, given him money or given him publicity. I have not supported Nike or Subway in over 5 years because of their support of him; and, unfortunately, I will never again support The Strand…”
Others have taken the position to simply boycott the event but to give The Strand a pass on the Vick association and will still support other Strand events.
And still others have taken the position that Vick has “paid his dues” and deserves a second chance.
So does he?
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.