Saturday, July 28, 2007

Get a ref then

Falcons General manager Rich McKay said Tueday, July 24 2007, that they had absolutely no idea that the indictment for their star player, Michael Vick was headed his way. Vick wasn't indicted a day after the FBI and Virginia authorities searched his Smithfield property...... a grand jury indicted him on July 17.

"We had, clearly, no indications, no signs, no whispers.... of any of this kind of behavior," stated team owner Arthur Blank.

McKay went so far as to say that he never knew that there was such a thing as dogfighting and claimed that maybe he was the only one in the room who didn't know. I am sorry, maybe he didn't know the extent of dogfighting as a sport in the U S but to claim he didn't know anything about it is lame in my view. They had ample time from when Vick's property was raided to when he was indicted to do some research on their own. From what I understood, it wasn't such a hidden thing, Vick's interest in dogfight's and gambling on them....... just his participation in them.

Pit bulls have become an icon of both the "rap reputation" and southern backwoods tradition in recent decades. Dogfighting has operated underground for a very long time but their image use in hip hop music has moved the closer to the forefront and now, Vick's arrest has moved the sport to center stage.

The AKC and various American pit bull groups have struggled for years with an "image " problem for their "excellent family companions." I do believe there are many good dogs out there, those that have been bred and raised for show and companionship. Unfortunately, they are not the only poit bulls out there. To deny that dogfighting isn't as extensive as it really is and that dogs from the breeding of "fighting dogs" don't fall into unknowing or ill-prepared hands is a dangerous lie.

There have been many valid studies of pit bulls and they are not the "land sharks" some believe them to be. I believe though it is a breed, if gotten from fighting "stock" and not properly trained and running as a pack, they can be a lethal weapon. It isn't the sheer strength that damages as much as what they have been bred for in fighting..... to continue on through pain and exhaustion that makes it so difficult to stop them when they do attack.

Tom Garner, who lives outside Raleigh NC, one of the new centers for dogfighting says that his 1985 dogfighting conviction was just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He stated that he would never knowing sell one of his dogs to anyone who wanted to fight them but that once they leave his yard, he has no control over their care.

His explaination is as lame as McKay's I believe. There is a very good chance he knows what his dogs will be used for, it just isn't voiced openly. In much the same way the bantam chicken owner at the fairs knows that the roosters those men are interested in buying aren't going in a chicken house.... they will be trained and most likely used for illegal cockfights. Those sound like the same claims I have read from illegal gun dealers after their arrest...... I was told he just needed one for "protection" but even I could have guessed that it was needed for something more than that.

Vick went to court and pleaded not guilty and then made his public statement an apology to his mother......... I'm glad he thought that far at the moment but I also hope that if the charges against him are true, he does get hit with the maximum sentence.

No comments: