For NFL fans and especially for supporters of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, I’ll admit to beating a dead argument by again pillorying the supposedly repentant Vick. But my puny comments are of no moment, especially after Vick plays like he did tonight when he rushed for 130 yards to lead an unbelievable 4th quarter comeback from 21-points down to beat the NY Giants 38-31.
So long as Vick keeps playing at such a high level, he’s buying himself a ton of “Get over it!” forgiveness. And as a consequence, Vick is spending a lot of that forgiveness in the coinage of chutzpah. The dog-killing star quarterback now wants a dog. See “Michael Vick wants dog, claims will help rehabilitation.”
A little over 3 years ago, his dog-fighting compadres implicated Vick. Quanis Phillips was one of them and he stipulated in his plea deal that he’d not only engaged in dog fighting and gambling with Vick but that he’d also killed a few dogs with the now ‘rehabilitated’ dog-coveting quarterback.
The relevant portion of Quanis Phillips’ plea recites Vick’s involvement as follows: “In or about April 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, VICK, and two others “rolled” or “tested” additional “Bad Newz Kennels” dogs by putting the dogs through fighting sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road to determine which animals were good fighters. PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK executed approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in “testing” sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging and drowning. All three participated in executing the dogs. PHILLIPS agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK.
“47. On or about April 25,2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK possessed various items associated with the continued operation of the dog fighting operation at 1915 Moonlight Road, including the sheds and kennels associated with housing the fighting dogs and hosting dog fights; approximately 54 American Pit Bull Terriers, some of which had scars and injuries appearing to be related to dog fighting; a breeding stand; a “break” or “parting” stick used to pry open fighting dogs’ mouths during fights; treadmills and “slat mills” used to condition fighting dogs; and other items.”
You can read the rest of Quanis L. Phillips’ – Summary of the Facts here.
But in a twist that almost got him in trouble again, Vick’s dog-fighting co-defendant Phillips was shot in the leg last July at Vick’s 30th birthday party. Fortunately for the now headline-grabbing quarterback, nothing came of it. No charges were filed since the victim clammed up. And Vick said he’d already left the party when the shooting took place.
Now I’m as inclined as the next guy to believe in the power of rehabilitation and redemption. After all, America’s the land of second chances. Ted Haggard has a new church and Jimmy Swaggart’s back on television.
And you can always trust a fox to not only guard a hen-house but to take inventory, too.
But the day I think Vick’s ready to have a dog again will be the same day I think Bernie Madoff’s ready to again manage other people’s money.
No moral equivalency.
There’s no moral equivalency between dog-killing and people-killing. But about 5 years ago, the Arizona Supreme Court refused to buy the argument that convicted murderer James Hamm had sufficiently rehabilitated himself to be an Arizona lawyer.
After serving his time and graduating from ASU’s Law School, Hamm passed the state bar exam. But he was denied a license to practice. The Arizona Supreme Court found that “Because James Hamm has failed to meet his burden of proving that he is of good moral character, we deny his application for admission to the State Bar of Arizona.” Read the opinion In re Hamm, here.
In an interesting twist of coincidental trivia, now bar-beleagured former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas was back then the bar-friendly Attorney for Amicus Curiae Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in the Hamm case.
Too bad for Thomas he can’t throw a spiral 65 yards downfield or juke for touchdown yardage. Otherwise, he might be a candidate to quarterback the hapless Arizona Cardinals. Then with gridiron success, not only could Thomas get some local love, but he could also find his own cynical road to redemption.