Thursday, August 23, 2007

Marbury's Lucky Vick Doesn't Own the Knicks

Ah Stephon, once again you have graced us with your wisdom. In an article in Newsday yesterday it was reported that Marbury said in an interview aired by Capital 9 News in Albany. "From what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors and I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down ... I think he fell into a bad situation."

Truly amazing. I can imagine he's trying to defend Michael Vick's indefensible actions. Why, I can only speculate. Maybe they're friends, maybe he's just trying to show solidarity with another black athlete who came from humble beginnings. But it's one thing to ask as others have (including the head of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP) that IF Vick is contrite and IF he abides by the provisions of his plea deal that he be given another chance to play in the NFL.

But to say that dogfighting is a legitimate sport and to imply that Vick "fell" into this situation is completely absurd. First of all dogfighting is illegal. Pitting to animals, who have no ability to determine their own actions, against each other in a fight to the death is horrific, despicable, reprehensible and an affront to most people's sensibilities of right and wrong -- Black or White. And for all those that try to make the Vick case simply about race is similarly distasteful.

Secondly, Vick did not "fall into" dogfighting. He had been actively involved in it since at least 2001. His friends did not bring him into this unknowingly or unwillingly. Vick funded the entire endeavor. He paid for the dogs, paid for the kennels, the "training" pits. And he of course was directly involved in gambling on these illegal fights which is also illegal activity.

Lastly, Marbury also improperly compared dogfighting to hunting. I am not a hunter. I only kill bugs. But hunting is totally different. Yes the end result is the same -- the animal dies -- but the intention and method behind it is completely different. Hunting is done for sport, but in almost all cases, it's also tied to maintaining a proper balance of the animal population, the kill is quick and hunter's typically eat what they kill or sell it to someone who will (unless you're Dick Cheney). What Vick did -- hanging, drowning, electrifying dogs who lost a fight -- is TORTURE. There's no sport involved.

BTW, there was a great chat with Howard Bryant from ESPN that discussed a lot of these issues. Check it out. But let me wrap up.

Marbury should just be happy that Vick doesn't own the Knicks. Because based on Marbury's level of play and the awful record he has led them to (and just about every other team that he has played for), Vick would probably have electrocuted him too.

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