Even non-sports fans are aware of the legal problems National Football League quarterback Michael Vick is facing. Vick, who is one of the most popular athletes in America, currently is facing dogfighting and animal cruelty charges that stem from alleged dogfighting activities authorities say took place on property he owns in Virginia.
As his legal problems unfold, it is a certainty that he will receive wall-to-wall media attention. In the 24-hours a day, seven-days a week news cycle world we live in, his problems will result in ratings gold so get used to microscopic coverage of him.
If there is anything we should have learned so far in this mess, it is that people love defenseless, domesticated animals. And when folks believe they have been intentionally harmed, they will make their displeasure known loud and clear. Since these accusations, Vick and his NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons, have been on the receiving end of lots of protests. The protests have been loud and passionate.
Hopefully, all involved will remember that Vick is innocent until proven guilty, but if he is guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. The accusations against him are pathetic, and if he is guilty, he should spend time in prison. For his sake, I hope he is innocent and did not mess up his life over something like this.
However, one question that keeps popping in my mind since this began is: Would Vick's problems be getting as much publicity if he had been accused of beating up a woman instead of being cruel to an animal? Violence against women is something that happens too frequently, including violence by athletes against women. Stories involving athletes and violence against women are reported fairly often.
But, where are the protests condemning this type of behavior? Where is the wall-to-wall media coverage of this type of violence? Though I don't have statistics at my fingertips to back this up, I think it is reasonable to assume that violence against women occurs more often than against dogs.
So what is the deal? Does America care more about dogs than women?
Or is this another example of me thinking about something way too much?
Reader, you make the call.