Vick’s Apology Comes Off Lame

Steve Murray
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Wednesday - September 05, 2007
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Michael Vick’s “apology” - his first steps toward what he hopes is reinstatement into the NFL in 2009 - has been called honest and contrite.

I don’t buy it.

Because he never actually admitted to committing any crime, the “apology” is nothing more than an attempt to build credibility.

Vick did not say he was sorry for betting on and financing a dog fighting ring - he said dog fighting is a terrible thing and that he rejects it. Why no admission of guilt? Because the deal he cut with federal prosecutors may not end his legal troubles.

Early last month, Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he will in fact look into prosecuting Vick on animal cruelty and dog fighting charges. A conviction on animal cruelty in Virginia carries a sentence of up to five years per animal killed. The federal indictment against Vick and his co-defendants states that in April 2007, Vick, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips had executed eight dogs that did not test well. The indictment contains other accusations of dogs being killed but does not name Vick in those accounts. In June, the Virginia Pilot reported that authorities found 17 dog carcasses on the property owned by Vick. That’s a possible 136 years for just those dogs discovered at the Virginia home he purchased in 2001.

True, he didn’t use notes, but he was certainly coached up enough not to admit to crimes while investigations into his actions are still taking place.

What may have been the most ridiculous thing said during the nearly five-minute mea culpa was that “we all make mistakes and I made a mistake in using bad judgment and making bad decisions and those things just can’t happen.” Misreading a pass coverage and throwing the ball to a defender is a mistake; running a dog fighting ring over a period of several years is a pattern of behavior that he enthusiastically embraced.

This wonderful grab at responsibility was followed by Vick saying “What I did was immature and I need to grow up.” What he did was criminal and in the words of commissioner Roger Goodell “cruel and reprehensible” - not immature, which hints at childlike enthusiasm and misunderstanding.

Everyone at one time or another is immature. Not eveyone kills and uses it as an excuse.

In another attempt to put a positive spin on things and to make people think that he’s not the lowlife he really is, Vick said that he has asked Jesus for forgiveness and that he has put his life in the hands of God. A good PR move, but one that lacks any sort of knowledge of the heavenly process which requires a person to be truly repentant of their sins to be forgiven. Quite possibly Vick’s 10-minute conversion did not leave enough time for such in depth ecclesiastical discussion. On Dec. 10 we’ll know just how much time he has to brush up on such minor details.

The purpose of his statement was to help quell the fires around him and to make him seem like a sympathetic figure. Not an easy thing to do when you refer to yourself in the third person on two separate occasions. But as Vick said, he’s a football player and not a public speaker.

Vick says that he accepts full responsibility for his actions, but that’s a load of bull. Responsibility means more than just tip toeing around the truth and trying to win brownie points by evoking the name of the big guy up stairs. He lied in the face of everyone and now calls it “not being honest and forthright.” Lawyer words for a liar.

Is Vick sorry? Of course he is. Sorry he got caught. For all the self-finger pointing, the fact is that if his idiotic cousin had not lead drug investigators to the home, the cruel enterprise would still be occurring and Vick would still be enjoying his celebrity status among the outstanding individuals who comprise the dog fighting community.

Officials removed 54 dogs from the property that will most likely have to be put down as no one will want to take a chance befriending an animal that may have been trained to kill. Vick’s plea agreement says that he must pay for the care of the animals, but what facility has the endless space and time to care for so many possibly dangerous animals?

Some have called his press conference sincere. I’m here to tell you it was a load of crap.

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