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If I Were A Philadelphia Eagles Fan…
Could I still support my home team?

Michael Vick’s reentry into professional football, the latest update in his life story, has me wondering how I would feel if I happened to be an ardent Philadelphia Eagle fan. Honestly, I’m not altogether sure. Would I believe that everyone is deserving of a second chance? Would I boycott the games, or choose to watch but cheer every time Michael Vick fumbled the ball or threw an interception? Would I hate Michael Vick for his heinous actions, or could I muster up compassion for a guy whose upbringing allowed him to think that treating living creatures in such a horrifying fashion was perfectly okay?
 
As a resident of California with no real interest in professional football, I’m thankful that I don’t have to decide how to support my home team. However, as someone who devotes a significant portion of her life to the wellbeing of animals, I certainly feel conflicted. Here is my strategy. I’m going to try to temper any outrage and anger with hope for the goodness that might arise from the Michael Vick saga. Yes, I do believe there is some potential for some sweetness in this sour situation. Dog fighting has made it to center stage in terms of media attention. This increased awareness will hopefully be accompanied by greater action to vilify and stop such ugly exploitation of animals. Vick now has phenomenal opportunities to utilize his celebrity stature for the benefit of animals. I hope he will become a sincere (I’ll settle simply for believable) high profile champion of organizations, activities, and legislation that support the welfare of animals. Michael Vick cannot undo what’s been done, but he certainly holds much positive potential in his hands, above and beyond merely a football. Michael Vick now has the opportunity to change his legacy.  For the sake of animals everywhere, I hope he does exactly that.

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Nancy Kay, DVM, Dipl., American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is a 2009 recipient of AAHA's Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award and author of Speaking for Spot.

speakingforspot.com
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Submitted by Anonymous | August 19 2009 |

I think Vick never should have been allowed back in the NFL. These athletes are role models for our children and like it or not our husbands/boyfriends. His actions sicken me and his insincere appologies anger me. The fact that a Pennsylvania team picked him up really bothers me because I live here. He does not deserve to be back in the spotlight making millions of dollars. I hope ticket sales go down and I hope they lose every game.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 20 2009 |

i totally agree with you

Submitted by Judi | August 26 2009 |

Vick was once looked at by the MN Vikings, my homw state. There was a lage grass roots petition not to have him here, and it worked, maybe. At anyrate, he didn't come here. But we all knew that he would end up somewhere. I believe that anyone who can torture animals, has no conscience, and can not be re-habed. I agree that he is only sorry that he was caught, and that he will say and do anything to get back to playng ball, and making big money. However, the NFL is no better than Vick, when their only priority is to make money, no matter the cost. There is no one in the NFL to stand up for integrity, or what is morally right. They are sending an ugly message to our kids, and anyone who watches Vick play: It's only about winning....nothing else matters.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 20 2009 |

I told my husband, before Vick had signed with anyone a few weeks ago, that if the Buffalo Bills signed him, I would pack my jerseys, blankets, t-shirts, etc and donate them to good will and be a Steelers fan. I'm glad I'm not giving up my team, although I live near Philly, so that's all we hear about. Vick isn't sorry about what he did. He's just sorry he got caught.

Submitted by Naturalmystic | August 20 2009 |

As an Eagles fan, I am embarrassed. I will however, still let my dog wear his Eagles jersey.

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