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Michael Vick: A Signpost of Things to Come?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2011 by chrisdurant2000

I sincerely thought I was done writing about Michael Vick and his horrific actions towards animals. I had really hoped that I was. It is not that I had found some misguided or unfounded forgiveness, but rather I was put off by the sheer ignorance of people and their ability to overlook what they think they might have known about this so-called man and his sadistic nature. As a result, I quietly set my pen down and began to mourn my fellow Americans as I tried to rationalize the state of affairs in our once great nation. This is situation, the Michael Vick Cancer, has a broader scale to it that I think needs to be addressed.

Yesterday, in celebration I can only assume of his new $100m contract with the Eagles, ESPN’s SportsCenter aired the “Top 10 Vick Moments”. If only I could have gotten my hands on the dumb ass producer who chose to put that together. Why not air “Vick’s 10 Worst Moments”? Spend thirty seconds of your precious TV time showing the victims of this ‘sports star’. This man thinks you are all sheep. He thinks if he continues to excel on the field the public will forget about his violent crimes. In his recent GQ article Vick stated –

“But what have I done to anybody? It was something that happened, and it was people trying to make some money.”

Well, Mike that is certainly one way to rationalize it. But I am thinking your PR team didn’t necessarily approve that little gaffe, did they? But sadly, he is right. Far too many Americans find it convenient to ignore what Michael Vick did simply because he’s magical to watch on the field or because he’s on their fantasy team. I actually had some idiotic woman tell me that two weeks ago. Even ESPN with all of their miles and terabytes of film has already forgotten. Or perhaps they have merely chosen not to remember – just like the woman in the bar. It was as if fantasy football held some sacred value to her.

Michael Vick is a sensational football player, of that there is no doubt. But what else is Michael Vick? I would argue that he is a diseased human, a sadist, a user, and a fraud. And he is symptomatic of what is wrong with America. What has happened to our basic values? Words like “Right and Wrong”, “Hard Work”, and “Integrity” have lost their meaning and have become clichés and punchlines.

How shallow have we become that we can overlook someone deriving sick pleasure from throwing a dog into a pool and then attaching battery cables to its ears as it struggles to climb out simply because that man can run and throw a football? I understand that football is an important part of our culture, I am a huge fan. But neither it, nor one man’s contribution to it are anywhere as important as our character and our ability to discern right action from wrong. It is what separates us – well most of us – from the rest of the animal kingdom.

If your son or daughter had a motocross star or perhaps a pop singer that they idolized and news reports began to surface that that individual had maliciously and savagely tortured, mutilated and killed dogs for nothing more than an adrenalin rush (Michael Vick, although he funded the entirety of BadNewz Kennels, did not accept proceeds from the winnings – not a single dime)- how would you react? Would you overlook these actions and agree with your son or daughter that “yeah, he can handle a bike though” or “yeah, but she sure can sing”? I can only hope that you would be disgusted and discuss their misplaced fan idol, that you would remind them of love and nurturing, you would tell them that an individual cannot be separated from their actions and that we are what we do. Would you remind them of the family pet and help them to understand the violent nature of their idol? I would like to think that you would act like a responsible parent and explain to your child that those actions were wrong and that that person is NO ONE to be looked up to for any reason.

Throughout our history as a nation, we have had others who have been sensational athletes. Men like Jim Thorpe and Jackie Robinson overcame far greater adversity than Michael Vick can ever claim to, and yet their past is not peppered with psychotic violence. Can you imagine the absolute upheaval that would have erupted had either of these two men have engaged in the actions that Michael Vick did? What has changed? We have. Our acceptance of atrocities in lieu of athletic prowess has morphed us into a people who value entertainment more than life. It reminds me of the movie “Running Man” where the world’s most popular game show consisted of human hunts.

Now, I have long tempered my words regarding this situation. I have tried to express myself professionally and without threats, wishes of violence or obscenity laced language even though in my heart that is exactly what I wanted. As a result I have had any number of morons attacking me with racial slurs, racial accusations, and arguments of inner city upbringing, while other mentally challenged people would simply utter “What the f*@k, they’re just dogs” or “you eat meat don’t you” or even the ignorant attempt to parallel what Michael Vick did to hunting. Well, while I don’t hunt, I know people who do and none of those individuals take pleasure in premeditated torture. Michael Vick did and laughed while it happened. He even had special stands built to hang poorly performing dogs. To hang them!?! That wasn’t easy. It wasn’t quick. It was torture, pure and simple.

Nike recently reversed their position regarding Vick and re-signed him to another endorsement deal. In 2007 Nike referred to Michael Vick’s actions as “inhumane, abhorrent and unacceptable.” After this new deal was inked a Nike spokesperson gave the company’s line –

“Michael acknowledges his past mistakes,” Saalfeld said. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”

Really? Nike is not sponsoring Vick for what he does off the field, but for what he does on the field. I would love to grab Nike CEO, Mark Parker by the back neck and force him to look face to face with the many victims of Vick. I want him to join his “partner” in greed and feel the perverted rush of shoving a dog’s head into a five gallon bucket of water while Vick and Philips hold its legs up, restraining the kicking dog until finally it dies.

Before we continue let’s go back to ESPN for a moment. After the inking of the Nike deal, one of their commentators added that ‘Nike likes edge. Michael Vick because of his past IS edge.” No, whoever the Hell you are, “Edge” is not torturing and mutilating dogs. That is sick, it is sadistic, and it is not to be revered, celebrated nor sponsored. Our media continue to shelter this man and the public from truly understanding what he did. But why?

I for one will never purchase another Nike product (or any from their subsidiaries) until they WILLFULLY terminate their agreement with Vick.

Unequal Technolgoies CEO, Rob Vito said

“Michael is good people. He paid his dues. President Obama reached out to him. He deserves an opportunity. This is what makes America so great. He’s moved forward. He’s a whole other person.”

Mr. Vito you are a pathetic excuse for a man. Did you know the previous monster and are now able to distinguish the two? No? But if the President with his untarnished ethics can “reach out” for him, he must be good. I want your children, Mr. Vito, to watch as their father uses a shovel to beat the family dog to death while Vick stands by and laughs. Mr. Vito, you are joke.

I want NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Eagles Owner Jeffery Lurie to stand in the ring and watch the bait dogs being torn apart, fueling the blood lust of the trained fighters Vick has raised. I want them to see first-hand and I want them to smell the stench of savagery sponsored and perpetrated by their poster boy.

Until these men do these things and see the sickening violence in person and with their own eyes they are nothing more than greed worshipping hypocrites who can easily say “Mike’s paid his debt. He’s changed. He has redeemed himself”. In Vick’s own words his biggest regret isn’t what he did, but rather that his sentence wasn’t shorter. How’s that for owning up to your mistake and being a man. Not in my book, Mike.

To be clear, Michael Vick never served one single day in prison for dog fighting or for animal cruelty. Instead he was allowed to pled out to some weak assed charge of conspiracy – not exactly in line with the brutality he was and is guilty of. Who do we have to blame for this? Virginia Prosecutor Gerald Poindexter is a good place to start. He felt it would be too costly to bring Vick to Virginia from Leavenworth penitentiary to try him. And then of course there are United States Attorneys Chuck Rosenberg and Michael R. Gill who decided to offer the plea agreement in the first place. You men are beacons of law enforcement and criminal justice. You should be proud.

Let’s not forget Virginia Congressman, Jim Moran who this past July stated that in support of House Resolution 2492 Michael Vick provided Congress with “a leader” and that “[t]his is a story of redemption.” Congressman you are a Jackass who represents the Democratic party symbol well. This man is not a leader or a hero to the cause. He is the culprit. I cannot believe the people of Virginia found you a worthy representative. Let’s see if we can’t change that in the upcoming election, huh?

Finally, there is Humane Society of the United States CEO, Wayne Pacelle. Pacelle does understand the nature and the violence that was carried out. He has seen it first hand, and as a result he is the worst corporate offender of them all. He should, more than any, rally for the animals and not for Vick, but for whatever reason he has sold out his cause for a chance to hang with Vick. Enjoy an egg, Pacelle, your words no longer carry weight with those who would have supported you. And, let me add again, great job saying you think “It would be a good thing for Michael Vick’s family to have a pet.” Good for who Wayne? The animal? The Vick children? Or maybe just good for the murderous son of a bitch who is your travel partner for no reason other than public relations. Vick had “pets” before and according to Federal documents he threw two of them into the ring and laughed as they were mauled to death.

If you give money to the Humane Society of the United States with their cat and dog laced commercials, you are a sheep. Less than 5% of every dollar goes to shelters in any form. Where does the bulk go? Congress and advertising. Are you seeing a pattern yet? Give your money directly to a local shelter to insure you see local results.

Right now, our Federal Courts are attempting to retry “FORMER” baseball star Barry Bonds for Obstruction of Justice in the Balco case. Originally he was charged with perjury for lying to Congress. Really? Now that’s joke in itself. Who the Hell are they? They, today, are certainly not the men who founded this great nation. They are not the men who built it. They are a pool of sharks who have nothing but self promotion and greed as their sole credo. Every one of those 585 individuals lies to us every day. And yet they are above the law – The laws that they write, that they customize and that they pass. The fact of the matter is that they are not. They have to answer to me and to us.

Barry Bonds could face up to ten years in Federal Prison for giving a less than clear answer. Michael Vick who was personally responsible for the violent, torturous deaths of nine dogs and the subsequent deaths of five others after being rescued spent a mere 18 of 23 months in prison. Barry, I for one hope you get off scott free. This whole damn process has cost the American people millions. Bond’s first trial cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million and that doesn’t include grand jury and appeals. But Gerald Poindexter can’t afford to transport Vick? BULLSHIT!

Now, I am not some hyper-liberal, actually far from it. I believe in capitalism and I believe in a free market system. But I also believe in right and wrong. I believe in hard work versus idleness and I also believe that an entity’s character is defined not only by the entity itself, whether that is a person or a corporation, but also by those that said entity chooses to associate with – “Guilt by Association” if you will. And this is where the above mentioned corporations and their leaders now find themselves. They have fallen into the abyss of “whatever it takes economics”. And that, my friends, is exactly what is wrong with our country today. Corporations, our elected leaders and unfortunately too many of us no longer cherish values like character, hard work, and merit. We now value “NOW”, “FAST”, “EASY”, “POPULAR”. We live in a fast food, credit ridden, infomercial world that has propelled us to pursue Nickelback’s “Rock Star” life. Leveraged and of hollow character is no way to go through life.

I know that many of you reading this still don’t get it. You still cannot see beyond football and as a result you affirm that the dogs Michael Vick killed are as disposable as he believed them to be. But I am sure most every one of you has also heard the pained whimper of a dog at some point in your life. I would ask you to try to conjure that sound up again, right now. Imagine standing over that cute, innocent, hurt dog with a shovel. You can feel your heart racing. The blood is coursing through your veins spreading the adrenalin like a drug. Can you feel it? That’s it, raise the shovel. Glare at that pathetic creature with your evil eyes. Tighten your grip around the handle. God, you feel so alive right now, don’t you? Your lips turn up into a sinister sneer. No more thought, nothing but the pure intoxicating sensation of power as you bring the head of the shovel down onto the dog’s head. It yelps loudly, it whimpers, crying out in unimaginable pain. The sound fuels you, enrages you. Again and again you level the cold steel against the dog. Blood splatters dot your face. You lick your lips tasting the warm, sticky fluid like some euphoric aphrodisiac. Over and over you beat the dog in a demonic fit of rage until finally, at last you stop. You let the shovel fall to your side. You inhale sharply and your blood pressure begins to return to normal. Look down and see what you have done, look at your work.

I hope this tiny little glimpse into Vick’s savagery can help to sway even a few of you. This man should not be celebrated, he should not be revered and he should not be idolized. If you do not see that, you and I are from worlds so far apart we will never reconcile.

As a nation we need to re-examine our moral compass and make the necessary adjustments because we are broken. We should not be able to so easily overlook such heinous actions. In our past, we would not have. I hope that we can find it in our national character to regain who we were. But, sadly this is one area in which I am not optimistic.

This is the last article I will publish regarding Michael Vick.

Next up – term limits for United States Congressmen and Senators. A public referendum is necessary – these self centered clowns will never do it on their own.

For more information regarding Michael Vick and his Federal Court case please see the links below:

Join Chris Durant on Facebook AND “LIKE” Chris Durant on Facebook

Even More Great Links and Resources:

1.) “Michael Vick Was WRONGLY CONVICTED!” Great facts and links to actual court documents
2.) “Through Her Eyes” – Virginia’s Tale
3.) Michael Vick Deserves a Pet… Rock
4.) Tell President Obama You Do Not Agree With Him Supporting Vick
5.) Vick’s Unpaid Dues – Why Advocates Are Not Moving On
6.) Position Paper On Vick’s Desire to Own Another Dog from the Director of Vick Dog Rehabilitation

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Nike: JUST DO IT! Terminate Agreement with Vick

Posted in Michael Vick with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2011 by chrisdurant2000

Below is a copy of a letter that I sent to Nike’s, Chairman, CEO, Committee on Corporate Responsibility and other relevant officers. I would encourage everyone reading this to write a similar letter or feel free to copy and paste mine. But please, let the leaders of Nike know that we will not sit idly by as they willfully abort their corporate values by restoring Michael Vick to sports hero status with their once great brand.
____________________________________________________________________________

To: Philip Knight, Chairman of the Board, NIKE Corporation
Mark Parker, CEO, NIKE Corporation
Charles Denson, President, NIKE Brand
Don Blair, VP and Chief Financial Officer
Gary M. DeStefano, President Global Operations
Maria S. Eitel, President NIKE Foundation
Elizabeth J. Comstock, Board Member
John G. Connors, Board Member
Timothy D. Cook, Board Member
Ralph D. Denuzio, Board Member
Alan B. Graf, Jr., Board Member
Orin C. Smith, Board Member
Bert Hoyt, VP Global Category Football
Tim Hersey, VP North America Retail
Elliott Hill, VP and GM North America
David Grasso, VP Global Brand Marketing

PAT ZEEDICK, VP and GM Young Athletics

Nike Corporate Responsibility Committee Members
Jill K. Conway
Douglas G. Houser
Johnathan A. Rodgers
John R. Thompson, Jr.
John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D.
Phyllis M. Wise

Other Nike Officers
Tom Peddie, VP North America Sales
Bernie Pliskie, VP and Corporate Controller
Ken Dice, VP North America Marketing
Eric Sprunk, VP Merchandising and Product
Nigel Powell, VP Global Communications
Brad Johnson, VP North America Merchandising
Trevor Edwards, VP Global Brand and Category Merchandising

____________________________________________________________________________

Dear Sir/ Madame –

I am writing to you today to express my deep concern over your company’s decision to re-sign Michael Vick as a corporate spokesman and ambassador of your brand.

I have been a lifelong Nike customer for the last 30+ years. During that time, I can honestly say that I have never owned another brand’s athletic shoe or apparel. That, however, has changed because of your poorly thought out corporate strategy to again align yourself with Michael Vick.

In 2007, when Nike released Michael Vick, your company stated that ‘cruelty to animals was “inhumane, abhorrent, and unacceptable.”‘ To which I must now ask ‘what has changed’? Michael Vick is still guilty of barbarous acts of sadistic cruelty, torture and murder against innocent dogs. The 18 of 23 months that he spent incarcerated for “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fight Venture” does not erase that. Nor does it fulfill in the minds of thousands of animal lovers worldwide that he has truly reconciled what he did. His public appearances and statements about his involvement are scripted, flat, devoid of emotion and lacking in sincerity. Anyone who truly pays attention can see that.

With so many other untarnished, talented professional athletes to choose from, it is very sad that corporate greed would lead your once great company to historically re-sign a man who clearly has a strong degree of unchecked sociopathology. How do you change that and more importantly how does Nike justify it? How can this possibly fit within your corporate “Inside the Lines” policies?

Nike plays such a huge role in our children’s lives through youth sports. From little league to Pop Warner football, high school and collegiate athletics the world’s young people look up to and want to emulate the sports stars they see not only play their favorite games, but also endorsing and selling a company’s products.

Your decision to pull Michael Vick back into the Nike fold is a blatant slap in the face of anyone who has ever known the unconditional love of a dog. And it sends the message to parents all over the world that “if you want your child to emulate a sadistic animal abuser and murderer of innocent dogs, NIKE HAS YOUR GEAR!”

Until Nike reverses its stance on Michael Vick, I will cease to be one of your customers. Additionally I will, through my words and my voice, make sure that everyone I come in contact with – friends, family, co-workers, social acquaintances, and strangers alike that Nike has abandoned its corporate values in pursuit of unashamed, ill-gotten revenues through its relationship with this man who with forethought and malice, intentionally and with pleasure electrocuted, drowned, bludgeoned, hung and beat to death innocent dogs who didn’t perform well in his illegal activities.

I do not care for nor do I need a canned corporate response to this letter. I would much rather your once great organization do the right thing and terminate your relationship with Michael Vick.

Sincerely,

Chris Durant
Former Nike Customer
[email redacted]

Join Chris Durant on Facebook AND “LIKE” Chris Durant on Facebook

Join the “NO WAY Subway” Movement on Facebook

Join the “Boycott Nike for Signing Michael Vick” Movement on Facebook

Even More Great Links and Resources:

1.) “Michael Vick Was WRONGLY CONVICTED!” Great facts and links to actual court documents
2.) “Through Her Eyes” – Virginia’s Tale
3.) Michael Vick Deserves a Pet… Rock
4.) Tell President Obama You Do Not Agree With Him Supporting Vick
5.) Vick’s Unpaid Dues – Why Advocates Are Not Moving On
6.) Position Paper On Vick’s Desire to Own Another Dog from the Director of Vick Dog Rehabilitation