Sunday, July 29, 2007
Guilty Until Proven Innocent, Huh?
Am I in the wrong country or something?
Since when did the court of public opinion become more vital than the actual judicial system? I've watched Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick being publicly convicted and his good name (well, kinda good name) tarnished before he's even stepped in a courtroom.
Are you sure we're not in Russia? Bulgaria?
Even those currently living under a rock know what the situation is. Vick and three other co-defendants are currently under indictment by the federal government (who obviously have nothing better to do like, you know, fix world hunger, pull troops out of foreign countries, rebuild an American city. Little stuff) for allegedly being involved in illegal dogfighting.
The alleged dogfighting took place in a home Vick owns and that he claims he bought for a family member. He said he has/had no knowledge of any wrongdoing in the house. Vick also owns Bad Newz Kennels, a dog breeding company that is run through the home in Virginia and in Georgia.
Those, however, are the only facts in this case against Vick. He pleaded not guilty to the federal charges last week in a courtroom in Virginia. Outside the courthouse were protesters, including PETA, those animal-loving attention seekers. Since Vick's indictment, PETA has protested outside of the Falcons training camp facility (where the QB has been banned from participating) to courthouses, even outside of Nike stores.
Nike (Vick's top sponsor) pulled his soon-to-be released signature shoes after the indictment. In case anyone forgot, Nike is also the home of once-alleged rapist Kobe Bryant, who they supported (though limited) after he was charged with a heinous crime.
Now, don't get it confused. I'm not guaranteeing Vick's innocence. I don't know what the hell happened in that Virginia and I don't know who was involved. But where was PETA when former Blazer Qyntel Woods was charged with dogfighting? Why don't they protest outside of McDonalds, who put bullets in the head of some millions of cows worldwide to provide us with those delicious burgers? Why can't Vick get his due process?
Why? Because this case not only features a celebrity (who have different rules from regular folk), but it features a black celebrity athlete (who have a different set of rules from regular celebrities). Simply put, this case is not so much about dogfighting as it is about persecuting a rich, spoiled athlete that people don't think deserves that celebrity status, for whatever reason.
Hey, if Vick is guilty and he did all the things that were said about him in that 18-page indictment, then he deserves whatever punishment he gets. But until he's found guilty or innocent, for the sake of Thomas Jefferson, dig up Vick's bad name that has been buried.
In the words of Jay-Z, "I thought this was America, people."