By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert and co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear.
Michael Vick has been in the news a lot lately, and it hasn’t been for throwing touchdown passes.
From 2001 to 2007, Michael Vick had been operating a dog fighting operation in Virginia, out of his 4,600 square foot home (one of many he owned). He had been breeding, training, and fighting Pit Bulls, which also meant he was responsible for inhumanely killing dogs that didn’t win (often they were hung, electrocuted, or their heads were smashed with a shovel before being buried alive), forcing female dogs into rape stands for breeding, starving dogs, injecting them with drugs harmful to their health, all while being seen as a superstar athlete that teenagers and adults idolized.
He was stripped of all of his endorsements in 2007, when he was arrested for running a dog fighting operation. Nike dropped him like a hot potato. He served a year and a half in prison followed by two months sentenced to home confinement in his Virginia mansion. 47 dogs involved in dog fighting at this Bad Newz Kennels learned to trust again. Many took painstakingly slow steps to get there. But, the rehabilitation of these loving, forgiving dogs was astounding. Several of them even went on to become therapy dogs.
If dogs can learn to forgive, why can’t humans? Has Michael Vick done anything to earn our forgiveness? Does he need to? Is he really sorry for the horrendous acts he committed against so many sweet, innocent dogs? Well, he did serve time in prison. But, prison is not known for rehabilitating criminals. Nike seems to think that he served his time and he’s earned their endorsement again. Subway too, as they awarded him sportsman of the year recently. And his most lucrative endorsement yet may be a $1.55 million dollar deal with MusclePharm. According to the Washington Post, Joseph Lawanson, director of team development for MusclePharm, confirmed that Vick is under consideration. “We don’t have any problem considering him at all,” Lawanson said. “And for us to consider him, we’re confident that he has rehabilitated himself.”
Next: What has Michael Vick done to redeem himself?