I am very interested in getting peoples’ opinions on the video below.
But something else happens [in addition to Vick being given the key to the city] in video — which was shot by Richard Hunter, better known as radio’s own Big Dick. Hunter, as Richie pointed out last June, adopted one of the so-called “bait dogs” Vick used in the dog-fighting ring that landed him in prison. The dog’s name is Mel — and as Richard told Richie, “While Vick is pure evil, this dog is so good despite having suffered through such hell that he’s truly changed my life.” Richard went to the event to show Vick Mel’s picture and confront him about the past — which, as you’ll see in the video, never happened.
So basically, Michael Vick was given to the key to the city of Dallas by Mayor Pro-Tem Dwaine Caraway, and then he is confronted by a Dallas radio personality who adopted one of his former dogs.
Here are some of my quick-hit reactions upon seeing this video, and then I’ll be interested to read what you have to say.
First, I think giving Michael Vick the key to the city of Dallas is ridiculous, as is the asinine reasoning given by Caraway. Even if Vick has “redeemed” himself (which he most certainly has not), he hasn’t done it in Dallas. So unless you’re a Mayor Pro-Tem who is trying to pander to people who love Michael Vick, what rational reason is there to give Vick a key to the city?
I’ll tell you: none.
Second, I appreciate the passion of Big Dick Hunter, the guy who made the video. I am a dog owner, and know first hand why the phrase “man’s best friend” is what it is and means what it means. I was horrified when I heard of the things Vick had done, and while I’m willing to travel a road of forgiveness with him now that’s paid his debt and is attempting to get his life in order, I certainly won’t forget. And if I saw him, I’d want to ask him a few questions too, and they wouldn’t be about football.
Third, despite the feelings expressed in the previous paragraph, I could not help but thinking that this video is a little bit unfair to Vick. The video’s creator certainly went out of his way to dramatize a short (15 seconds in real time?) encounter and to draw every possible negative conclusion from every instance. Granted, Vick does essentially ignore him, and his handlers act like pricks, but I think it’s a bit too small of a sample size of time and interaction to judge whether it was the “old” or the “new” Michael Vick, to make the negative inferences made at the end.
Fourth, again, even with what I just said in the previous paragraph, I do think the video is at least an example that Vick may not be as passionate about redeeming his past wrongs as he professes to be. Maybe he was in a hurry, or maybe he didn’t understand what Big Dick Hunter was saying, or maybe he wanted to go back but his handlers were not letting him…maybe all of those things are true. But that was a big opportunity for Vick to speak with the current owner of a dog he once abused, an owner who is ostensibly providing a much, much, much more loving environment for the dog, and I would have liked to see Vick stop, walk back, and thank Hunter for giving his former dog a home.
I would have liked to see some empathy and compassion. There was none of that. But again, it was only 15 or so seconds. Am I straddling the fence? Yes. But I just don’t think it’s fair to read too much into such a short encounter when little context is provided.
As far as I’m concerned, the most egregious aspect of the video is that it was a missed opportunity for Vick, but it won’t change my opinion of him. I still hate the things that he did, and consider him to be forever reprehensible because that is in his past, and I do not particularly “like” him, nor am I particularly “rooting” for him; but, I am willing to be open-minded about his redemption process and giving him a chance to prove – with the full burden being on him – that he is both sorry and determined to change.
Just because he didn’t prove all that in one 15 second snapshot does not mean that he is not making great efforts overall to do so. It just means he’s not taking every possible opportunity to do so. Should he? Probably. I think we’d all like to think and hope that it would be his #1 priority. If anything, this video just proves that Vick still has a long way to go to repair the bridges he’s burned, trust he’s lost, and hurt he’s caused. But we knew that already.