As much as it pains me, I will be cheering against the Steelers this football season. There was a time when, impressed by the awareness & education Vick’s criminal story brought to the world, I felt that in spite of the unimaginably sadistic things he did to desperate, innocent dogs, he had served a purpose in this world. I felt he’d brought a message that ultimately worked in favor of animal rights by making public the previously underestimated horrors of dogfighting.
And then I saw the Wall Street Journal interview.
Now I’m back to feeling that he has no right to be a role model any more. Because he’s not sorry. He feels no remorse. As he states in his interview, the only thing he regrets is being in prison. One wonders if he even remembers torturing & killing dogs with his own hands.
There are so many shallow individuals that think the 18 months he did signify that his debt is paid. They don’t want to be troubled with the weight of what he did; they just want to dismiss it. It’s much easier than actually thinking about it, & being horrified. How can you not be horrified by even just imagining what it was like to be torn up & bleeding, all the while desperately trying to please your owner, & then to be taken by the ankles & slammed repeatedly into the concrete by said owner, your bones breaking, choking on your own blood while the world spins & darkens, joints pulling out of sockets, knowing that the hands gripping your ankles & swinging you are the hands of the one you loved, obeyed, fought for, whose praise you crave even still? No, much easier to just forget about it. It was just a dog. Guilt free entertainment is more important.
I know people make mistakes. Ignorance can cause terrible cruelty – even children do horribly sadistic things to bugs, lizards, weaker creatures – but they can still grow out of it; learn kindness, become whole people. I think that Vick & his comrades were like big, grown children – retarded & ghetto & overprivileged, & prison helped widen his world view a bit. But apparently not enough.
So what would it take for me to forgive (re-forgive) Michael Vick?
1. I wish he would admit what he did. I have yet to see a statement from him which states “I murdered” or “I tortured” or “I mutilated.” He won’t even state what he did. Saying he “let” these “things happen” isn’t admitting that he did it. He’s the boyfriend who says “I’m sorry that you’re mad” instead of “I’m sorry that I hit you.” No thought process about the actual crime has occurred. I want Michael Vick to own what he did on a personal level, not just for publicity.
2. I wish he would say he is sorry for what those dogs suffered. It would mean that he bothered to think about it.
3. I wish he would admit that what he did was horrible & that people are entitled to be horrified. I wish he would stop saying that people need to get over it. We can’t. He won’t let us.
I want Michael Vick to say that he is sorry.