As the Michael Vick saga plays out over the next few weeks, you’ll hear a variety of viewpoints.
Some will condemn Vick for his ties to an illegal dogfighting ring.
Some will defend him while the legal process runs its course.
Some will, no doubt, play the race card, insulting all those who fought true oppression and racism by erroneously linking those courageous acts to this vulgar case.
Let’s cut to the chase.
Michael Vick is a deplorable human being.
The NFL should suspend him for life, and he should go to jail for as long a tenure as a jury can tender.
I’m not saying this should happen now. I believe we should let the courts play their roles. The system is there for a reason.
Let’s dot the “i” and cross the “t” before we write the word “convicted.”
But I don’t need a court ruling to tell me Vick is guilty.
I don’t need a tearful admission from Vick to know he has broken the law.
I don’t need photos of Vick at the notorious Bad Newz Kennels to know he committed subhuman acts.
Not in this case.
All I need are the mountains of evidence laid out in a 19-page federal indictment of Vick and three others Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Sports are games of statistics so here’s one that should resonate with Vick. When the feds indict, the feds convict more than 95 percent of the time. They don’t even set up behind center until they know the play is fool-proof.
Vick will be convicted.
And he should be.
Among the allegations in the indictment:
• About eight young dogs were put to death at Vick’s Surry County home after they were deemed not ready to fight in April 2007. They were killed “by hanging, drowning and/or slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.”
• In March 2003, after a pit bull from Bad Newz Kennels lost in a fight, Purnell Peace, also indicted Tuesday, consulted Vick about what to do with the losing dog, then executed it by wetting it with water and electrocuting it.
• In March 2003, after two Bad Newz Kennels dogs lost fights to dogs owned by a cooperating witness, Vick retrieved a bag containing $23,000 and gave it to the owner of the winning dogs. One fight had a $20,000 purse.
• In the fall of 2003, a person who witnessed a dog fight involving a Bad Newz Kennels dog was chastised by another cooperating witness for yelling out Vick’s name in front of the crowd at the fight.
• After establishing Bad Newz Kennels in early 2002, Vick and others bought shirts and headbands promoting the kennel.
Nice touch, huh?
And these allegations don’t even take into account the body of evidence that assaults our common sense.
Vick owned the property.
He has acknowledged owning pit bulls.
On his Web site he lists his birthplace as Newport News, “a.k.a. BadNewz.”
It doesn’t take a genius to connect those dots.
It doesn’t take a humanitarian to realize how grotesque these acts were — how completely devoid of humanity, of respect for life.
And it’s impossible to overstate how cruel and disgusting it is that someone could commit them against helpless, innocent animals.
If the Falcons have a shred of decency they will put Vick, and his $130 million contract, on a leave of absence until this sordid mess plays out.
Then he should be banned for life.
Then he should be locked in a cage.
Like the dogs who were tortured and murdered.