Michael Vick Apology – Sorry Mike, Not Good Enough

First off, his demeanor seemed contrite. For the most part he spoke in the “active tense” and avoided the non-apology of we’ve heard so often “to those who were hurt by my actions, I apologize” vs the active voice “I apologize to those hurt by my actions,” (weak) or even better, “I apologize to those I’ve hurt.” He did have a tendency to speak about himself in the third person, which really, really annoys me.

Still, the only way he will ever get beyond this is to speak openly and bluntly about his actions. I think his attorneys are still controlling what he says, to help influence the sentencing in December and the pending state charges he’s facing.

The “court of public opinion” is in a sense even more demanding than federal and state criminal courts. What he said at today’s news conference didn’t go far enough.

Michael Vick: What I did was very immature, so that means I need to grow up.
I don’t see the connection. In my more immature moments I watch cartoons, I don’t fight dogs.

MV: I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m totally responsible – and those things didn’t have to happen.
Notice the disconnect between his responsibility and his actions the “things” that “didn’t have to happen.” These dogfights didn’t occur spontaneously without his effort. This is the mindset of typical criminals – who separate themselves from their heinous actions so that they can live with them.

MV: I made a mistake in using bad judgment and making bad decisions.
There’s that separation again. It’s semantic, but any psychologist would jot it down on his notepad.

MV:Dogfighting is a terrible thing and I do reject it. Through this situation I’ve found Jesus…
I’m sure you reject dogfighting now because doing it is sending you to the slammer and possibly ending your lucrative football career. As for Jesus, I personally hope that He’s busy helping the truly contrite.

MV:I accept the responsibility for my actions and what I did, and now I have to accept the consequences.
But what were those actions? What did you do? We’re still not clear about this – and your newsconference didn’t help.

MV:I will redeem myself.
Mike, I don’t care if you redeem yourself or not. The ball is in your court now to rebuild your fan’s trust and faith in you.

From my perspective as an animal owner and football fan, I doubt I can ever watch you play without remembering what you did to those dogs. Those hands that grip the football also gripped a dog’s neck as you squeezed the life out of it. When I see you spike a football to run out the clock, I’ll remember you smashing a dog’s brains out on the concrete floor.

You had it all. You realized your dream – unlike most of us. You had wealth, fame and talent in measures that few of us will ever achieve. But deep down you were simply a thug who got your jollies by causing pain and suffering.

I’m no saint, Michael. I’ve done stupid things in my life just like anyone. But I’ve never done anything as bad as what you’ve done. My parents raised me to avoid doing those things – killing for sport and torturing for kicks. I’m no sadist, and seeing a sadist stand there as the camera shutters whirr away really pisses me off.

I hope you turn life around, Mike, but if you don’t I won’t lose any sleep. You can then rot the rest of your life having tasted success while knowing you will never, ever taste it again.

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  1. Daniel W.:

    Interesting that you note the 3rd person seperation of criminal from crime. The British doctor Theadore Dalrymple has written many interesting things about this and it is the common denominator amongst all the patients he has seen in prisons for the last 40 years (e.g. “the knife went in” not I stabbed her, etc.) Good post.

  2. Dave Schuler:

    One more point. I think that his diction reflects the differing views of Christian denominations on contrition. Non-orthodox Christianity tends to place a great deal of emphasis on inner formation. That covers two of the aspects of sincere contrition: repenting past misdeeds and a sincere intention to reform.

    But it doesn’t cover the final aspect of sincere contrition: doing penance. Paying the legal penalty for crime is part of the penance but not all of it—the legal penalty is a consequence of breaking the law, not a penance for sin.

  3. trippin666:

    apology not accepted. I wish the KKK would get their hands on him and hang him from a tree and beat him with a stick until he was dead, the big piece of shit that he his. He said “I found God” He needs to find the KKK!

  4. Scott Kirwin:

    I had to delete your second comment because libertarian that I am, I can’t have that word on my site.

    As for the KKK… The men in sheets aren’t known for their moral wisdom. In fact I’d bet that many of them don’t understand what all the fuss about dogfighting is about, since some of the best fighting dogs are bred in David Duke’s neck of the woods. They just see it as an opportunity to take an easy shot at a black man.

    This isn’t an issue about race. This even isn’t an issue about socio-economics. My family was dirt poor and skipped meals to save money as late as the 1950s, yet we never abused animals like that.

    In the Bible, God gave man “stewardship” of the animals. Stewardship means taking care of them and acting responsible towards them. Even though I’m not a Christian (I’m an atheist) I take animal stewardship seriously. To me it doesn’t matter whether it’s a dog or a chimpanzee, both animals must be treated humanely and in the latter’s case, protected in the wild.

  5. Bryan C.:

    So, dog fighting is immoral but being a racist bigot is OK? Obviously, every statement you make about black people, be it 50 Cent, Wayne Brady, Martin Lawrence or even Kevin Clash (the guy who does the voice of Elmo) ends in “I wish the KKK would get their hands on him and hang him from a tree and beat him with a stick until (insert name here) is dead, the big piece of shit that he his!”

    I don’t know if Michael Vick really has found God, but I sure hope you do as soon as possible.

  6. humint:

    Outstanding banner. However I must admit, I miss Ahmadinijad’s head floating after being tossed by your winged statue.

    I liked your take on Vick. I however didn’t like this comment:

    Michael Vick, a True Virginian
    August 22, 2007 10:36 AM ET | Barone, Michael | Permanent Link

    I don’t follow professional football, so I don’t know much more about Michael Vick than what I have read in the stories about his plea of guilty to federal charges of dogfighting. It’s astonishing and saddening that a man would risk his $130 million football contract to engage in such behavior, which seems barbaric to almost all of us. Where did he even get the idea of doing this? [excerpt]

    more at http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2007/8/22/michael-vick-a-true-virginian.html

  7. Scott Kirwin:

    I think Ahma-nut-job will reappear. It’s easy to write copy on the guy given his love of the limelight. “Iran will step into the void left in Iraq.” Was he channeling the ghost of Karl Rove? F-ing priceless…

    Interesting to note in Barone’s piece that while he covers the history of blood sport in Virginian culture, he doesn’t mention another part of the culture equally brutal: slavery. But I think that’s because Barone’s take on Vick is somewhat ironic – almost tongue-in-cheek.

    I’m also a bit annoyed by the issue of race seeping into this case. 85% of serial killers in the US are white men, yet I don’t feel compelled to offer excuses for them or defend them in any way just because I happen to share the same skin color with them.

    I’m upset with Michael Vick’s actions – not the color of his skin.

  8. Scott Kirwin:

    I had to moderate you again.
    I’ll give you one more chance. You have some controversial ideas that I think need to be aired, but only in a civil manner. If you can’t do that, then I suggest you find another place to rant.

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