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ROUGH RETURN: Michael Vick's return to the NFL as the newestmember of the Philadelphia Eagles has been met with strong reaction onboth sides. Some feel that the division has been split on racial lines.PASSING IT BY: As people express their views on his reinstatement, Michael Vick prepares for his first game action in two years as he is expected to play in the Eagles' last two preseason games.They're Still Dogging Him Out
Reinstated QB Michael Vick joins Eagles but stench of critics still smells
By Kenneth Miller
Sentinel Managing Editor
Before I could even get out of my car and into the office this week the phone was ringing with a friend on the line from Las Vegas and the conversation was all negative and it all about Michael Vick.
I must point out that my Italian friend owns three dogs with his wife and finds the new Eagles quarterback crimes against animals disgusting. He doesn't think Vick should be given another chance again.
He's not alone, and in this situation it's hard to separate the supporters of the defamed and fallen NFL star from those who are against him.
It's also safe to say that those who support Vick and those who didn't can be divided along racial lines, sparking yet another debate of whether the color of Vick's skin and his social upbringing has more to do with his unfair treatment than the crimes he committed.
His most avid supporter and the person who deserves the most credit for paving the way for his reinstatement is former NFL head coach Tony Dungy, among the most respected individuals associated with the league.
But, even as prominent as Dungy is, the bite against Vick is another sad tale on the social state of America and its divisions between ethnic groups.
As soon as it was announced that the Philadelphia Eagles had reached a two-year agreement to return Vick to the NFL, the talk radio stations lit up like a tree on Christmas.
Host of shows in Philly, obviously white, called the signing worse than Terrell Owens. Mind you that all Owens and Vick have in common is the color of their skin.
ESPN, the network that is more of a business partner of the NFL than a broadcast partner, angled as many cameras outside the Eagles training facility on a handful of white protesters as they did on the press conference announcing his return.
Exposed on CBS 60 Minutes, Vick revealed his dark days in prison and discussed his history of being involved with dog fighting long before he became an NFL star quarterback.
For the record I must inform you that I have never owned a dog and have no intentions to own a dog and I have never experienced the dog fighting culture personal and up close.
However, I am aware of it and know a few people who have Pit Bulls and fight them for profits. I also know that it is against the law and, but I can tell you that if anyone of these individuals were arrested for dog fighting the national media and the so-called animal rights organizations would not give a damn.
The only reason why dog fighting is a story is because of Michael Vick, a star quarterback, a Black millionaire sports star and a member of the NFL treasured fraternity.
So, happens that another member of that fraternity is Eagles starting quarterback Donovan McNabb who lobbied for the Eagles to sign Vick.
Eagles head coach and Vice President Andy Reid, who have endured his own personal tragedies with his sons' drug abuse then went to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to sign the check.
Lurie said that he needed to be convinced that there was some self-hatred on Vick's behalf and mandated that he prevent dog cruelty. The owner said that will be one of his responsibilities.
NFL boy wonder commissioner Roger Goodell has conditionally reinstated Vick, allowing him to play in the preseason but not a regular season game until October.
And oh by the way, Vick is still on probation from his conviction of dog fighting charges.Â Safe to say that he has to survive more minefields than a solider in Afghanistan.
To his credit Vick has not only served his prison sentence, but also openly showed remorse for his actions and apologized to the public, the NFL, his family, his children and to the organizations that are protesting against him.
He has not played a single down yet in the NFL, but already in the game of life he can't win for losing.Â Vick is learning that it is truly a dog eat dog world.Â Yes, whether anyone wants to admit it or not a dog dead or alive has more significance than an African American.Â The dogs that Vick was sentenced to prison for fighting were eventually put to sleep.
It's all right to eat T-bone steaks from cows, pork chops from pigs, breast and wings from chickens, but you better not touch man's best friend.
This hypocritical society that we live in is enough to drive Miss Daisy crazy.
We're talking about a mortal football player here. Michael Vick should not be required to do any more for animal safety than he should for preventing gang violence.
What's next? We want Plaxico Burress to join the NRA and lecture kids on the danger of having a gun in a nightclub and accidentally shooting yourself?Â Many of the white established media have made it clear where they stand, as if we didn't know already.