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What sanctions, if any, do you think the NFL should impose on Michael Vick?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 21, 2007

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Photo of Lindsay White

“I think he should be suspended, but they should treat it the same as they would any other crime.”

Photo of Aaron Fleming

“He should be banned. It’s fun to watch him play, but he can’t be doing stuff like that. Not if Pac Man is getting a year off without any convictions.”

Photo of Erin Hennessey

“Because of the heinous nature of the crimes and the extent to which he was committing them, he definitely needs to be kicked out.”

Photo of Chris Mitchell

“I think it depends on how severe the court’s punishment is, but I think the NFL has a responsibility to go beyond that because of how bad it was. I was happy to see that Nike immediately dropped him from doing endorsements.”


jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

Been out of the loop, what did Michael Vick do?

But anyway, I think he should be suspended for five years, tied to a chair, and forced to listen to Kid's Bop CDs.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

"But if you use inappropriate language (even when typographically obfuscated),... we reserve the right (but assume no obligation) to remove any and/or all of your contributions."

wysiwyg69 10 years, 10 months ago

let some of his dogs kill him in a 5 on1 fight,,, Oh no , that would be racist. just wait ,sooner or later jason whitlock will pop up the race card

H_Lecter 10 years, 10 months ago

Five years of carrying around a prissy dog like Paris Hilton's and have to have a "I love poodles" bumper sticker on his car (and his cell).

JerkStore 10 years, 10 months ago

As far as the cruelty charges are concerned, the NFL won't have to do anything as the jail time will take him off the field for a sufficient amount of time.

What the League should be more concerned about (for its sake) are the gambling implications, and none of that has been made clear yet.

If it comes out that large amounts of money were being illegally gambled on the fights, the League will probably suspend him another year on top of the year he misses in the pokey. Seems fair.

craigers 10 years, 10 months ago

jonas, now that is just cruel. However I also like H_Lecter and blue's choices from above. I can't think of a better punishment.

craigers 10 years, 10 months ago

Das, I was going to ask if it is a felony. If that is the case then he should have the trouble of finding a job that any normal American does when he has a felony on their criminal record. He should be banned from the league. In the article, they spoke of how couldn't football be in his future since it has been his sole source of financial support. Ok guys, forgive me, but who cares? One year in the NFL, especially for him should set you financially for life. Is it our problem that he blew his money on multiple houses and criminal activity? I say confescate (sp?) the property involved with the ordeal and sell it for a charity for dogs. Make him pay with his reputation and pocketbook. Sorry, I don't like articles that make professional athletes out to be millionaire victims that have such a rough life.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 10 months ago

To steal a line from an email I got yesterday, "I hope he doesn't quit making Vap-O-Rub. That stuff is fantastic."

packrat 10 years, 10 months ago

If gambling was involved he should receive a lifetime ban. Either that or he should be forced to play for the Raiders.

acg 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't think the NFL should do anything to him, I think that it should be all up to the court system. Unless there's a morals clause in his contract, it's really not their business. However, I do think Michael Vick should have to fight the biggest, meanest pit bull that they can find. He should be allowed to wear only loincloth and must fight barehanded. We'll have the match at the stadium in Atlanta, the NFL can host it on pay per view and the proceeds can go to help animal shelters. I'd pay $19.95 to see a pit bull tear this piece of crap limb from limb.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

The deal is guilty on one count of dog fighting conspiracy and a $250,000 fine. This stops the trial which would have lasted longer than the jail time, and cost many times the price of the fine.

This deal sweeps the whole ugly reality of this cruel bloody "sport" under the carpet. The smell of rotting dog corpses, the scared heads of the fighters, the rape pens the electric prods and all the other tools of the sport will go unseen. This deal shelters all the other ball players involved in this "game". He did not do this alone. The quarterback takes other players with him when he when he goes out to play.

After he finishes his time (5 years = 6-18 months) in some luxury prison, and pays a fine which will be less than he makes in one NFL game his publicist will spin this into a terrible mistake than Michael is very sorry about.

He already told his Mama that he is sorry. "Mikey is a good boy..." "Mikey always loved his dogs..."

...and Babboy is right Oakland will take him for the 2010 season.

Is it time to change the rules?

craigers 10 years, 10 months ago

Agnostick, let's make it interesting and have your same requirements but add a pit bull in the house too.

coolmom 10 years, 10 months ago

he paid for the dogfighting and it was on his property, he lied, he killed under poforming animals and he has lousy taste in friends as they sold him out without a second thought...he should be done. serve his time or whatever but i dont think he should be allowed back in football.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

They should trade him to the Buffalo Bills, schedule all eight of the home games at the end of the season when it's windy and 10 degrees, activate him for the first home game, make him play without pads or a helmet in just a pair of tighty whities and no offensive line.

In the off-season, dress him up like a cat and force him to work for the ASPCA capturing violent animals.

Ceallach 10 years, 10 months ago

He should not be allowed to prosper from the NFL. They will pay a much higher price than his salary. His actions makes it extremely hard for the decent men in this sport to overcome the stigma that already exists regarding football players. I may have to start watching the NFL games so that I can quit watching, out of protest, when or if he is allowed back into the sport.

Can anyone capable of removing themselves so far from common human emotions be rehabilitated by fines or a few months in jail? Not very likely. Isn't indifferent torture and killing of animals one of the warning signs for serial killers? My guess is this man's cruelty has also been taken out on people as well, but has been hushed up by money and/or threats.

Kick him out!!

missmagoo 10 years, 10 months ago

Let the dogs do to him what he did to the dogs.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 10 months ago

acg, the NFL has to take its public image extremely seriously, so I think this is very much their business. After the criticism the league endured last year during the Bengals' crime spree (I think at one point late in the season, they had as many players arrested as they had wins -- and they were a winning team), they've become pretty serious about providing professional consequences for stupid behavior. And since they need a good public image, that's probably a good move.

When it comes to Vick, I think it would be in the league's best interest to permanently distance itself from his playing career. If he wants to play football when he gets out of prison, there's always the Canadian Football League, or the Arena Football League. He had his time in the NFL spotlight, and as far as I'm concerned, he threw it away. I won't rule out an eventual return to the NFL, but I think he shouldn't just jump right back into the big time. He should have to work his way back.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 10 months ago

snap, that still has me giggling!

Ban him from the NFL. Let him serve some time and pay a big sum.

If anything good came from this, it was that it was a good lesson to teach my kids about what kind of friends you get when you become too big for your britches.

JerkStore 10 years, 10 months ago

In 1998, Leonard Little killed an innocent woman because he was driving drunk. In 2004, he was again arrested for drunk driving.

In 2006, the linebacker signed a contract extension with the Rams worth $20MM.

If Little is allowed to play after killing a person, there's no way the NFL can ban Vick for killing a dog.

They've set their own precedent.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 10 months ago

Based on what I'm reading, it would be the Vick's involvement with gambling that would trigger the NFL banning him for life.

acg 10 years, 10 months ago

sgt, I do hope you realize that my remark was completely off the cuff and wasn't meant to be taken seriously. Don't make me come over there, jeez!!

sgtwolverine 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh, acg, I do hope you're not making empty threats. Don't disappoint me!

Well, go ahead and disappoint me today and tomorrow. I have plans.

Confrontation 10 years, 10 months ago

prospector- That's one sad story! The worst part is that the animal rights people will fight to keep the pit alive. They'll blame owners who didn't control the dog or doggy porn videos for this attack. It doesn't take an animal behavior speicialist to figure out that this dog needs to be put down for good.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and re: Wittig, same punishment will do just so no one thinks its racist.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

Seriously, think about it. What conceivable excuse do these monsters have for their actions. The courts are still forcing the ratepayers to pay for Wittig's multi-million dollar lawyers. Now there's equal justice before the law for you. Steal $100 in a 711 heist and you get a public defender, loot the daylights of of a major corporation and the victims buy you the best legal talent available.

And Vick? $130 million dollar contract and he's gambling pocket change and abusing these poor animals. Where is his excuse? And why are they plea bargaining with him? All the witness chairs have already been filled. He gives them nothing. Add the racketeering charge and put this moron away with the people who never had his opportunities until he's too old to play pocket pool. And to whoever it was that thinks that tough guy Vick is safe in prison, John Gotti wasn't safe in prison. As one ex-con told me, "no matter how big you think you are, there's always more of them."

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 10 months ago

Kick the Vick! They can't punish him hard enough for promoting such a vile activity!

Py! That is one of my favorite movies!! Everyone who works in a cubicle or ever has should be required to see that movie.

But . . . Ah-hem . . . The quote is "a Federal pound me in the @$$ prison."

Other favorite quotes from Office Space:

"Well, you kick someones @$$ on the first day or become someone's b*tch. Why do you ask?" "The Nazis had flair. They made the Jews wear it." "We've heard you've been missing a lot of work lately." "Well, Bob, I can't say I've been missing it."

Paul Geisler 10 years, 10 months ago

Uhlrick I suggest you stick with the subject at hand, which is about an NFL player named Vick who hates dogs and likes to gamble.

But even if your comments about Wittig were on-topic, they are still unwarranted, and misguided. The difference between a petty criminal stealing $100 from a 7/11 and being represented by a public defender and what Wittig and Lake were charged with and being represented by the best legal defense that can be had is that the petty criminal didn't sign an employment contract with 7/11 that guaranteed that they would pay his legal fees!!! And 7/11 didn't make false accusations and slander the petty criminal before he appeared in a court of law!

juscin3 10 years, 10 months ago

I really don't care if he plays football or not. As for the crime, it was wrong, he knew it was wrong, and it just surprises me that he had nothing better to do other than breaking the law. Isn't it weird how an athlete starts making money because it's their dream to become a star and once they do, start rolling in the cash, they do something stupid?? I'm not sayin ALL athletes are like this. So don't start hounding me for what I post. It's my opinion. :)~ Either way, if the NFL does keep him, it might ruin the teams rep, and could cost them money. Do the crime, do the time. No amount of money should buy your way out of it, but in this society it does.

Teapot9 10 years, 10 months ago

They are his dogs and therefore his property he should be able to do what he wants with them. He isnt a criminal for this. This is another way of people imposing their morals on others. I love Mike Vick and will continue to support him.

rabb 10 years, 10 months ago

"They are his dogs and therefore his property he should be able to do what he wants with them. He isnt a criminal for this. This is another way of people imposing their morals on others."

And I like to eat children. My children are my property and I should be able to do whatever I want with them. I am not a criminal for this. Outlawing cannibalism is just another way of people imposing their morals on others. Stupid people and their stupid morals. MMMMMMM, children.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

Vick is not admitting to any "crimes' only "mistakes" and he is so sorry for anyone who was hurt and accepts full responsibility for these "mistakes"...

He has been making these mistakes for six years and lied to the head of the NFL when asked about this before he was charged.

What about the other players involved in this criminal enterprise. Will Con-Vick rat them out as part of his plea-deal?

I don't think the rats are finished turning on this one yet.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

My,my, a Wittig defender? Apparently not a ratepayer. It is precisely because so many of these corporate types are permitted to sign these horrendous contracts that allow them to loot the very companies that they run into the ground that they are far, far, far worse than Michael Vick.

Yes, Michael Vick has apparently committed some very grisly crimes against a few dogs, but how does that compare to the cruelty inflicted on millions who slave away for a company all of their life only to have their retirement benefits go down the tubes after some corporate raider plunders the company they worked for and leaves it bankrupt? Or, how many people lost their homes because they had to make a choice between making the mortgage payments and keeping their utilities on?

One can only wonder as to whether Wittig also had in his contract a PR flack who haunts Internet blogs waiting to defend his client. As I said above you can take Wittig, Lake and a whole lot more of these corporate scumbags and treat them the way Vick treated his dogs and still not give them all they deserve.

monkeyspunk 10 years, 10 months ago

Benny, nobody said that we would have to watch. If we watched, we might get blood in our eyes or something, and that just wouldn't be sanitary. Enjoyable, but not sanitary, no no.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

Death row is the ultimate dog fight... Quit the killing there too.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

It is now time for The State of Virginia to do their job and take Vick to trial on the state charges.

chet_larock 10 years, 10 months ago

parkay (Anonymous) says:

Hey, it's not as if Vick mangled, dismembered, poisoned, beheaded, and tortured viable human babies, like George Tiller continues to do in Wichita. Get some perspective!

Think about that one from our neighbor, Parkay.

Centrist 10 years, 10 months ago

Notice how he apologized to "everyone who has been hurt by this" but never said "sorry" about hurting the dogs themselves. Sounds more like he was embarassed to be caught, is all.

P.O.S needs to go down, down, down ... all the way to Hell.

Martin_D_15 10 years, 10 months ago

mike vick is NO hero, neither is barry bonds the steriod user. Both should be kicked out of professional sports FOREVER.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

I think your right, If they pursue the same charges then the sentences would concurrently. But if he is convicted of separate charges they would run consecutively.

There a lot of state charges involved with things that happened just on the property that the feds did not have authority to prosecute.

I also believe that there were more ballplayers involved in this game. The star quarterback and leader of the team does not go out to play alone. I think there are more than a few Falcons sweating it out in Atlanta, hoping Vick will keep quiet.

Roadkill_Rob 10 years, 10 months ago

I think it's too bad what happened to those dogs, but can anyone tell me the difference between this and shooting deer or pheasants? How is this different than the thousands of cows slaughtered each day in Dodge City?

Don't get me wrong, he should be punished to an extent, but I don't think he should be sentenced to prison...maybe a fine, an indefinite suspension from the NFL, and some community service at an animal shelter.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

If you were to keep two bulls and pen them up 23 hours a day. Pump them full of steroids, subject them to electrical shock. Train them by having them kill crippled half starved cows. Then get all your friends together to drink and party do drugs and make bets. Then let the bulls loose in a ring and watch them fight until they are exhausted. Then shoot large amounts on stimulants into their blood stream. Use more high voltage electricity to encourage them to continue the fight. Make the bulls continue to gouge and gore each other until one of them is dead. Then cheer and collect your money and do a line of cocaine with a paid escort and give her herpes.

How this compares to firing one shot to take a pheasant then preparing a meal to share with your family...?

Roadkill_Rob 10 years, 10 months ago

I see your point on the "hunting" aspect, though I think your glorifying hunting a bit...I think there's a lot of hunters out there who don't share their kill with their starving family. Rather, I know hunters who get drunk and shoot animals for the fun of it. But I'm sure there's never any suffering even then.

If you eat steak, watch this clip before you get on your high horse regarding the Vick situation:

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

Cow wrestling??? Torture for you...? Torture for the cow...? Torture for TV audience...?

I'll bet The Sofa King would buy ad. time.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 10 months ago

Meat is murder. Yogurt is burglary. Fight the power. Save the stump.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

Vick is vile. He should be shunned by society.

camper 10 years, 10 months ago

Vick was and is not a really good QB. He basically fakes a throw and then runs. He is a dime a dozen. I don't know why the media calls him a "star".

Deb Engstrom 10 years, 10 months ago

Let's throw the book at anyone who purposefully kills an animal -- like hunters. I know, I know. Hunting is legal and dog fighting is not. But the results are the same -- an injured or dead animal.

Nick Yoho 10 years, 10 months ago

What he did is despicable.However,it has nothing to do with his job or performance.In ordinary circumstances,the employer should do nothing more,the court has punished him.But,if its a "roll model"they should be expelled from the league,or whatever is him?poll the public maybe,see if they still support him.I wouldn't.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

"What he did is despicable.However,it has nothing to do with his job or performance."

I think that you are forgetting that illegal gambling is a major part of the bloodsports. Both dog-fighting and cockfighting involve other illegal activities. When the quarterback is involved in these kinds of activities the threat of exposure can be used to influence the outcome of a game. Point spreads are an all important in the sports betting game.
Gambling, drugs, prostitution, extortion..... None of this money is reported, so tax evasion is also a part of this racket. Being a criminal does effect "job performance"

I think he's got a shot at being Pac Man Jones partner on TNA. I can see him now spiked collar, log chain leash, high heeled boots Pac Man's Doggy. Hike you leg Mike and let that herpes rain on down.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 10 months ago

Mario says, "Loons resort to personal attacks."

Such as "Marion (Marion Lynn) says: Aggie, you are an idiot."?

Nick, the irony meter's needle is getting warped every time you do things like that.

Fatty_McButterpants 10 years, 10 months ago

They need to ban him. They should ban anyone that gets any type of violent charge against them for at least a year. Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right.

Crossfire 10 years, 9 months ago

"Through this situation I've found Jesus."

"I have lived the American dream. The worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days."

...............Stay tuned folks coming soon to prime time...

...............From The Great Newz Cathedral, in beautiful Newport News, VA ...............The Reverend Mad Dawg Vick and Deacon Gonzo ...............With the All Girlz Choir singing ................"Up From The Pit" ............... " 'Aint Yo Dog No-Mo, Mista Bush" ..............."Praise Jesus. I have Grown."

Everybody knows there is more money in televangelism that sport or politics.

Bill Chapman 10 years, 9 months ago

First: I did a little research on the type of personalty of people associated with violent animal gambling. Many (but NOT all) are also involved or associated with violent personal relationships. This does NOT mean one is always both, it means that a large percentage of that personality type will have both problems.

Second: Vick denies ANY involvement with gambling concerning the dog fights.

Third: In animal fights, there are basically two rewards(if you want to call it that): Money and personal satisfaction.

Okay with those three points in mind what conclusion can you come up with?

I came up with this: Michael Vick has, by his own admission, denied gambling concerning the dog fights. So, he must be doing it for some other reason. The only other reason is personal satisfaction. Michael Vick must have been involved in the dog fights because he ENJOYED it. Bring in the first point, and I'm not sure whether Michael Vick should be involved in ANY sport involving violence. Even if he has no history of personal violence, I would not want to be around someone who gets off on watching two animals(dogs in this case) try to kill each other. I could understand doing it for money, but Michael Vick has no NEED for money! He must have done this for enjoyment alone. For that reason, I would BAN him from ever playing professional football again.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

Nick, can we expect some offshore vanity publisher to release "101 Things to Do with a Dead Pit Bull"?

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

He'll have my eyes, with their devilish gleam.

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