A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Vick Has Now Made Being a Black Role Model That Much Tougher Today
SAN ANTONIO — I just shuddered when a friend of mine from Atlanta called me and said that Michael Vick got into some trouble in Miami. My friend, Rose, who has been a Vick supporter when he has done some really good things, was telling me the other night that the Falcons’ signal caller made the wrong call at the Miami International Airport when he begrudgingly gave up a water bottle at a TSA checkpoint.
When Vick discarded the bottle, a TSA agent retrieved it and found it to be a make shift bottle that had a secret compartment in it. Upon further inspection, the agent and her co-workers discovered that inside the secret compartment was a residue and odor that smelled like marijuana.
Now as my friend was telling me this I found myself just getting pissed off with the whole situation. And like myself, Rose is very no nonsense when we deal with black athletes who think they are just entitled to their great lifestyle.
“It is time for him to grow up, Greg. This is ridiculous,” she told me over the phone.
I agree with her. It is time for Vick to grow the hell up. As a matter of fact it is time that Arthur Blank, Rich McKay and Bobby Pitrino to not protect one iota in this situation. It is time that Vick have his proverbial balls hung out to dry for being so blatantly stupid in his decision making. The time is now for him to face true ridicule and to learn what it means to be the ‘franchise’ in professional sports.
As I told Rose over the phone, I have no love for a man, especially a Black man, who wants to screw his life up. Every day we have good men go out and do right by their parents, their wives, kids, bosses and others. Every day a really good man will take on the task of being a role model or ‘big brother’ to a little boy, young man or even another male adult to try and help show that things can be better with guidance and help. But understand this one fact.
For Black men like myself, we are doing it in our community because there simply is a shortage of good role models for our own young men and boys to follow and emulate. And so many of them do look at an athlete like Vick and say, “I want to be like him when I grow up”.
So understand the dilemma that Vick has now put myself and so many thousands of other Black men who are trying to make a difference into. Now when I speak to a young Black male, whether he is eight years old or he is eighteen, I have to now answer the question about Vick’s stupidity.
Trying to be a positive Black role model in the Black community is something that I have taken on because it is actually something I must do. In my forty years of living, I’ve been blessed with having a single role model who has shown me how to not only be a man but to be accountable and handle my business so that my own honor is not questioned.
My single role model for me is my father. But I’m fortunate. My father has been a constant in my life. We have worked together, traveled together, and played together. We have even fought each other but in the end we have learned from each other.
Even when I tried my hands at sports, he was by my side guiding me. And when it came to my career, he is right there giving advice when I ask for it.
Vick on the other hand isn’t so lucky. Where is his father? Where is the one role model that can sit him down and smack the crap out of him when he does something stupid like this? There isn’t one around. Why can I say this? Because Vick is beginning to show a pattern of not being able to cope as an adult.
He is showing a penchant for not wanting to represent the Atlanta Falcons as their shining star that would embody everything good having the opportunity to play in the NFL. Vick doesn’t give a damn about trying to be a role model. Hell, Vick doesn’t know how to be a role model because he doesn’t have a role model to emulate himself.
Michael Vick’s indiscretion has cast a serious shadow on those who are trying to help the youth of Black America be more than what they see on television. For all I know this may be his one sole discretion but the problem is that it’s a very big one and at the wrong time.
We are all cognizant of the post 9/11 issues when we travel. Even the nine-year-old boy who ended up here in San Antonio this week knew that you couldn’t take liquids on the plane. Now if a nine-year-old knew that, why didn’t Vick realize that?
More importantly, why doesn’t Vick realize that he is a role model in his community just like myself and anybody else is, no matte what your ethnicity or color. But for Vick, because it is our own micro society that we are dealing with, he needs to be living his life a hell of a lot cleaner.
With his water bottle indiscretion this week, Michael Vick has just made being a positive Black role model to the youth of Black America that much tougher this day.
Thanks Mike. Thanks for being the bonehead that so many of us tried not to paint you to be.