The Piling On Continues Against Vick

By L.A. Batchelor
Updated: December 15, 2007

NORTH CAROLINA — U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson sentenced Michael Vick to 23 months in a federal penitentiary this past Monday. With time off for good behavior, Vick would be eligible for release in May of 2009.

Don’t bet on it.

Vick was doomed from the start. As Vick’s attorney, Billy Martin, tried to explain that Vick had “accepted responsibility” for his role in the dogfighting scheme, Hudson interrupted, describing two specific statements Vick had made and the exact dates when he made them.

In addition to the 23 months in a minimum-security penitentiary, Hudson ordered Vick to serve three years of “closely supervised probation.” That for a man who made a terrible mistake by fighting and killing dogs. Not humans, dogs.

With all due respect to dog/animal lovers everywhere, I can’t help but go back to the initial question after Vick pleaded guilty — does the punishment fit the crime? I would have to say it doesn’t.

The reality of the Vick case is that his punishment is not based on what he did but all the surrounding circumstances around the case. In respect to PETA and dog lovers, it was all about the death and distruction Vick cause those K-9′s in dog fighting, but for the Pile-ons like Judge Hudson, it’s all about some twisted justice in the end.

His dishonesty about his involvement, his celebrity status and his huge contract and endorsements as a black man were the driving force behind what I called the “James Brown theory” or “The Big Payback” in nailing Vick’s proverbial butt to the cross.

Some (not all) in white America hate what Vick represents. The young, successful and talented black man who succeeds in business making big money in a society where those who are narrow-minded feel they shouldn’t.

Judge Hudson is no different in his personal assessments of Michael Vick, how Vick feels and the level of remorse Vick expressed. Even Michael Vick’s personal apology did not impress Hudson.

As Vick tried to make a statement, Hudson admonished him, saying he should “be apologizing to the millions of kids who idolize you.” Is that not personal? How many judges do you know remember what a defendant says verbatim? Not many.

This is not a conspiracy it’s a normalcy. Those in the positions of power like to continue the “caucasion persuasion”. The “old boy network” is in full affect on and off the field and unfortunately, Vick is just a casuality of all of it.

Vick is in no way innocent in this case. Bad judgement, bad influences and bad decisions have given easy access to the attackers trying to dismantle and discredit Vick but jail time and the amount of time given to Vick is UN-just.

His friends, some of his family, some of his supporters and of course the Atlanta Falcons abandoned him. The Falcons should have been the last to abandoned the talented NFL player considering all of the money he brought to the team but I’m not surprise. The NFL like no other sport is the most brutal and yet remains the “what have you done for me lately” league.

Who is the next Vick? Who is the next young talented black athlete who gets caught in the web of fame, fortune, fun which can lead to destruction, negativity and ultimately the demise of the black athlete.

Let’s hope we learn from Vick and these type of cases are few and far in between.