Another Media Double Standard

By Dexter Rogers, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 27, 2010

INDIANA (BASN) — Last week Forbes published a poll with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick being voted as the most hated athlete in sports.

Days later Vick had a birthday party in Virginia where a shooting took place. One of Vick’s former dog-fighting co-horts Quanis Phillips was shot shortly after 2 a.m. on June 25.

According to published reports Vick isn’t a “person of interest” in the shooting.

As time progresses the negative press around Vick is beginning to mount. The atmosphere is being created that may culminate in another Vick suspension by the heavy-handed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Part of Vick’s deal with Goodell was to keep his noise clean and stay away from his buddies from his Bad Newz Kennelz days. Now that Phillips was shot at a party hosted by Vick the reports are mounting that a possible suspension could be looming.

Should Vick be suspended for what happened at his birthday party?

The short answer is no. Reports suggest Vick wasn’t present at the time of the shooting therefore he couldn’t have been the trigger-man. Furthermore, Phillips wasn’t with Vick and reportedly wasn’t invited to attend his party.

Last time I checked this was suppose to be a free country. Vick cannot control the actions of others-only his. Vick has paid his debt to society and then some. He was stripped of nearly everything he had over some dogs.

Now as the latest situation continues to unravel some in the media who supported Vick are now beginning to say, “See, I told you so.” Without question Vick has been mistreated in the media.

There’s been a consistent onslaught to continue to paint Vick as public enemy number one. It’s very interesting how Forbes releases a poll about Vick being the most hated athlete and days later someone gets shot at him birthday party.

Do you think that’s a mere coincidence?

If the mainstream media was consistent with how they cover all athletes I wouldn’t have a beef with the mainstream media. To be blunt white athletes get covered more favorably in the media than African-Americans.

Why has the media put Ben Roethlisberger in the media witness protection program? Why hasn’t the mainstream covered Roethlisberger’s sexual assault cases with the same level of persistence as Vick?

Irrespective of race both athletes should get treated the same. They both play quarterback in the NFL. Both are very gifted athletically. Both wear the same jersey No. 7 and both have had brushes with the law.

So why is Vick been the recipient of more negative press than Roethlisberger?

While both men share a lot of commonality the one glaring difference is skin color.

Roethlisberger has been protected because of his white skin.

His complexion has inherent perks that the likes of Vick can’t utilize.

Because Vick is African-American there’s an inherent rush to judge and crucify Vick by some. So let’s flip the script. Had Vick been accused of sexual assault and Roethlisberger was involved in a gambling ring and killed some dogs what do you think the judicial decisions and media coverage would be?

I’ll tell you.

Roethlisberger would be handled with care. Some whites in the media are more comfortable crucifying African-American athletes like Vick as opposed to white athletes like Roethlisberger.

Here’s what columnist Ray Tannock wrote about Vick’s latest situation, “I’m sure there will be a couple more reports in the coming days, adding more speculation to the issue which doesn’t bode well for Vick or the Eagles organization.

“But I am not so sure that Vick will ever be anything more than a two-bit criminal who will forever sit on the dividing line that separates potential greatness from probable failure.”

Why hasn’t the latter social-engineering tactics been utlized against Roethlisberger?

There’s a separate manual for the issuance of justice in society and sport. African-Americans often get the short end of the stick when compared to their white athletic brethren.

Whether Vick was accused of sexual assault, funding a gambling ring or accused of shooting someone he’d be likely to face convictions in all scenarios because of the inequitable administration of justice that’s fueled by institutionalized racism.

Bottom line: If Vick was believed to have sexually assaulted that 20-year old co-ed in Georgia on March 5th, rest assured the prosecutor would have Vick stand trial.

Moving on, as reports continue to mount an atmosphere will be created by the media that will try to induce another Vick suspension.

Even though Vick isn’t a person of interest by the police Goodell seems have his own laws that trump societal doctrines. He’ll likely look at the personal conduct policy and seek to invoke it against Vick once the story gains more steam.

Stay tuned