Michael Vick Enters Guilty Plea to Dogfighting Charges-Urge the NFL to Ban Him Immediately

Posted on August 20, 2007

Shortly after NFL quarterback Michael Vick pled guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely. In a letter to Vick last week, Goodell wrote “You are now justifiably facing the consequences for the decisions you made and the conduct in which you engaged.” The Animal Legal Defense Fund applauds this step, but the NFL can make an even stronger stand for animals. Urge the NFL to take the decisive step that animal abuse will not be tolerated among its players and ban Vick from the game immediately because of his involvement in dogfighting, in the same way that players involved in gambling (also, incidentally, a component of Vick’s charges) can receive a lifetime ban. Please write to: 

Mr. Roger Goodell, Commissioner

National Football League

280 Park Ave.

New York, NY 10017

Fax: 212-681-7599                

There can be little room for doubt that Mr. Vick’s conduct, as articulated in the federal indictment, is “detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football[.]”  NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article XI–Commissioner Discipline, Section 1(a). 

Engaging in an organized, sustained gambling ring dedicated to profiting from dogfighting is nothing short of barbaric, and Mr. Vick’s personal conduct, as described in the federal indictment, is indicative of an alarmingly serious personality disorder. The simple fact that Mr. Vick was knowingly associating with gamblers and gambling activity, regardless of the dogfighting, would be sufficient cause for terminating Vick’s association with the League in and of itself. 

Please, urge the NFL to assert its position that the heinous abuses involved in dogfighting must not be treated lightly by banning Vick from the game immediately, thereby sending a clear message to the many young fans for whom professional football players are nothing less than role models. Please also urge other professional sport leagues to assume leadership positions by taking similar strong stances against player involvement in dogfighting.

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