Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Writer's Block: Is dog fighting just another sport?
If Michael Vick needs a character witness, he should consider Stephon Marbury. "He is a good human being," the Knicks player said about Vick. "He just fell into a bad situation."

Marbury was just getting started.

"We don't say anything about people who shoot deer and shoot other animals. From what I hear, dog fighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors," Marbury told Capital News 9, a TV station in Albany, New York.

Interesting. But he's not alone in that belief. Fact is there are people who agree with Marbury's assessment of what is indeed a crime in every state in the United States. Chances are, somewhere today pit bulls are being bred for battle and money is being waged on who will win or lose.

We're going to take up the Vick case tonight. Jami Floyd and Jason Whitlock will be on hand to answer calls and emails. Do you believe Vick got a raw deal? Was justice served? And do you believe, like Marbury, that dog fighting is a sport?

Let us know.

-- By Gabe Falcon, "360" Writer
Posted By CNN: 4:09 PM ET
  60 Comments
Whether we think this is a sport or not is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that it is illegal and he knowingly broke the law and for that he will pay the time for doing the crime.

I think Michael Vick is getting a raw deal in the court of public opinion. Why shouldn't he be allowed to make a living again? People who kill PEOPLE not dogs, people who rape, beat and molest are allowed to make a living again, why not here? Because of the court of public opinion and as a result, the NFL is just trying to keep their sport marketable in that court of public opinion.

People need to be given a reality check. Dogs are not people. Dogs are pets. Yes what he did is wrong and he will pay with his freedom for doing what he did. But to do what people are doing to him in the court of public opinion is wrong. They are making him out to be the equivalent of a murderer of PEOPLE or even worse than a rapist of PEOPLE. The publics love for their dogs and the emotions behind that are taking over their reason and that is a shame.

I think he should be punished, but don't dig the same hole for him as you would someone who did the same to people. Sanity and reality need to be used.
Posted By John : 4:33 PM ET
He didn't just "fall into a bad situation", he created the "bad situation". Vick did not get a raw deal. He initially lied to everyone saying that he is innocent, but when backed against the wall he finally admitted that he committed the crimes! He lied to the NFL comish and the owner of the Falcons, on top of actually admitting to the FEDERAL crimes. He should not be allowed back in the NFL!
Posted By Anonymous : 4:39 PM ET
Although, I don't hunt deer, I do enjoy the taste when it's prepared correctly, and I believe they are shot (a quick and merciful death), not electrocuted or drowned. Mr. Vick's race or color should not be an issue with this crime, but, unfortunately the race card comes up (when a black celebrity is accused)more often than the God card does around election time.
Posted By Mick Chapman : 5:01 PM ET
I'm not even crazy about dog racing, let alone dog fighting. I'm also not in favor of hunting. Painting Vick as a victim because he's suffering outrage from the public is ludicrous. He electrocuted, hanged, and drowned dogs. Did he murder people? No. But he deserves what he's getting. These acts were well beyond the pale heinous. He can use the money he earned by running an illegal dog fighting ring to hire a good publicist to correct his image. This was no small crime.
Posted By Colleen : 5:03 PM ET
I'm not even crazy about dog racing, let alone dog fighting. I'm also not in favor of hunting. Painting Vick as a victim because he's suffering outrage from the public is ludicrous. He electrocuted, hanged, and drowned dogs. Did he murder people? No. But he deserves what he's getting. These acts were well beyond the pale heinous. He can use the money he earned by running an illegal dog fighting ring to hire a good publicist to correct his image. This was no small crime.
Posted By Colleen : 5:04 PM ET
Hi Gabe,
I must admit that I'd rather hear an update on the Crandall miners families, or how Peru is doing, rather than Mr. Vick.
But having said that, I think Mr. Vick should accept his punshiment for breaking the law, period. I don't think we need in depth discussions on his future career until he's out of prison. As for dog fighting as a sport? No more a sport than a cat fight under your window at midnight. Both are cruel and tear your heart out to visualize. Mr. Vick's career will be at the mercy of the mood of the country at the time of his release, if he indeed goes to prison? I think I'll place my bet on his returning to football as an "unknown element." Perhaps we should poll our pets.
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 5:04 PM ET
Hello Gabe,
Is dogfighting just another sport? YOU BET! A BLOOD sport! Just like cockfighting, bull fighting, roman gladiators, etc. Ahh, cruelty for fun.
HELLO IS ANYBODY HOME? if you want to know why there is so much violence and cruelty in the world just look at what people do to entertain thenselves.
AND what about hunting? killing to eat is one thing, but once again when hunting is just trophy killing for FUN then it becomes a violent behavior.
Killing should never be for pleasure. PERIOD
Just as violence begets violence, one kind deed derserves another.
Posted By BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX : 5:06 PM ET
Dog fighting is a sport the way feeding the Christians to the lions was a sport for the Romans. The way using bassett hounds to bait bears was in the middle ages or whenever they did that. The way greyhounds were forced to run until they dropped dead.

No it is not a sport. Dog fighting is cruelty to animals and we have laws against that now and hopefully know better about how a civilized society is supposed to conduct itself.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 5:15 PM ET
Women who are victims of abuse are victims. Yes, theoretically sometimes they can leave, sometimes they can't. I don't draw any analogy between the two. People are more important than dogs.
Posted By Marcia Warren, MI : 5:16 PM ET
I think Stephon Marbury's comment was the stupidest thing I have ever heard! How can someone be a "good" person and take a dog and shoot, hang, or torture it for no reason! And to say that Vick just feel into a bad situation is like saying the miners trapped in Utah collapsed the mine on themselves...it is just ludicrous!! And to think our children look up to these people!! God help them!!

And I have a question for tonight...When Vick goes to prison do you'll think he will get special treatment and why should he or shouldn't he?

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 5:19 PM ET
If this was a sport, why is it illegal in most (if not all) states and done behind closed doors. If people are caught, they are put in jail. Unfortunately, by the time police or others investigating the crime get to the scene, all the evidence is gone or hard to find the people doing this horrible act.
Posted By Barb Kozlowski, Phoenix AZ : 5:22 PM ET
If this was a sport, why is it illegal in most (if not all) states and done behind closed doors. If people are caught, they are put in jail. Unfortunately, by the time police or others investigating the crime get to the scene, all the evidence is gone or hard to find the people doing this horrible act.
Posted By Barb Kozlowski, Phoenix AZ : 5:23 PM ET
i was disappointed int he two men you had on last night. VERY disappointed..Please check out this woman's article and have her on your next panel....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/21/AR2007082102093.html?hpid=topnews
Posted By Anonymous : 5:25 PM ET
It's disgusting that Vick will likely do little time in jail and then resume his $130 million deal with the NFL. I wish the NFL would ban him forever. He was killing these dogs for his entertainment. How sick is that? Didn't Jeffrey Dahmer start off by killing dogs?
Posted By Joy : 5:25 PM ET
Interesting. Well, getting thrown to the lions was once a coliseum sport. Would Marbury, Vicks and the others have wanted to partake in that? Although I'm not a fan of hunting, a family member is. He's also a responsible gun owner. The difference between this and dog fighting is that the animals in hunting are killed quickly. Any "sport" where there's gruesome suffering and death needs a new category. These kinds of sports should remain outlawed.
Posted By Carol B., Frederick, MD : 5:43 PM ET
Dog fighting is not a sport, no matter what other people think in other cultures, and what other people do in other countries. The reason so many people find this situation with Michael Vick so reprehensible is because the dogs are innocent victims and are not able to defend themselves against the people who are killing, maiming and brutalizing them.

Michael Vick, Stephon Marbury and the other people who support Vick and who support dog fighting have all lost their humanity. Killing any innocent creature that cannot defend itself against you is just wrong, and we all know it. Do these men worry about any kind of physical or spiritual recompense for their horrifying actions? They should.

Stop comparing this crime to killing people. Stop comparing this crime to other athletes who beat and murder their wives and girlfriends. They are completely different things. Those are heinous crimes that are dealt with by people who can hopefully help, and who can bring the monsters to justice. These dogs have no way to defend themselves against these monsters, and no way to get help. Vick is not being given a raw deal or being dealt with harshly because he is an athlete, because he is wealthy, because he is black, or any other superficial reason. He is being ostracized and dealt with harshly because what he did, and what anyone who supports him is doing, is terribly, terribly wrong. Yes, serial killers who murder human beings usually start out by killing animals for "sport."
Posted By Gina, San Diego, CA : 5:44 PM ET
I'm a dog lover, so I'm really biased. I also come from a family of hunters who belong to Ducks Unlimited and the NRA. My godfather, grandpa, and daddy taught me how to shoot a gun and hunt when I was about six or seven, respect that weapon's power, and respect that the animal should only be shot if the meat was going to be eaten. Hunting is a gentleman's sport historically, and ladies often went on the hunt. In the sport of hunting, the animal is killed quickly. If it is injured the hunter will finish killing it so it doesn't sit in misery. And what is hunted is eaten or given to someone else to eat. I'll admit. There are hunters who hunt improperly and give the sport a bad name. That's why the game wardens are there. Dog fighting, on the other hand, is the savage practice of allowing animals to tear each other apart. The animals are often left to suffer if injured severely. There is no food that comes out of the act. And Michael Vick knew what he was doing. Dogfighting isn't cultural. It's savagery at it's best. It's illegal because it's so cruel. Vick broke the law. I personally don't want a lawbreaker serving as a role model for my young nephews. My experiences tell me there's a huge difference between dogfights and hunting. I'll kill a deer for the meat to make sausage and a roast or a duck to put in a gumbo. I would never bet on and watch two animals go at it until they murder each other and call it sport. I think those that do maybe need a brain scan. And those that think Vick or anyone else should be allowed to make millions after breaking the law probably need one, too.
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 5:44 PM ET
If dogfighting is a sport, then murder is a legitimate recreational activity.

I personally do not care much for Vick, or football in general. It's just very tiring to see the media portray him as a poster boy for this issue. Treat him like any other criminal- and if the media is so genuinely interested in animal abuse cases, it should spend more time on them consistently.
Posted By Eileen Shim, Edison, NJ : 11:42 PM ET
I think that we are missing a big part of the picture here. Michael Vick also funded the betting that goes on during these dog fights. The dog fights are bad enough, the gambling adds another part to this. Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life. Michael Vick deserves the same. Professional sports claim to be against gambling they need to put their money where their mouth is and take a stand agains violence and gambling once and for all.
Posted By JoAnn, Pittsburgh PA : 12:01 AM ET
It is interesting that many want to convict Michael Vick. I live in a community that encourages dog fighting both black and white. Michael is a fall guy because he is black and has money. CNN must investigate futher so see that this exist in many communities that are non-black. I too am a dog love I have four of my own one of which I got from the evacuation of Katrina and would never train to fight. He is just the fall guy for many. For those who say they will not watch the NFL because of this issue for them I have mercy.
Posted By Marina, Beaumont Texas : 12:15 AM ET
Cruelty to animals? Get real. This big public outcry is ridiculous. Dogs fight all the time in nature. It’s a way of establishing dominance. Vick should be punished, maybe, with a month in jail or community service. I’m not comfortable with people attempting to place animals above humans. We electrocute people every year; we’ve water-boarded people (we didn’t drown them but we gave that the impression that they would be drowned, i.e., tortured); and we hung Saddam Hussein and his comrades (did you feel sorry for him?). Send Vick to rehab and call it a day. Have you seen Ultimate Fighting? Is it OK for humans to beat each other bloody but inhumane for dogs to do so? Doesn’t the Humane Society kill dogs every day? Dead is dead.
Posted By Ken, Birmingham, AL : 12:25 AM ET
Yes, It is another violent sport. It is treated differently because most of us have Dogs as pets!

Maybe we should have deers and cows as pets?
Posted By Anonymous : 12:39 AM ET
Some say there's too much emphasis put on this issue when there's human suffering also in the news. BUT this IS a serious issue because Vic is a Very Public Figure, looked up to by hundreds of thousands (at least in the past) How many young misguided boys out there RIGHT NOW do you think are considering taking up this heinous crime to prove how tough and scary they are?? If one of their heroes could do it, it must be cool, right? And Heck! It doesn't even appear like he's going to do serious time. . .maybe EVEN get back in the league! Crime pays after all. . .
THAT's why dog fighting, aside from the very obvious evilness of it, is so dangerous. We are sending yet another message to young ones the law can be manipulated and tromped on if you've got enough money, connections, celebrity status, etc.
Really and truly Vic should be prosecuted and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. This would send the message or present a memorable lesson to the public on this distressful and sickening issue.
Posted By ann cooke : 12:41 AM ET
Hey Anderson, I was really let down when you didn't have an opinion or show any emotion for the victims of M. Vick! Why don't you stop the stupid bantering with Erica Hill, when you 2 do your little cutesy routine, I think I'm watching FOX News! Please stop! Patti from Milford, Michigan
Posted By Anonymous : 12:49 AM ET
There is great outrage over Vick's dog fighting for several reasons. (1) Vick not only engaged in fighting, but tortured dogs. There is absolutely no excuse for that. (2) The public is becoming more aware of the link between animal abuse and human violence. Many people who absue their spouse, children, or elders, also abuse their pets and even wildlife. See, for example, the the September international conference on precisely this topic presented by the Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, Oxford, UK (www.oxfordanimalethics.com)Animal abuse is often a "predictor" of human abuse. (3) A number of people are tired of hearing that abusing animals is less bad than abusing people (Jeffrey Tubin please note). The point is that an animal is more helpless than any human victim except perhaps for a tiny baby or a mentally impaired person. It is the utter helplessness and vulnerbility of an animal that angers so many people. I don't believe that the most vulnerable woman who is raped or abused is as vulnerable as an (nonhuman)animal for she still has a highly developed intellect even if she doesn't use it.
Posted By P. Cohn, Villanova, PA USA : 12:59 AM ET
There is one big problem with athletes and entertainers, they are romanced from the get go with all kinds of monetary rewards, etc. All you have to do is look at his demeanor, especially the finger........and this is just a sport??? Would we call slaves being beaten a sport??? HELLO, WHAT CENTURY ARE WE LIVING IN? All creatures great and small GOD loves them all and if you hurt an animal or they are sick they cry the same as we do. Too bad we can't torture those who do these cruelties to those who are helpless the same way!!! He should have to loose what is precious to him as he is supposed to be a mentor to young people and he did this with his eyes wide open. I hope this scares all those in the dogfight game.
Posted By "hg" New Jersey : 1:54 AM ET
This isn’t an animal issue, a dog fighting issue, a football issue, a justice or legal issue, a hunting issue or even a black/white issue.

Michael Vick has killed animals with his bare hands. He took pleasure in it so much that he experimented with torture and a variety of methods. This guy is a sick, violent, sadistic individual. He needs psychological help.

If he presents a “good human being” face to his friends or to the public then he is also a lying hypocrite who believes he is so talented that his is above the law.

By all means, let him play football and make millions of dollars doing it so people can cheer for him and enjoy the games and look up to him as a “sports hero” and role model.

How about this—he can donate 90% of his multimillion dollar salary to animal causes for the remainder of his football career that way he will be working for the animals. In his leisure time he can clean out the kennels and cages at local animal shelters and he can wear an electric choker collar while he’s doing it.
Posted By cathy casper, WY : 2:16 AM ET
Dogfighting is not a sport.Experienced hunting of animals in the wild, as Tammy C. stated, is done quickly and with precision and then all meat is consumed. This has nothing to do with the sadism involved in dogfighting. Drowning, shooting, electrocuting, hanging? It is terrible to the mind how some people cannot equate Vick's actions with these dogs with the acts of barbarity against human beings.The power of money and fame to step over empathy and is astonishing.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:23 AM ET
It's so funny how we focus on this guy yet forget the crew at the Bridge when KATRINA hit that were turning back people from crossing a bridge from one county to the next?

So Why don't we focus on things like that and the Law behind that also? So if a disaster hit NY and people started walking to New Jersey would we find the same MORONS, IDIOTS? doing the same turning people back?

I think as a AMERICAN - WHITE / MALE this get's me extremely upset to hear this crap on VICK. Let's focus on what's really going on in AMERICA. I have faith on ANDERSON doing a story and getting those guys involved on the story with the bridge INCIDENT. I think that's more of a CRIME than what VICK did. I want to know who was in charge that day and came up with this brilliant AMERICAN Idea to close borders around a disaster state keeping the sick, hungry, ill contained!!!

Imagine your mother dying in a chair needing her Diabetic Medication and as your walking 30 miles to the next county you have POLICE turn you away. IS THIS THE LAND OF THE FREE?
Posted By Anonymous : 3:20 AM ET
Gina from San Diego, I totally agree with you, this is a crime of it's own and NOT be compared to other crimes of violence.

People are outraged for several reasons.

1. The American public is sick of celebrities getting lighter sentences than Average Joe Citizen. Most recently, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton.

2. People are angry at the NAACP for sticking up for celebrated GUILTY black men, i.e. OJ Simpson, Micheal Jackson and now Vick. The NAACP should be focused on more important issues than defending obvious criminals.

3. The American public views their pets and in particular dogs as part of their family, just as vunerable as children. The lessons learned after hurricane Katrina should be enough to tell those that make the laws and are supposed to enforce them, how the public views our companion animals. During Katrina, people stayed and some lost their lives to be with their pets rather than evacuate because they couldn't take them. For Vick to disregard HIS dogs in such is manor is abhorible and imcomprehensible to most.

4. Vick obviously shows no understanding or compassion for animals and therefore those weaker than him, which is pycho and socio path behavior. People do not want him around their children, pets or representing their NFL teams.

5. People do NOT want our football heros to be thugs and gangsters. Football is a mainstay of Amercian culture right along with grandma's apple pie. The NFL should NOT pay or promote those that disregard and have contempt for our countries laws.

Vick did NOT get a raw deal, he's lucky I am not the judge handing down his sentence. He should have been fined individually for each dogs remains they found on his property, because you know that is only the tip of the iceberg, and he should have do jail time for each dead dog. Additionally, he should have to pay a huge restitution to the animal shelter than has had to clean up his mess, feed and house all his dogs, and eventually have to euthanize them.

If the Feds would have been harsher in the plea bargain, the state of VA wouldn't be bringing up charges of their own. His plea bargain was a cake walk compared to others that have been found guilty of the same offense and are serving 30 year sentences, so don't even attempt to think Vick got a raw deal, his was honey.
Posted By Anonymous : 4:53 AM ET
It was about 24 years ago I made some bad choices because I was destitute, homeless and came from an adopted home where my sister and I were severly abused, mentally, physically and sexually. I took a plea deal on 2 felonies, lost all my rights as a citizen, denied education loans, business loans and labeled an ex-con. Where does someone like Vick, a dog murderer think for a minute he should be re-instated as a citizen in good standing? Oh, to be politically incorrect, let's not forget he is a black man, but what about all the "poor" black men in jails and prison today, money and fame can buy just about everything except your place in Heaven.
Posted By Duane in Myrtle Beach SC : 6:01 AM ET
Dear Gabe Falcon...
" Is dog fighting just another sports???" How can he be so cruel?
It is so cruel to do such a thing.
We were much affected by the miserable sight. Blood trickled from the dog's wound.I felt so sad that I stood on the verge of bursting into tears. It's same as gruesome murder scene.
Look at dog!! The dog is faithful animal.
Those people who enjoyed the cruel scene should be imposed with stern legal punishments!!!
Posted By jung-hae kim, seoul south korea : 7:20 AM ET
I watched the show last night. I listeded while the two reporters told how dog fighting is really considered a sport. Sports are not illegal. No matter what way you slice it, it is illegal. And then it wasn't just the dog fighting. It was the haneous way that he taped their mouths shut and hung them, drowned them, electrocuted them, and shot them. This is not a normal person. To treat creatures that have no way of protecting themselves like this. And I am sure that many other horrible things went on that we don't even know about. Personally, if that thug is allowed back into the NFL, we as a family will not be going to any games or buying any apparel. And when I heard that Lebron James said that he supports Vick, that just made me realize that just because they can play a sport and they make money, doesn't mean that they are intelligent.
Posted By Micki, Ohio : 8:02 AM ET
Get it real people, what is important here is to stop DOG FIGHTING, that is a crime in all senses. Who cares about Michael Vick? he deserves the maximum penalty for what he did. But most important is tell the world STOP ANIMAL ABUSE, That's the point in all these turmoil. THE DAY ANIMALS HAS RIGHTS AND ARE PROTECTED BY LAW, THE HUMANS WILL START RESPECTING THEM.
Posted By Anonymous : 8:12 AM ET
Dog fighting has been going on for quite some time ... in the rural south and in large northern cities like Chicago.

It's so irritating to hear people (White people and wanna-be White people in particular) talk about subjects with such outrage and wonderment when the real deal is that the topic is a wonderment only to them!
Posted By Anonymous : 9:02 AM ET
If Vick had been forcing two snakes or two rats to battle it out, this case wouldn't receive the publicity it did and I highly doubt people would be screaming for the NFL commissioner to fire him. But because so many people have dogs and subscribe to that "man's best friend" idea, they can't imagine what they would do if their own Lassie, Max, or Spot had been maimed or drowned because he didn't fare well in dogfighting. Of course, he shouldn't have done it because it's illegal and it's a sick form of entertainment. Furthermore all these hunting people that try to take the high road and make their situation seem morally superior to that of Vick's are ridiculous, because ultimately they are killing an animal for entertainment. It is not necessary for them to hunt. Maybe they eat some venison because they like the taste or figure "no point in letting this meat rot", but hunting is in no way a noble act. Simply put, he made a mistake. It could have been much worse. And there are bigger, more important things to worry about, then some man-eating pitbulls who had they not killed each other, very well could have attacked any one of us like they did to that 59 year old woman earlier this week. (Look that up doglovers, that's an interesting story right there)
Posted By Anonymous : 9:15 AM ET
I think it only ‘appears’ that people are more outraged by this than if Mike Vick had killed his girlfriend, raped a woman, or molested a child. I think in those cases people are just as outraged, but there is a BIG difference in our society how murders, rapists and child molesters are handled by the law verses how a ‘dog man’ is handled. Murderers, rapists and child molesters get much stiffer sentences and are frowned on by society. Look at the OJ Simpson case – people were pretty outraged when he got acquitted (as they should’ve been). The punishment for dog fighting simply does not fit the crime and I think that is what outrages people more. Mike Vick not only bet on dog fighting, he raised and trained the dogs on his property, he shot, drowned and electrocuted is own dogs for losing. It wasn’t just a onetime gross error in judgement; it was a way of life for him. He is NOT a good human being, who just fell into a bad situation, he’s someone who gets pleasure from watching a living being tortured and ripped apart for entertainment. You can’t compare killing to eat to killing for enjoyment or retribution. Someone who kills for enjoyment whether it be a child or a dog, should be put away for a long time, because both types of victims are innocent and defenceless and feel the same degree of pain. Hopefully, this media circus will at least help to bring about a stiffer sentence for these types of heinous crimes.
Posted By Marissa Toronto, ON : 11:02 AM ET
I think this thing with Michael Vick has gotten way out of hand. Now people are wanting him to get the same punishment as if he killed someone.
Yes what he did was very in humane but would a jury give him the death penality or put him in prison for rest of his life I don't think so.
Yes he's going to be punish but I think the punishment should fit the crime, I don't know what that is going to be, but I wouldn't give him life in prison for it.

I'm not saying that I sympathize with him but people need to take a reality check about this situation. That's just my opinion.


Jennifer - From Anderson, South Carolina.
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 11:12 AM ET
Dog fighting is not just "another sport." A sport is something in which the participants voluntary agree to participate. It is not something that is forced on the participants and which will likely result in their death, maiming, and severe pain. Bull fighting is not a sport and either is horse racing. Ancient Romans used to put humans into a ring with a lion. They called it a sport. Where do we draw the line? If it's not played at the Olympics, it's not a sport.
Posted By Anonymous : 12:18 PM ET
One need only watch The Shot from the other night—first Anderson’s of the dog being rescued, then Erica’s shot of a dog nursing a kitten—to understand how much we Americans love our animals and how appalled so many of us are about Michael Vick’s actions. Dog fighting is not a sport; it is a crime, an atrocious one that Michael Vick admits committing. If the NFL shows any mercy, I hope Vick realizes it’s more than he granted the dogs he murdered.
Posted By Diana, Bowling Green, KY : 12:22 PM ET
Dog fighting is NOT "just another sport". Sure, dogs race at grayhound tracks, some comsider that a sport, but the difference is that once they out-live their prime racing years, these grayhounds are put up for adoption, they make great pets. These pitbulls are trained to fight to the death, that is NOT a sport. These dogs cannot be adopted. they are not safe to be around children. After all, if you compare dog fighting to human boxing, boxers do not fight to the death, they are also not killed for losing a match, nor are they kept in a cage for their entire life, outside of the fight ring. To call this a sport is the most inaccurate of travesties. Also, to those who say that people are more outraged by this than by football players who beat their wives... How many dogs do you know who can pick up the phone and call 911? These dogs are completely defenseless, they can't run away to a shelter, they can't call the cops, they have NO voice! Spouces can seek help, they have legal recourse. Comparing these things to one another is comparing apples to oranges.
Posted By Milena, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : 12:37 PM ET
Instead of putting the dogs to sleep, I feel the Judge should require Vick to take some of his outrageous income and build a top quality kennel and retire these dogs for the remainder of their lives. Let's put him in the doghouse and the dogs in luxury.
Posted By Dion Tyler, McAlester, OK : 1:16 PM ET
maybe if those dogs Vick electrocuted, drowned, and shot were somewhere else, let's say just for imagination's sake, guantanamo bay, you'd feel differently about the whole situation. wisen up people and get serious about things that really matter and are universally troubling.
Posted By Anonymous : 1:23 PM ET
Why is there such a big debate about human killing vs. animal killing? It seems to me that people are forgetting the basic concept that MURDER IS WRONG. In both cases, we are talking about horrible pain inflicted and innocent lives ended. We are talking about power-hungry, sick individuals taking pleasure in hurting someone else.

I fail to see how anyone could defend Vick's actions, which do nothing but demonstrate a propensity for violence and a complete disregard for life. Yet his behavior seems to be downplayed, even accepted, by so many. Meanwhile, those who dedicate their lives to helping abused animals are denigrated and cast aside as nothing more than bleeding-heart liberals. That, to me, points to a HUGE flaw in our so-called culture. We desperately need to re-examine our priorites as human beings.
Posted By peaceplease, Fort Worth, TX : 1:32 PM ET
Michael Vick should not be allowed back in the NFL at this time. He committed heinous acts against these dogs and in my opinion, his crime warrants a somewhat lengthy prison term. However, I also agree with the opinion that every human being has a right to redemption and if I was convinced that Michael is truly sorry for his crime, I would be willing to support his return to the NFL. I’m sure Michael regrets the trouble he has brought to his family and teammates and for the loss of his sponsorships and income but I seriously doubt he understands or regrets the pain and torture he inflicted on these dogs. After Michael serves time for his crime, I would be willing to support his return to the NFL under the following conditions. First, I would like Michael to publicly admit to his crime and condemn the ‘sport’ of dog fighting. In addition, I would like to see Michael volunteer a portion of his time towards activities designed for the benefit and humane treatment of animals. Giving lectures at schools to encourage children against participating in dog fighting would be an excellent start towards Michael redeeming himself. By taking positive steps, Michael can become a hero to our children for a meaningful reason and not just because he is a talented football player. Michael is being presented with a huge opportunity to create a positive change in our society and I hope he is man enough to accept it.
Posted By Tina VanNatta from Glen Ellyn IL : 1:49 PM ET
Oh dear me, the word “sport” simply could not apply to dog fighting. The Wikipedia definition: “Sportsmanship is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behaviour and integrity, and grace in losing.” – How could that ever apply to dog fighting? Actually, as dog lover myself, this story really is difficult for me to comment on – I’m truly horrified to know that anyone could treat animals so cruel. How humans carry out their responsibility toward animals is so very important. An old bible proverb states: "The righteous one is caring for the soul of his domestic animal." (Proverbs 12:10) Hopefully the coverage of this heart-breaking story will help to put an end to such cruel activities. (I really laughed when Jeff Toobin introduced the CNN AC360 viewers to his lovable dog – that was a great and postive way to end the story) I’m off to take my adorable golden retriever for a lovely swim now! Smiles from Areti Gina...by the sea in Canada
Posted By Anonymous : 1:52 PM ET
All of the people who have written in on this blog saying things like, "what's so bad about dog fighting?" or "what did Vick do that was so wrong or so bad?" and "dog fighting has been going on for quite some time" or "we need to wise up and focus on what's really important in the world" clearly show a complete lack of humanity, and a lack of understanding of the brutality and horror in the treatment of these dogs.

None of these dogs started out fighting and trying to kill each other. All dogs start out as good dogs - it's the people who own, train, and abuse them that turn them into killing dogs.

All the other athletes and celebrities who are now coming out in support of Vick are simply showing their own lack of humanity, lack of intelligence and tendencies towards brutality, cruelty and criminal behavior.

Everyone knows dog fighting is wrong and brutal and cruel. Those who pretend it’s not are simply trying to justify and hide their own brutal, criminal and inhumane behavior.
Posted By Gina, San Diego, CA : 2:24 PM ET
Gina, you're obviously wrong. Just because some of us aren't calling for the end of this man's life does not mean we believe his actions to be justified or somewhat decent. The matter at hand is his future and whether the punishment fits the crime. In my opinion, some of the punishments people are excessive for most crimes, especially in my opinion for something that does not involve human life. Please refrain from making uninformed assumptions about others, especially when the only things you say are mean.

Furthermore, all dogs do not start out as good dogs as you stated in your post. An anonymous poster mentioned earlier the story about the 59 year old woman who, while she was sleeping, was mauled by two pitbulls who entered her house through. There are dogs known to have violent temperaments. To say otherwise is simply a denial of facts. Pitbulls are guard/attack dogs because of their predisposition to violence and aggressive behavior.

Basically what I'm saying is that while I cannot comprehend the magnitude of the situation because I was not a witness and have not seen the maimed dogs in person, I can say that everyone deserves a second chance. And the most intelligent idea I've read came from Tina VanNatta when she suggested that Vick be forced to use his fame and influence to condemn violence against animals. He should also start animal shelters and work in one as terms for some sort of agreement with the NFL. It's also possible that where Vick comes from, dogfighting is not frowned upon. No one has considered this. Of course it's illegal as are some things people do and perceive to be relatively harmless (smoking marijuana comes to mind), but if you are around this constantly and not taught that it's wrong, you will not perceive it as such. Maybe Michael Vick is a bad guy like people stated earlier. More likely however, Michael Vick is a human who made some really irresponsible, dangerous decisions and deserves to be punished, reformed, and a shot at redemption.
Posted By Mary-Lynn : 3:05 PM ET
yes and chaining baby calves down forcing them from moving so the meat is tender for us humans (veil) is not animal cruelty? why dont more of you condemn slaughter houses? maybe because baby calf,pigs,cows and chickens have the perfect taste of hypocrisy in america? or perhaps its because we don't feel these are valued animals, rather a dog (and i use the term lightly) has more value to us...
Posted By Anonymous : 3:07 PM ET
at least in a dog fight one of the dogs has a chance of winning unlike a slaughter house
Posted By Anonymous : 3:07 PM ET
That woman that you had on 360 last night taking calls is an idiotic moron.

She claimed it was just a black cultural thing....not so, it is illegal thing, I don't care who is committing the crime, he needs to do the time and his race isn't an excuse.

She claimed that dogfighting and horse and dog racing are the same....not so, racing isn't ILLEGAL and she is wrong in her comment that the animals are put down after racing, they are not.

The commentators on 360 need to put their brains in gear BEFORE they open their mouths and say something that is false.

You should have more educated and intelligent commentators on your show.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:51 PM ET
So Vick made a mistake... Vick funded dog fighting for 6 years, he killed 8 dogs, ran a betting enterprise for 6 years, and either tortured or supported the torture of hundrads of dogs for "entertainment" and financial gain. This is not a mistake; it is a lifestyle! and it is criminal. That dog fighting is a sport - in Roman times humans fighting lions was a sport - perhaps Marbury would like to fight lions? Give me a break!!!
Posted By Anonymous : 4:32 PM ET
Animal cruelty of any type has been shown by many, many studies to be an indicator of future violence against humans. In some of these studies, it has been shown that those who abuse animals are 50% more likely than those who don't to abuse humans. If you just want to slap animal abusers on the hand, don't be surprised when that abuse spreads to humans - as it is likely to do.

According to First Strike, an organization committed to raising awareness of and preventing violence references in their materials: "Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years have
demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious
and repeated animal cruelty. The FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s, when its
analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested most, as children, had killed or tortured animals. Other
research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms
of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse. In fact, the American Psychiatric
Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder."
Posted By Anonymous : 5:42 PM ET
The people on here saying we need to "get real" and "focus on things that matter" disgust me. Breaking the law doesn't matter? Disrespect for life doesn't matter? Lying to both your employer and the government doesn't matter? Feeling free to commit crimes because your personal wealth can lessen or eliminate the punishment due -- that doesn't matter either?

Meanwhile, how sweet of Stephon Marbury to stick up for a fellow athlete's sadistic criminal behavior. Makes you wonder what sort of "sports" he engages in himself "behind closed doors."
Posted By Rebecca, Philadelphia : 2:00 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

CNN's legal analyst, Jeffrey Tubin (sp?), continues to argue that too much is being made of Michael Vick's involvement in dog fighting. He, repeatedly, compares his actions with the many cases of athletes being charged with spousal abuse, arguing that the treatment of Vick is harher than theirs. This facile arguement ignores the logic that, if, indeed, the punishments for these two crimes, dog fighting/animal cruelty and spousal abuse, are not sufficiently differentiated then, perhaps, it is the penalty for spousal abuse that needs strengthening, rather than lessening the punishments for cruelty to animals. Furthermore, Jeffrey misses some crucial distinctions (not unusual for lawyers, who are trained to argue their position by any means possible, rather than actually searching for truth): First, the dogs did not choose to be with Michael Vick. Second, the dogs had no opportunity to leave, seak help, or go to a shelter. Third, the dogs were brutally and regularly tortured (not an abberation of behavior as is often the case in domestic abuse). And, finally, (this is a big one, Jeffrey!) the dogs were KILLED.

Anderson, I know you are an animal lover. Please, stop letting people get away with this garbage: Dog fighting is in no way a sport. It is not an aspect of any real "culture". Also, remind people that animal abuse is still (better than the best shrinks in the world!) the best indicator of future anti-social behavior.

Jean Paul
Posted By Jean Paul Olmsted : 3:17 PM ET
Michael Vick should be so ashamed of what he did and financed! If Michael Vick ever plays professional football again, I will no longer be a fan. As far as Nike and all the other companies, I will go barefoot before I ever purchase a product that supports Michael Vick or anyone elso who partakes in dog fighting. These are innocent animals who are forced to fight by people like Michael Vick. As for the remaining dogs of Michael Vicks, I feel sure they would be more than happy to make sure Michael Vick serves his time. And if, Michael Vick tries to escape jail, I know those 66 dogs would be happy to parole the prison fence to insure Mr. Vick does not escape.
Posted By Anonymous : 4:31 PM ET
". . . Is it OK for humans to beat each other bloody but inhumane for dogs to do so? Doesn't the Humane Society kill dogs every day? Dead is dead." Posted By Ken, Birmingham, AL : 12:25 AM ET

First, humans know what they are getting into. I'm not into humans beating each other up, but if they want to do it as a job, that's their business. Dogs do NOT asked to be ripped to shreds by another dog, electrocuted or hung if they don't fight well (I don't think that's done to the human who loses a professional fight of any kind), or tossed out with the trash to die slowly.

So, "dead is dead," huh? If you had a choice of your way to die, would you rather go to sleep peacefully (euthanized, which is also a last resort) or chewed up by a crazed animal with very sharp teeth, and if you don't die the first day, meet up with another crazed animal with very sharp teeth the next day, and the next day, and . . . ? Hey!! How would you like to be the "bait" dog for a dog that's in training? Now, there's a one-sided event with the likelihood the bait dog (or raccoon or other hapless, defenseless creature) coming out on the short end if they survive (even "winning" dogs are losers; they'll never know what it's like to live "a dog's life"). At least humans are evenly matched in their fights. Dead may be dead, but what a warm-blooded living being goes through to get to that point is the issue.
Posted By sandra, animal lover : 2:41 PM ET
If I heard Michael Vick correctly, he apologized for not being a good role model and lying to the Falcons and the NFL. He said that he "Rejected" dog-fighting. But he never said that he was sorry for killing dogs, or that it was wrong or cruel. His statement was completely lacking in contrition. Any remorse he showed was remorse for loosing his job, or endorsements or going to jail. I wonder how it is possible that someone who has supposedly "found Jesus" can be so lacking in empathy and compassion.
Posted By Anonymous : 7:32 PM ET
I'm sick of hearing the Micheal Vick story. Mr.Vick said he was sorry. He is going to jail, he lost most of his money an maybe his career. What more do the men and women who never made a mistake an is without sin want from Mr.Vick? This man didn't send troops to fight a war based on a lie. That took over three thousand lives.The question is who should be apologizing.
Posted By Anonymous : 9:02 PM ET
Dogs are loved by many including myself. I can't begin to understand how anyone could kill a dog in such a manner and still be able to sleep at night. However, I still believe that Michael Vick is getting a raw deal. And yes, let me play the race card because the race card is the only card that can be legitimately played here. If this was Peyton Manning the media coverage would have been over in a week; two weeks tops. Manning's football team would have pulled whatever strings they could pull to get his sentence reduced to probation and him back on the field playing by the next game. Make no mistake, arrogance is why Vick is going to do time. It's unacceptable for success to unveil arrogance within a blackman. You're supposed to be humble and grateful to the almighty one (owners/GM) who gave you the opportunity for success. Vick's refusal to eat humble pie got him a worthless loser for an attorney and left him sitting at the table all alone.
Posted By Anonymous : 5:36 PM ET
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