There are some White people who put the interests of animals above those of other human beings — specifically the darker ones. Normally, I’d try to exercise subtlety and restraint when articulating such a sentiment, but since New York Times columnist Juliet Macur (pictured) didn’t mince words in her column “Before Signing a Strong Arm, Teams Should Heed Vick’s Dark Past,” why should I? I knew Macur’s musings would appeal to me as much as the taste of deep fried elephant dung given the way she kicked it off: ” Michael Vick, the quarterback known as much for his rap sheet as his athletic skill.”
Well, that certainly depends on what circles you’re referring to. Perhaps it’s Macur’s circle of influence that is leading this narrative, even though it is highly debatable in everyone else’s.
I do not fault her for writing from her background, but I do loathe how that background has seemed to frame her perspective.
In this hard-to-read diatribe, Macur sends off a warning to teams who may look to sign Vick should the Philadelphia Eagles let him go and allow him to be a starter (he lost his starter job to Nick Foles this season): “They should remember this: Vick was the mastermind behind his dogfighting operation. He bankrolled it, gave it a home base, encouraged it.”
Macur then goes on to discuss some of the dogs who lost their lives due to Vick’s dogfighting ring. You can understand her issue with Vick’s treatment of dogs. After all, in her Twitter bio, Macur notes, “My writing partner is a Labrador retriever.”
Sure, Macur lists some of Vicks’ acts of penance — including donating $200,000 to help renovate a football field in Philadelphia; working with the Humane Society; supporting a bill on Capitol Hill that would make it a felony to bring a child to a dogfight, a measure which would fight the very practice that caused him to go on to perpetuate the culture as an adult.
Still, Macur writes:
Teams evaluating Vick should think about those horrors before offering him a chance to wear their jersey. They should say, ‘Can’t we give our fans someone better to cheer for?’ Fans should demand someone better.
Someone around Juliet Macur ought to demand she get a damn grip. Assuming she’s never made a mistake in her life, Saint Juliet Macur is essentially arguing that there is no such thing as forgiveness or redemption. That once you commit a wrong, you must walk around with a Scarlet Letter. That there is no act or gesture that would warrant a second chance.
This is a dangerous message to profess in general, but again, even more poisonous when you consider who Michael Vick is outside of a football player: a Black ex-felon. If the Juliet Macurs of the world can’t even give a famous Black football player another chance after paying his debt to society for committing an egregious act, imagine how they would treat their less successful brethren.