Caving In

Unsurprisingly, the NFL and the Falcons are backing away from their original stance and caving in to public pressure with the usual procession of nonsense. Such as:

Unecessary clarifications that water is wet for the purpose of grandstanding (as if the NFL might have some other opinion about dogfighting):

“Let me make it very clear that the National Football League is very disappointed that Michael put himself in this position,” Goodell said. “In no way do we think that dogfighting or anything related to dogfighting is acceptable. We think it’s despicable, frankly.”

Abdication of the responsibility to stand by an employee you’ve done nothing but praise so long as he was bringing in money for you (and who’s done nothing but play hard) for the entirety of his career:

“This is a football team, not a circus,” Blank said. “We need to prepare for the season.”

“This is not about playing football in 2007,” Blank said. “This is a very difficult process he’ll be going through over the next couple of months. It’s very difficult to do that and focus on football at the same time.”

Translation: It’s too risky (IE: too expensive) to stand up for Vick so we’re going to leave him out in the cold. Integrity is not profitable.

And the most despicable of all:

“This sort of behavior is really horrific,” Blank said in the team’s first public comment since Vick was indicted last week on federal charges related to dogfighting. “This is not the player or the person that I knew the last six years.”

Not only are the Falcons abandoning Vick, but Blank personally is distancing himself from him. I find this behavior frankly abhorrent. Even if Vick is guilty, you stand by the friends you make in this world – especially when the waters become turbulent. He doesn’t have to defend the man’s behavior but he’s just hanging Vick out to dry here. Maybe I’m being naive but to me, this is disgusting.

And of course, we would be remiss without pointing out yet another example of the type of intellectual flatulence we typically find emitting from the “animal rights” community:

“Given Vick’s high profile and his position to influence young people, it’s imperative that he not don the Falcons uniform and take his place on the field of play until — and unless — he can clear himself of these awful accusations,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society.

Translation: Mike Vick is guilty until proven innocent. There is simply no other way to interpret that statement. That sentiment is categorically opposed to the Constitutional tradition of this great Republic. But nobody will call Pacelle on it because everyone in the public eye is far too frightened that the mob may interpret any non-distancing from Vick as an endorsement of dogfighting – and we simply can’t have that.

Mike Vick may be (and probably is) guilty. We’ll know better when the legal proceedings have concluded. If he is there is nothing wrong with the team, the league and the fans abandoning him (his “friends” are still another matter). If he is guilty, I hope he gets the maximum sentence punishable under the law. However, even should that prove to be the case and Vick has carried out all the horrible atrocities towards animals described in his indictment; he is still a better man than any number of the weak, discordant and cowardly (“with the duplicity of a Spaniel”) voices who are creating or succumbing to public pressure at a time when due process is called for.