by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
crossposted on Buzzflash.com May 26, 2009
May 27, 2009
Michael Vick is one of the most talented players ever to play in the National Football League. He is a throwback to the days of the “triple-threat man.” He could run, pass, and kick. Well, offensive backs no longer kick in either the college or the pro game, but Michael Vick could both run and pass. A fine passer (quoting here from Wikipedia) “Vick owns several NFL records, including the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season (1,039 in 2006), highest average per carry in a single season (8.45 in 2006), 100-yard career rushing games by a quarterback (eight), best two-game rushing total (225 in 2004) and rushing yards in a single game (173 in 2002).” In the pro sport, where the league goes out of its way to try to protect its quarterbacks from physical contact except when it’s absolutely essential, here’s a quarterback who, when he ran, went out of his way to make it. And generally stayed healthy. And oh yes, he happens to be an African-American.
Dog-fighting is an unpleasant “sport” that is common in many countries around the world, and has a long history. It is illegal in most countries even where it is widespread (not including Japan; again, see the Wikipedia entry on “Dog fighting”). In the U.S., both the fighting itself, apparently quite widespread, usually between two pit bulls bred for the purpose, and the gambling on it, also apparently quite widespread, are illegal. For some reason that is yet to be determined, Vick, highly paid with much endorsement income as well, got caught up in both sponsoring dog-fighting and sponsoring the gambling associated with it, across state lines. He was caught, and prosecuted under both Federal law and that of several states.