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White Michael Vick

August 26, 2011 by USA Post 

White Michael VickWhite Michael Vick, It should not be news that ESPN ran a picture of Michael Vick on its website. He is the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course EPSN to talk about it. Only in this photo, Michael Vick is white.

The image is plastered on top of an article on the role of the color of Vick has played in his comeback as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL after spending 19 months in prison for running a dogfighting kennel in his native Virginia. The title is almost as incendiary, “What if Michael Vick was white?”

It’s a shame that ESPN chose that path. The “let’s start a fight” route. The “let’s drag Michael into a war of races” route.

I am a proud Hokie. And I am far more a fan of Michael. But man must apologize ESPN.

The article itself is fine. Better than good. It is a carefully crafted, nuanced article on race in America. Touré author points out the advantages of Vick’s career have given him in his game. He explains that being a black man is part of what the quarterback is. Both good things that go against the owner and photography. Michael Vick has enjoyed success because of who he is.

But Touré also says exactly what I think whenever people ask if Vick would still be punished for his role in Bad Newz Kennels, if he were white:

Whiteness has great advantages, but it is a meeting outside of everything, crime-free card. Killing the dogs is a heinous crime that disgusts and frightens many Americans. I am certain privileges of whites would not be enough to rescue a white star in the NFL caught killing dogs.

White privilege certainly exists in America. I’m white and I can admit that. But the way Michael Vick to return to the stage has to take responsibility for what he did, not casting the blame elsewhere.

You cannot blame his career for his decision to harm defenseless animals. And to his credit, has not. Case in point: the groom Vick Kijafa Frink produced Michael Vick Project. It was created, obviously, to put Michael on the best possible light. He gave his involvement in dogfighting in a context that explains who grew up in a place where was the norm. But he made clear that he was warned by people you trust to be away from her, and never did.

It is the work of ESPN to help rebuild the image of Michael Vick. But they could leave their successes stand on their own rather than decrease with a low blow in page views.

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