Written by PETA
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
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About an hour ago, PETA campaigners and activists converged on NFL HQ in New York to urge Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL to suspend Michael Vick in light of his recent indictment for alleged involvement in the horrific cruelty associated with dogfighting—including allegations that he was killing dogs by hanging, slamming them to the ground, drowning, and electrocuting them. Surrounded by reporters and TV news crews, more than 75 activists lined the streets in front of the NFL building, holding signs reading “NFL: Sack Vick,” handing out stickers and leaflets to passersby, and making it abundantly clear—just in case Goodell hasn’t figured it out yet—that the NFL’s weak response to Vick’s case is unacceptable.
The massive turnout at this demonstration should be indication enough to Goodell that his decision to allow Vick to play in spite of these disturbing charges is going to be a major PR headache for the NFL, to say the least. Here’s what PETA President Ingrid Newkirk had to say about the NFL’s “wait and see” attitude in a statement to the media yesterday:
“Forget that unless space aliens were on Vick's property putting up an invisibility shield, it is impossible that Vick didn't know (let alone sponsor a fighting dog), that the house he built included designs for dog training facilities and that his relatives were fighting, kenneling, training, housing training equipment, and killing dogs there. There was a time when people under fire for corruption let alone criminal cruelty, resigned. That honorable moment has passed because of the Almighty Dollar. If he won't do the right thing by stepping down until this is resolved (and I'll put a sporting bet on his conviction), the NFL should suspend him. Is the new America only about money or do we still cling to some values? In the courts he may be innocent until proven guilty, and that's fair and fine, but in professional or political life, we have to have a higher standard than "hey, keep raking it in until we see if he gets off.”
The protest was covered on ESPN, and you can watch an interview with PETA’s own Dan Shannon that took place during the demonstration here.
I’ll let you know as soon as there’s more news, but in the meantime, you may want to get your very own “Sack Vick” T-shirt. Love it.
"When Linda died I said I would support cancer charities. Animal rights groups wrote to me pointing out that many were heavily into vivisection - and it's true. A doctor we knew out in America just admitted it as a matter of fact, innocently, like 'Well, sure we do.' What he doesn't realise is that he won't get a donation out of me for that very fact. There are better alternatives but you're not allowed to challenge the status quo."
This sends a clear message to animal experimenters and the charities that fund them that it’s high time to pull their heads out of the sand and embrace modern effective non-animal research.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Alistair.
For a list of charities that do and don’t fund animal experiments, check out this link.
Since taking over the job, Commissioner Roger Goodell has talked a big game about cracking down on character issues in the NFL—and until now, he's backed up his commitment, doling out tough penalties to Bengals receiver Chris Henry for DUIs and Bears tackle Tank Johnson for charges related to illegal firearms possession, and suspending Titans cornerback Pacman Jones for a full year following his troubles with the police. But now, in the face of national outrage over Vick’s indictment on dogfighting charges, Goodell has announced that Vick will be allowed to play when the season starts in September. Why, Roger, are you folding now when one of the NFL's biggest stars (who's certainly been no stranger to the courtroom since he was drafted by the Falcons) has been indicted for a crime that is nothing short of torture? What kind of a message does this send to the communities that are working so hard to stamp out this crime, or to the young fans of Michael Vick who are waiting to find out whether dogfighting is something that will get you into trouble? Goodell's weak response to these deadly serious allegations is tantamount to admitting that the National Football League doesn't consider ties to dogfighting rings a character issue at all.
Starting tomorrow, we will be holding demonstrations calling for Vick's suspension from the league, so I'll keep you posted with details, and if you want to let Goodell know that he's made the wrong decision, you can contact him about the issue here.
There is some good news, though. I know a lot of people have been contacting Vick's sponsors asking that they sever their ties with him, and it looks like some companies have been listening: Nike just announced that they will be suspending the release of the Air Zoom Vick V this summer. You can read about that here. You can be certain that we'll keep the pressure on Vick's other sponsors and the NFL to do the right thing here, and I'll let you know as soon as there are more developments in the story.
Please click here to contact Roger Goodell about this news and ask him to immediately take action. We're doing everything we can to ensure that the news of Vick's alleged involvement in this horrific cruelty is not swept under the rug. I can only hope that the high profile nature of Michael Vick's case helps to shed light on an epidemic that, too often, is not treated with enough gravity by law-enforcement officials, and that needs to be stamped out immediately.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.