The scandal around Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick’s indictment on felony charges for running a dogfighting ring and cruelty against animals has captivated the media. Last week, Vick plead guilty for bankrolling the “Bad Newz” kennels, a dogfighting and gambling ring, and for killing underperforming dogs.
Vick faces a maximum of five years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, and three years of supervised release, though most experts speculate that he will be incarcerated for one year. The day Vick announced his guilty plea, the NFL suspended the quarterback indefinitely. Some speculate that the league may never allow him to play again.
Michael Vick was the first African-American quarterback to be selected as the top pick in the NFL draft. In 2004, he signed a highly publicized 10-year, $130 million contract with the Falcons. While some argue that that Vick’s stature as a national figure carries additional responsibility, others contend that the 27 year-old has been subjected to unfair scrutiny because of his race.
Should Michael Vick be allowed to play in the NFL again? Has Vick been treated unfairly? While Vick’s actions were undoubtedly cruel, other professional athletes have received lesser sentences for crimes against people, not animals. Does his potential punishment fit the crime? Why has this story been given so much attention by the media?
Join us this week to share your thoughts on the NFL and the law.
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.