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Animal lives mean more than human lives for some

A few years ago we were mesmerized in the sports world by an unorthodox quarterback by the name of Michael Vick.  He did it all.  He ran for unheard of rushing yards for a quarterback. Vick could throw off balance with some noteworthy accuracy, across his body, to a receiver three checks down.

It was an amazing thing to watch.

Then someone let the dogs out and Michael Vick’s life turned upside down and his reputation and legacy were decimated in the public eye, while PETA got out its rain sticks and danced on his persona’s grave.

As many know, Vick and friends were accused and proven guilty of running a dog fighting ring, made all the worse through the media’s tendency to create a public execution, and in high definition, color corrected, memory searing detail.  Vick went to jail for a bad decision.

Not to justify what he did, but with how often things like this happen all across the world and no one cared at all in the past, Vick got thrown under a bus simply because he was famous.  And everyone loves Fido.

Fast forward to 2009.

Donte Stallworth is another one of our fun loving NFL players that makes bad decisions.  Dante Stallworth decided, as reported here, he was to get a little tipsy, have some fun behind the wheel and ended up flat-lining another human being.  He was guilty of a DUI, vehicular manslaughter and was looking at a four to 15-year sentence.

Stallworth was sentenced to 30 days.

How does this seem like justice?  I understand that athletes routinely get off the hook for things, some trivial, while others just make you blink and think to yourself, What the hell was the judge thinking?  How does a person, athlete or Joe Blow get off with 30 days punishment for killing another human being while Michael Vick gets his life thrown into the shredder and stuck in prison?

Let’s try to put this into context.

People reported Keifer Sutherland, our superman Jack Bauer from “24,” was arrested for a DUI, too.  He went to jail for 48 days.  Sutherland didn’t even kill anyone.  It’s a terrible situation when Sutherland is punished more than Stallworth, when Sutherland did essentially the same thing by apologizing and admitting his stupid error. Florida is even supposed to be a state where DUIs are punished more severely.  In many ways, Stallworth got a slap on the wrist.

But here’s the worst part.  Stallworth will get out of this with less reputation damage than Vick or Sutherland. And here’s the reason why.

No furry little rodent or man’s best friend was injured in the commission of this crime.  PETA is more focused on earning Lassie’s voting rights than drunk driving.  Green Peace is still trying to find a way to create gender specific trees to hug.  MADD should be all over this, but as it’s proven in the past, it’s just composed of an ignorant bunch of people living in an isolated bubble from the rest of society.

What kind of shape is our society in when Rover gets more respect than Rodney Dangerfield?

1 comment so far

I agree with some of the points in this article, but I’m not sure about the relation of dog-fighting and DUI manslaughter. I get the writer’s point, but the circumstances are different. But overall this is a valid thing to point out – celebrity status can almost certainly get you out of anything, even murder. It’s why I worry about star-gazing becoming so important to our culture. It’s a distraction.

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