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Monday, Sep. 26, 2016

Subway's Sportsman of the Year and the New Face of Nike

Posted Sunday, July 3, 2011, at 9:02 PM

From The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant, senior editor of Sports Illustrated...

"As that dog lay on the ground, fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its back legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn't kill it. So, Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground until, at last, the little red dog was dead."

Yes, that is the same Michael Vick that is the 2011 Subway BET Sportsman of the Year and the new face of Nike.

I know, many think that he has paid his debt to society. He did time. He speaks out against dog fighting. He paid money towards the support of his surviving dogs. But the fact is, had he actually been tried according to the animal cruelty laws in the state of Virginia, he would have been charged with twenty dogfights and the cruel deaths of nine dogs. He would have faced up to sixty-five years in prison. Instead, he was able to plea bargain to one count of dog fighting got a three year suspended sentence for time served on the federal charges of one count of Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fight Venture. He served 18 months of that 23 month sentence. And now, he's making millions, and being held up as a role model.

How many of you think that he would have gotten the same sentence if he weren't a famous football player?

I don't care how much time he's done, or how much he says he's sorry. People who are willing to beat a dog to death with their bare hands are scary. Experts have long acknowledged a link between animal abuse and violent crime against other people. So here we are rewarding a man who has openly showed sociopathic behavior. Do you want him to be a role model to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews? Would you like to have him as a neighbor? Date your daughter? As a society, we need to stop rewarding celebrities who display violent and unstable behavior.

It's too bad. I like Subway's food, and Nike's products. Yesterday I was shopping for new sneakers, and I passed over a pair of Nikes that I really liked and purchased a pair from New Balance. And from now on, I will probably go to Quiznos, Casey's, or Hy-Vee for my sandwiches.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

very well written!!

-- Posted by puppyluv on Sun, Jul 3, 2011, at 9:33 PM

I say...buy KEDS! Eat Cousin's or Quizno's....

-- Posted by justsande on Mon, Jul 4, 2011, at 9:23 PM

The only good that came out of Vick's crime was it has proven to many that Pits CAN BE rehabilitated, one is even a service dog...once a snake always a snake...lying in the grass waiting for the right opportunity to strike...KEDS, COUSIN'S and QUIZNO'S!!!

-- Posted by justsande on Mon, Jul 4, 2011, at 9:25 PM

All I can say is that once again Nike backs an abuser(how can we forget Tiger?)! Subway, I'll NEVER go through your doors again and will most definitely tell everyone I know, and then some, how you support murder by torture....keep your sandwiches, they SUCK anyway!!

-- Posted by sassygirlfortythree on Mon, Jul 4, 2011, at 9:42 PM

I agree with you 110%! So tired of this society uplifting members because of their ability to provide entertainment. What a crock! He never should have been allowed to return to his sport or to represent any product as a spokesperson.

-- Posted by Leah Cauthron on Tue, Jul 5, 2011, at 9:40 AM

I couldn't have said it better myself. I am so angered by the smoke-blowing up the @$$ of this (expletive) and poor excuse for a human. I'd like to hook him up to jumper cables and throw HIM into a swimming pool. Nike and Subway will never see another dime from me.

-- Posted by Allliiieee on Tue, Jul 5, 2011, at 4:54 PM

Great post,I hadn't heard about this so thanks for giving my blood pressure a boost, it's low most of the time. I started trying to get folks to stop buying anything with the Nike logo on it years ago for a different reason. Subway was the last of the fast food joints I quit going to.Up until now my Subway boycott was over the way their help treated customers at our local food joints. Now I have a new reason to keep the boycotts going. I can think of a few things I'd like to see happen to Vick but chances are none of them are legal. When you mentioned him doing his time I was thinking it's to bad that more prisoners don't feel that someone that's convicted of animal abuse should be treated the same as someone that was convicted of child molestation. I don't imagine Vick did his time in general population so that wouldn't matter much. I hope ya all are good for your word and you will never spend a dime on anything Nike and you never again darken the doors of a Subway food joint.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

-- Posted by DSchantz on Sun, Jul 10, 2011, at 10:50 PM


I've been thinking of replying for about a week now, but I wanted to make sure I worded it tactfully. So, let's see how I do.

First of all, this is quite an emotional appeal, Aimee. It makes sense. I know you are passionate about animals and, of course, you should be upset about what Vick did.

You go on to downplay the time Vick served, his cooperation leading to other convictions and his efforts to show others that dog fighting is not OK. Should anyone actually face up to 65 years for animal cruelty? That seems a bit extreme to me, especially considering many people convicted of manslaughter don't serve 65 years. For example, Donte Stallworth, another football player, was driving drunk and high when he killed a pedestrian. His sentence was much lighter than Vick's, but I didn't hear that much of an outrage. Animal cruelty is a terrible thing, but sometimes it seems like people are louder about something happening to an animal than they are about cold blooded murder.

I suppose the only way to know what kind of sentence he may have gotten if he wasn't a football player is to compare it to the people that went down with him. Do you have those numbers, Aimee?

When Vick returned to the NFL, there were two types of fans: Those hoping he would fail and those hoping he would bounce back. When he surpassed everyone's expectations, he gained a lot of fans and a lot of people were cheering for him. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense for companies to hire him again as a spokesperson.

Now for Subway's part in this. Did they get to pick who won the award or did they just sponsor it? The latter seems to be the case. Regardless, Vick deserved to be named Sportsman of the Year. Did you see his stats? That's what sportsman of the year types of awards are based on: stats. Now, if he was winning Sports Role Model of the Year, you would have a much stronger argument.

Now, lets look at these awards themselves. Do you normally watch the BET Awards or care who wins them? If so, you should also be boycotting Coca-Cola for sponsoring the Viewer's Choice Award, which went to Chris Brown. Maybe you know him better as the artist who beat Rihanna? Perhaps it's OK that he was nominated for and won more than one award, because she also won an award? Other award winners and nominees who have been in the news for all the wrong things include Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa. Maybe the BET Awards in general should be boycotted if you expect everyone who wins an award to be role models. The same could be said for just about any award show.

You're free to boycott any product for any reason. I don't blame you at all for sticking to your guns. One problem with boycotting is when you find out numerous companies support things you disagree with and then you have a whole laundry list of companies you deny. Anyhow, I just wanted to show a different side of this, coming from a sports fan. I don't expect my opinion to be popular on this page, but I thought it should be voiced, nonetheless.

Sassygirlfortythree, that was quite the false syllogism there. By sponsoring an award that a rehabilitated dog abuser received, they are not supporting murder by torture. That is more than a stretch, especially since Subway most likely didn't pick who won the award.

Leah, just because someone does a crime does not mean they should never be able to return to their livelihood, unless their crime was connected somehow to their livelihood. For example, a teacher who sexually harassed a student obviously should not be allowed to return to teaching. Vick's example is nothing like that. I understand you don't think he should be a public figure anymore, but there are a lot of athletes (and various celebrities in general) who fit that bill.

Allliiieee, how can you justify torturing a human because he tortured animals. How would that make you any better than what he was?

DSchantz, see my above comment. Also, I think you're in the minority comparing animal cruelty to child molestation, but I could be wrong.

That's about all I have to say. Like I said, I'm sure it won't be popular - at least with those who have posted thus far - but I think another angle needed to be presented.

-- Posted by Gabe Licht on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 12:33 PM

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Aimee graduated from Spencer High School in 1994, and then moved to a large city on the west coast. She returned to Spencer in 2007. Aimee spent more than a decade in veterinary medicine and dog training, and now works in a public library. She lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a cat.
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