What if Mike Vick was white? Really, ESPN?!

What if Mike Vick was white? Really, ESPN?!

In an article from ESPN the Magazine today, the great folks at the sports entertainment giant addressed the question that has been plaguing us all since Michael Vick was first indicted on multiple charges of animal cruelty in 2007.

According to ESPN – or at least this particular author – we have all been wondering: Just what if Vick was white? And I’m glad they’re finally going to answer it for me! It was keeping me up at night...

“Since the day he was arrested, people have asked. The answer isn't what you think.”

For a person who’s not very easily offended but would also like to think of myself as sensitive to the offenses of others, I was shocked to find this article honestly ... well, offensive. And it wasn’t so much for the racist undertones and stereotypical references, as it was the sheer audacity of this individual to actually think they were writing something profound; something enlightening perhaps.

To put it as simply as I can, this article is trash. And the illustrated photo (above) is the icing on the cake.

Here are some excerpts from the article. I’ll let you decide:

"I'm not saying that a black QB who stands in the pocket ain't playing black. I'm saying Vick's style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless -- so representative of black athletic style -- that if there were a stat for swagger points, Vick would be the No. 1 quarterback in the league by far."

"In making Vick white, you have him born to different parents. That alone sets his life trajectory in an entirely different direction. Thus when this hypothetical white Michael Vick ... wait, I can't even continue that sentence in good faith. I mean, who would this white Vick be?"

"Would a white kid have been introduced to dogfighting at a young age and have it become normalized to the extent that he builds it into his life after he joins the NFL?"

And, while I won’t continue to speak negatively about a man who has paid for his crimes – Vick's is certainly a compelling story – this one is my personal favorite, referring to the former dog fighter as “heroic.”

"And to those who believe we should judge a man by how he responds when dealing with the worst life has to offer -- with how he climbs after he hits rock bottom -- Michael Vick has become heroic."

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  • Maybe the author had just seen "A Time to Kill" and it inspired him to write this piece? It's one of the few Matthew McConaughey movies I can tolerate.

  • In reply to mtburz73:

    You're killing me right now. "How to lose a guy in 10 days" was an excellent movie.

  • In reply to Shamontiel:

    I'm sure Vick could do a sequel of equally awful status: How to lose your dogs in 10 days.

  • In reply to mtburz73:

    Love that movie!

  • In reply to Adam Oestmann:

    Just realized how this looks ... I love 'A Time to Kill' NOT 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days!'

  • In reply to Adam Oestmann:

    *laughing* I was wondering which film you loved. I don't know why people don't like "How to lose a guy in 10 days." That was a funny film, but ah well.

  • Who’s more racist, white people or black people? It’s white people! You know why? Chris Rock couldn't have said it better himself >> http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/04/crackas-a-search-replace/

  • I am a serious dog lover so when I first found out about this news, I just shook my head. But then after David Banner waved his jersey and acted like it was no big deal, I was furious and wrote a blog "No sympathy for Michael Vick." A year passed. I watched the BET show. I got over it. Now? I feel like he paid his debt, it's time to move and I support his success now. (Plus I'm not at all a supporter of recidivism.) I haven't read the ESPN article yet, but I do want to say that GQ wrote an article about him in their latest issue that I enjoyed so much I'm going to read it twice. It was interesting. The way he's taking on reporters these days got my attention. As far as dogfighting, funny thing is I grew up in a mildly "rough" neighborhood on the southside and I never knew ONE person who fought dogs. I knew dog owners but no dogfighters. The first time I encountered a dogfighter was 2 years ago, and it was a white guy on a Red Line train. Blew my mind. He was chatting about how German Shepherds don't get scars and mad his neighbors kept telling on him. Again, a white guy. The idea that all "hoods" have dogfighting is definitely an overstatement.

  • In reply to Shamontiel:

    *sigh* So I finally read the article. Here was my response (but before you read it, please check out the Sept. 2011 issue of GQ. That article was FAR better and Vick actually had a moment to respond...almost uncensored...almost):

    Maroonsista (post to ESPN)
    If this is the same Toure who wrote "Who's afraid of post-blackness?" then the person who wrote this piece IS black. With that in mind, I can't call it "racist." I'll stick with misguided. Let's start with this comment: "If Vick had been born to white parents, you wouldn't even be reading this right now." Negative. I grew up with black parents, lived in an all-black neighborhood, dealt with many "hood" situations (gangs, shootings, girls getting tricked out, drug dealing, boys dropping out, girl gangs, fights on the way to school, blah blah blah) and the interesting thing is in ALL this time that I saw ALL of that, I knew a bunch of black dog owners and not ONE dogfighter. I watched guys go in and out of prison who were dog owners. I watched boys get beat up, shot at and join gangs. No dogfighters. The first time I EVER encountered someone who was a dogfighter was a white 20-something guy on a subway train who was complaining about his neighbors calling the cops on him for possible dogfighting. He said he was surprised he was going to get caught considering he was fighting German Shepherds "who don't scar" instead of pitbulls. So while people may believe that this is only a black thing, not EVERY black hood has dogfighting. I'm shaking my head at this entry simply because I can't believe YOU could be naive enough to believe that regardless of environment, he himself made a bad decision. And as much as we see other celebs, white and black, making dumb decisions because of their environment, it has far more to do with their social circle and less to do with race. But for you to turn around and say that the article wouldn't have to be written if he was white makes me realize you are a lost cause.

  • In reply to Shamontiel:

    Yes, I agree. It may be difficult to call the intent of the article racist, seeing as it was published by a black author. But I don’t think that precludes its content from coming across as racist. I couldn’t agree more that a person is a product of their environment, plain and simple. That single fact has everything to do with who they are, how they behave and the way they conduct themselves, not race. And that is where ESPN’s article missed the mark.

  • I have been a longtime animal lover being raised on the farm. I am also a black male whose prodimant portion of family lives in rough neighborhoods all across the US. I personally knew over 15 people who fought dogs from the time I was 6 til a little into highschool. It was always pit-bulls and it was always big money. For a long time I never thought much of it because I didn't watch it first hand as I was afraid of pitbulls anyway. Then I saw a fight recorded on video. It was insane.

    Then I realized that I saw the EXACT same thing growing up in the country. Instead of thugs and dealers it was "good ol' boys" and their freinds. And it wasn't just dogs. Fought wild turkeys and owls and anything else that would attack another animal. To each his own but I feel man having dominion over animal only goes as far as for food and protection and companionship.

    As far as that picture, If that was the true white Mike Vick I think he would still go to jail cuz that pic just looks like a thugged out white dude!

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Love the comment!

  • Brilliant strategy! There is nothing wrong with compelling people to "think outside the box."

    One could also write the opposite story featuring the white quarterback who raped several women but continues to play. What if?

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    This is a hot steaming crock oF SHIT.. What if Brett Farve were Black he would have been shelved years ago... We are far to intelligent to try and rationalize something so impossible. If Mike Vick was white he wouldn't be Mike Vick... and if this author had any sense he would print an apology a retraction, resign and change careers.

  • In reply to John Watkins:

    I have to say I agree, John. Thanks for the comment.

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    In reply to John Watkins:

    "The problem with the "switch the subject's race to determine if it's racism" test runs much deeper than that. It fails to take into account that switching someone's race changes his entire existence. In making Vick white, you have him born to different parents. That alone sets his life trajectory in an entirely different direction. Thus when this hypothetical white Michael Vick ... wait, I can't even continue that sentence in good faith. I mean, who would this white Vick be? That person is unknowable. When you alter his race, it's like those Back to the Future movies where someone goes back in time, inadvertently changes one small thing about his parents' dating history and then the person starts to disappear. If Vick had been born to white parents, you wouldn't even be reading this right now."

    That's from the article. It appears y'all are in agreement on the points.

  • Adam, I think you and everyone else had a good awkward laugh at this one. My boyfriend wrote a response to it as well http://wp.me/p1ML8e-2B. He's actually working on a "What if Big Ben were black?" I hate when these things get bought up. I think the ESPN author was black himself, and totally missed the point he was trying to make. Instead of even going there it would have been better for ESPN to do an over all positive story about him. And how fitting days later he gets $100M contract. That shouldn't be overshadowed with that "what if he were white?" question. As a human being, he did wrong, paid the price, and came back on top. Then end.

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    Someone actually took the time to write this article? If he was a street thug, he wouldn't have gotten much more punishment. But since we make "Heroes" out of garbage, color doesn't make a difference. Love the example we set for our kids. He should never have been able to play professional again. Should have made him coach a prison team. You can't make perfume out of horse crap.

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