The Vick Divide: Chat with Jeffri Chadiha
The town meeting will examine the repercussions of a story that shocked the city of Atlanta and the nation. After first denying involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring, Vick later plead guilty to several charges and was subsequently suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Whether Vick will ever play in the league again is in question as is whether Vick can regain the trust of the fans he has lost.
Bob Ley, host of Outside the Lines and the Sunday morning SportsCenter, will host the Town Meeting. Debating the issues will be a panel of experts from various mediums.
Topics to be discussed on "The Vick Divide: An ESPN Town Hall" include . . .
Watch "The Vick Divide: An ESPN Town Meeting" on Tuesday, September 25 at 6 p.m. ET and chat with Jeffri Chadiha. Remember, some of your comments will appear on the show.
MODERATOR (3:44 PM)
Submit your comments about Michael Vick below. Your comment could appear on "The Vick Divide: An ESPN Town Hall" on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 6 pm ET. Also submit your questions for NFL writer Jeffri Chadiha who will be chatting live during the show!
MODERATOR (6:10 PM)
Keep your comments coming! Remember, we are especially looking for your opinions on the following issues .. 1) How has Vick been treated by the media and the justice system? 2) What is your opinion of dogfighting and how it compares to other crimes? 3) How has race played a role? 4) What is your opinion of how the NFL has handled the situation? 5) What can Vick do to rehabilitate his image? 6) What does the future hold for Vick?
Jeffri Chadiha (5:51 PM)
What's happening everybody. This is Jeff Chadiha and we're going to start this chat in about five to seven minutes. Thanks for all the comments so far and please keep them coming.
Where does Mike Vick go from here? Is there any chance that he will ever play again?
Jeffri Chadiha (5:56 PM)
There is a chance but it all depends on what happens over the next few months. Roger Goodell surely is waiting to see what kind of sentence Vick receives. There's also the question of how the commissioner will view Vick after Vick completes his punishment. My sense is that he'll get a shot somewhere but a lot of teams will be wary of keeping him on their roster. Most teams won't want the bad publicity that he'll bring with him.
johnny: baytown, texas
Why is it that there are players in the league who have gone to prison on drug charges, vehicular manslaughter, and an assortment of other felonies, but are still playing in the league? What makes Michael Vick any different?
Jeffri Chadiha (6:01 PM)
Vick committed a crime under Roger Goodell's watch. I agree that there have been more serious crimes in the NFL but I also know the NFL handled them differently. Goodell doesn't want the league to take an image hit under his watch so he's more willing to be harsher in his dealing with players who break the law.
His first step was a good one with his apology but there's a long road ahead of him. Who cares about his NFL future, how about his life?
Jeffri Chadiha (6:02 PM)
Amen to that. Vick is a celebrity but there's also the reality that he's a human being who made a major mistake. He deserves a second chance.
Sharell (Raleigh, NC)
What happened today, Virginia indictement against Vick, is a classic case of celebrity. I think this case is more about celebrity than race. The government has to prove that they are just as tough on celebrities than the "regular joe". Mr. Poindexter, Prosecutor in Surry County, should be ashamed of himself, he is only concerned with his re-election this year. From what I have read most prosecutors do not pursue charges in cases when the federal government have successfully brought charges. Shame on Poindexter!! Michael Vick made me into a football fan and I would hope that we as a society, and the NFL forgives him oneday and allow him back into the NFL.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:04 PM)
I totally agree with that. This is all about a politician trying to get re-elected.
Myran Charles(New Orleans La)
Will Michael Vick still be the most amzing player in NFL at 30? Or will his potential as a scrambler deminish?
Jeffri Chadiha (6:10 PM)
His skills will diminish. Every scrambling quarterback loses a step eventually. The good ones find a way to develop into pocket passers. Steve Young did it. Steve McNair did it. Donovan McNabb did it. But with a likely jail sentence coming -- and the reality that he wasn't improving as a passer while he was playing -- I don't see him elevating his game.
Greg (Raleigh, NC)
Man we are talking about dogs. Not rape, murder, DUI, we are talking about dogs. I could care less about a dog I bet people in China are laughing their butts off because they eat em.
Sonya (Detroit, MI)
I believe dogfighting needed a scapegoat and what better scapegoat than a celebrity.
Ken (Hilton Head, SC)
The media, like sharks, smelled blood and went after it, like they always do. It is the price for fame in this ego-driven sports society.
Adrian (New York)
There have been far worse offenses committed by NFL players who continue to suit up ... he's getting a raw deal.
Chris (Atlanta, Ga)
Why does everybody start finding God after they get in trouble, especially with the Law. Has Michael contributed to any charities as of late?? I have not seen a resume' of community involvement or charities.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:15 PM)
I hear you. He should be punished for what he did but the outrage over dogs has been disconcerting. The only thing I can say is that a lot of people own dogs and this touched a lot of those people. When one person gets murdered, people see it as a tragedy but they don't know that person. They don't feel that pain. That's the problem here. People can look at their dogs and feel some pain for what Vick did.
Tommy Stone Mountain, GA
Vick didn't need Mathis to talk for him during this whole process so i dont see why he has to talk for him now.
Katie Portland Oregon
Micheal Vick was not singled out.. he was not smart enough to surround with indivuduals that were making good decisions in his name, and with his property. There has been evidence that showed he was involved with the dog fighting. It has nothing to do with race or upward mobility it comes down to facing the consequences of your actions.
Chuck (San Francisco)
Mike Vick singled out? He BANKROLLED the operation - without his money it doesn't happen. He admitted in court that hilled took part in killing the dogs - he is admitted liar and criminal - and now his only crime is that he is loyal to family and friends. People are blind idiots to buy this callous person who still isn't taking repsonsibility.
kris, tampa, fl
I think he may have been single out a little bit, because of his status. But, people who say this was a mistake, is not true in my eyes. A mistake is cheating on a test, driving to fast, or lying once in a certain period. KIllING, BEATING, ABUSING, AND FIGHTING DOGS. Is not a mistake in my eyes. It is not like he did this one time. This was going on for a too long to be called a mistake.
Jack (Nashville, TN)
It is unfortunate that some people do not get second chances. Dog fighting is wrong. Michael Vick admitted that he made a mistake. Give Mike a chance to turn it around. Do not take his life away. We all deserve second chances.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:17 PM)
Valid point. I don't think Vick was singled out in regards to federal prosecution. I do think he was singled out by the Surrey County prosecution. This latest charge is a joke.
Kyle (Brandon, FL)
This man consistently made choices to break federal laws for 5+ years. Where does this second chance policy on felonies come from?
Tyler, Bakersfield CA
It disgusts me how we treat animals better than fellow humans. This case is all wrong, Pacman Jones is the one who needs to be facing jail, not Michael Vick. Its sad we've come to the point where dogs are more important than fellow humans.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:20 PM)
The second chance is a forgiveness issue. There are a lot of felons out there who deserve the chance to re-start their lives. It's about basic human decency. I could see this differently if he was a terrorist. He was a man who made a dumb mistake.
Joshua ( Garden City, Mi)
Michael vick is not getting picked on, he pled guilty, he is not innocent. Do I think he deserves jail time? No. and i think he should play in the NFL again but he will never play on the falcons again. But back to the main subject to say he is getting picked on, i strongly disagree, he is here in this situation because of his actions, if he didnt dog fight then he wouldnt be here.
Robert (Bay City, TX)
The issue about the fact he didn't murder someone or commit a crime against a person. The fact is he "broke the law". Case closed.
Do you think that members of the media including radio talk show hosts fanned the flames of listeners by using over exaggerated adjectives in describing what Michael Vick did? By using words like horrific, and atrocious I thought they were talking about much different. Also if you think that this was the case do you think that it was because of the fact that most of them were white that they couldn't identify with him as easily as a black person would be able to?
Bobby; Miami, FL
Can the NFL legally restrict him from returning after all the punishment is meted out and sentences are served? Would that not be discrimination of a former convict? This would be a violation of U.S. law
Don't you think pulling the race card is pathetic?
Jeffri Chadiha (6:33 PM)
I don't think this is about pulling "the race card." Look, I don't believe that race played a role in how Vick was prosecuted. I do think that race played a role in how Vick wound up in this situation. You're talking about a poor kid from Virginia who became a star black quarterback in a major city with a prominent black business community clamoring for a star. As a young black man, race has factored into every aspect of Vick's story.
Michael Vick hung, drowned, and shot dogs. If any well known athlete did this, regardless of their race, they would be in the same situation.
Cedrick (Dallas, TX)
That was a bad example by Terrance Moore. Pete Rose bet on his own sport. He had a small ability to control the game ie; drop ground ball, cork bat, not fully running bases. This is a whole different subject matter.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:34 PM)
This is true.
Jay (Miami, FL)
Vick said what he did was 'immature'. No, TP'ing (toilet papering) your neighbor's house is immature. Torturing animals is flat out immoral.
Paul (Atlanta, GA)
It seems as though no one cared about dogfighting until it seemed trendy to pile on Vick about it. All of a sudden, everyone has become oh-so-appalled at something that 6 months ago no one seemed to care about.
John; Canton, Ga
Please ask the 2 former players the following question. "Are the rumours that there are 5 to 10 players on each team involved in similar activity true?"
Jeffri Chadiha (6:38 PM)
I find that hard to believe. I think there are more players involved in dog fighting but that number sounds high.
Shawn (Bodega Bay, CA)
Judging from the responses from the studio audience (especially, hissing at the guy from the Human Society), it would be interesting to ask the crowd, by applause, how many don't think dog fighting should be against the law.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:49 PM)
We're trying to find a way to fit it in.
Sitting here with my seven year old daughter, This is one of many reasons athletes should have to complete college before moving onto the next level.(everyone is always wanting free education)
ben: sewickley, PA
I want Vick to play for my team because he'll come back with a fire beyond anything anyone has ever seen, that man will have a chip on his shoulder
Tom Harrisburg, Pa
Lets take this town meeting out of Atlanta. Botton line the audience is makeing Vick look like a victim of race. Stop the crying and face the facts the man is quilty and only in Atlanta is it a race Issue
I have question.Why is it ok to kill deer and other animals to hang on your wall, but not ok to fight dogs.Killing animals is killing animals.
Sal (Kansas City , MO)
First I would like to say that I am a pitbull owner and people like Michael Vick give this breed a bad name. When they are actually very good dogs. I also think that the media has treated Vick the same way that any professional athelete would be treated in this situation. I also belive that race hasn't played any part in the prosecution of Vick but that his celebrity has because someone has to be made an example of to let people know that this is not right, and what a better way to do that then with a celebrity.
Nick (Orlando, FL)
I will gain respect for vick if he "snitches"
Charles ,Washington, DC
Jeff,please bring this up, it is unbelievable that we are willing to lock up another young black man for years.What Mr. Vick has done is wrong, but are you telling me there is not a better way to make him see the error of his ways.The man is rich make him set up a large facility for animals,give large donations for battered animals for life.Another black man locked no.Asked Mr. Moore about locking up another black man.
Jeffri Chadiha (6:57 PM)
I hear you. It pains me to see another black man locked up, especially one who had everything like Vick.
Michael (Detroit, MI)
Public opinion has been skewed by celebrity more than the dogfighting. It is fascinating to watch someone have everything and then have it all collapse. The public almost demands it.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:00 PM)
As a long-time media member, I agree with you on that. It's not so much a conscious thing, though. I think it's more of a subconscious response. We hear something different about a prominent athlete and we jump on it.
David (Chicago, Illinois)
In the long run, Michael Vick will walk away from this situation far easier than an average citizen. Michael Vick is a felon, and he would never be welcomed back into the workplace if his profession was not football.
Dolittle (Tallahassee, FL)
Based on the 0-3 start by the Falcons, they are going to be rebuilding for 2-3 yrs, by that time MV could be back in the NFL. Could he play again with the Falcons?
Jeffri Chadiha (7:04 PM)
There is no way Michael Vick plays for the Falcons again. Period.
Mike: (Flowery Branch, GA)
People keep bringing up his impact on the Falcons. He did not lead the Falcons to any promise land. Did he even have a winning record with the Falcons? And how many games did he miss because of injury? He admitted that in games he wasn't giving 100% effort, why have we made him out to be a great quarterback. He only proved by his record to be average.
Aubrey (Oshkosh, WI)
Sports fans have by far the shortest memory of all. Think of all the pro athletes over the years that have been in trouble with the law that we no longer think about let alone talk about.
Danielle Pittsburgh, PA
I don't think Michael Vick will ever gain his image back. With the way the media and the public have covered this case, I think everyone will always remember him for dogfighting and never the good things he has and will do in his lifetime.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:06 PM)
It's not just sports fans. It's people in general. Look at what's happened with Hurricane Katrina. That was arguably the worst natural disaster in our country's history and we barely talk about all the issues that Gulf residents still face.
Earl Ravena Ohio
I really hope he goes to another team I've been a Falcons Fan since 1990 I've never been a disappointed with all the losing and only time I've been saddened by the franchise is by the way they treated Jamaal Anderson after he got hurt but it's really sad and disappointing that the Falcons nor the NFL stood by him till thease charges were more clear
Preston (Narrows, VA)
I live 20 miles from Virginia Tech, Mike Vicks college and everyone still supports him. There is few people who think less of him. He did so much for Blacksburg and Hampton Va. People make mistakes.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:08 PM)
I think there are a lot of Falcons who probably agree with that (although they aren't in the audience right now).
Richie (Middletown, CT)
Is it possible to compare Michael Vick's plight with that of Pete Rose? Avoiding the race card, isn't it basically the same deal? An athlete who broke serious laws, lied about it to everyone, then decided to come clean when it was most convienient to him.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:12 PM)
I wouldn't make that comparison. I do believe that lying to the commissioner and his owner were the second dumbest thing he did in this case. Goodell and Arthur Blank will never forget that.
Scott (carlsbad, NM)
Vick didn't confess and ask for forgiveness prior to being indicted. He deserves no credit for that. He lied about it prior to his indictment.
Ryan (Miami Florida)
Hi i'm really 12 years old and my brother used to be a huge Michal Vick fan.Now we dont know what to think about Michal Vick because he broke the law as well as times before and we really can't trust him.
Nicole (New York, NY)
Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Everyone makes mistakes ... after he does the time, everyone needs to leave him alone and let him live his life.
Ja'Coby G. Hampton, SC
What about Leonard Little who killed a lady while drinking and driving and basically got a slap on the wrist? Where was the media coverage and why wasn't he given the treatment Vick received?
Robert (Atlanta, GA)
If Vick does his time and serves his suspension, I'd be hard pressed to say he should not be allowed back into the league. A team taking a chance on him, that's another story.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:14 PM)
This is exactly why I think celebrity was the major factor in Vick's case. Let's face it: He would be facing probation if he was a second-string cornerback instead of one of the league's most popular players.
Jordan (Nacogdoches, TX)
Jeff, why do the people of the black community put it on themselves to defend criminals when they are guilty? This makes the community look ignorant when they deny proven facts and cry racial discrimination.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:18 PM)
That's a fair point. All I can say is that this issue really isn't just about Michael Vick. It's about a black community that had latched onto somebody they considered a hero. It's hard to see the flaws of our heroes. This is on a minor scale but consider how the Patriots fans responded to Bill Belichick's cheating. They embraced him immediately.
Vonzie, Houston, TX
My question is will the federal government now jump into every dog fighting case that comes up in the USA just as quick as they were to jump into the Mike Vick case?
Darryl (Baton Rouge LA)
I am sick of the notion that Vick and his criminal actions is a product of community and environment. I was raised in the deep south and I never heard "lets go down to our community culture center and watch the local dogfighting tournment"! It is time to take accountiblity for your own actions.
Jeffri Chadiha (7:29 PM)
Thanks to everybody for logging on. We have to end the show now but we appreciated all the comments. Take care.
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