Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Creating A Culture of Non-Consequences

It disgusts me when the media and football commentators talk about Michael Vick's “tough time” in jail; what about the dogs he murdered and tortured? Frankly, he should still be in jail. From the perspective of some defenders of his time served, every ex-con who has served their time and never re-offended should be allowed to "just do their job." But a lot of the time they can't even get a job, or at least a decent one, because that goes with them on every job application. So, while average ex-cons are shafted, Vick continues to make millions playing football. And that's the message the NFL is sending out:  “hey if you commit a crime but have talent, we'll overlook your crime!” Every dog I've ever had was thought of as equal in importance, love, protection, etc, same as a sibling, child, friend, etc; when it comes to people, I seriously have to weigh how far I'm willing to do that. Plus, as I’ve previously stated, I prefer dogs to most people. I mean…HAVE YOU MET PEOPLE???!!

Reminder: Michael Vick's Dogs Were Shot, Electrocuted, Hanged and Beaten to Death

Texas Animal Abuser Sentenced To Six Years In Prison For Brutal Killing of Dog

The Texas case is one of many examples, and used to illustrate that this guy went into a (presumably impulsive) rage, beat and drowned his dog and, rightfully, received a six year sentence; yet, Vick willfully and knowingly ran a murder/torture ring, but only received 23 months. Then the media and commentators puff him up as some sort of repentant angel deserving of a multi-million dollar contract to continue playing in the NFL because he has talent, rather than him, in my opinion, deserving of nothing less than shoveling dog excrement in the lowest bowels of hell. In general, it's a microcosm of the entire problem with disparities and inequities in our justice system and society as a whole (which is an entirely other argument for another time, thank you). This has contributed to increasing numbers of entitled malcontents of all ages indifferent to consequences of their actions, because of the examples they see in their “role models.” And not just in the Vick case, or even just in football; in all other cases, both past and pending, where players committed a heinous crime but basically were given a pass for such transgressions because of their status and value, the insinuation has been reinforced.

No matter those who try to deny it, millions of kids, male and female, look up to athletes as their role model. I grew up admiring Roger Staubach, who graduated as a top student-athlete at the U.S. Naval Academy – winning the Heisman Trophy in 1963 – served honorably in the U.S. Navy and quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories. Although it did not pan out, he had inspired me in my teen years to a desire to attend the academy and join the Navy as well. Pretty terrible role model. Fortunately, I grew up in a family of sports enthusiasts, but also had other inspirations from which to draw as well.* For some kids, though, sports and athletes are all they have to rely on for role models given any myriad of reasons, because, for the most part, it is one of the first activities to which many kids are exposed at an early age. Whether a fan or not of sports, one must appreciate that influence; it would be wise to make it a positive one, especially in illustrating the consequences of inappropriate behavior and poor choices.

*To read about this & other subjects, purchase a copy of my personal narrative, Echoes From An Unexamined Life

©2014 Steve Sagarra

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