DionRabouin.com (sort of)

Donte Stallworth killed a man, but you’re upset about Michael Vick?

Posted in Opinion, Sports by dionrabouin on August 14, 2009

People in this country continue to confuse me. Today, Michael Vick, who served almost two years in federal prison and was suspended throughout that time and may not be reinstated to the NFL until week 6 of this season, held a press conference with his new team the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick said he was sorry and was accompanied by his new coach Andy Reid and mentor Tony Dungy and they all talked about how sorry Vick was and about his chances for redemption and blah, blah, blah. Eagles ownership is bracing for negative reaction from fans, protests and general disdain from “pet lovers” everywhere. This morning talk radio, pop radio and hip hop radio was all dominated by talk about Vick, with everyone weighing in with an opinion about him. Lost in all this fuss is any mention of Donte Stallworth.

Donte Stallworth, remember him? He’s the guy who got drunk, drove his Bentley around Miami and killed an innocent man who was trying to catch a bus. Here’s how absolutely, unforgivably ridiculous our laws are in this country, Stallworth killed a human being with his car while driving drunk and received 24 days (yes days, as in less than a month) in jail. Vick got 23 months (as in almost two years) in jail for killing dogs.

Where is MADD on this? Where are all the organizations who are supposedly so concerned about alcohol safety and DUI prevention? Where are the local government officials to tout their alcohol safety and moderation programs? Where are the protesters? Where are the picket signs?

Am I missing something? Is the life of an animal now more important than that of a human being? I mean, had Stallworth killed a 20-year-old, blond sorority sister this would have been everywhere, but because it was a 59-year-old Hispanic man it blows under the radar, that I understand. But how can people seriously protest Vick for killing dogs and just casually let the Donte Stallworth case slide from public consciousness?

In my mind, Stallworth’s career in the NFL should be over. Forget a one-season ban, he should never be allowed to play in the NFL, ever. People keep talking about whether or not Vick deserves another chance at such a prestigious position after running a dog fighting ring. He does. People kill animals everyday, for food, for pleasure, because they have no home or are no longer useful, and we can go back and forth about how Vick killed the dogs and how inhumane it was, but come on. They were dogs. Mario Reyes was a man. He was a man with a family, and he provided for that family and that family loved him and they will never see him again.

Is the biggest stain on the National Football League really a man who finances a dog fighting ring or a man who gets drunk the day after receiving a $4.5 million signing bonus and runs someone over in his car? Maybe it’s me, but all the attention on Vick and the complete lack of outrage at Stallworth makes me think that we really need to reexamine our priorities in this country.

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