A Door Unopened

A Door Unopened
Knock, knock...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Letter to Michael Vick on Thanksgiving Eve

I apologize. I cannot start this letter with "Dear Mr. Vick". The "Dear" part of the greeting would be completely disingenous.

Happy Thanksgiving, Michael! You certainly have a LOT to be thankful for, don't you?

Let's see...
You've served your time. (Isn't plea bargaining a wonderful thing? It got you out in less than two years.) You've admitted your guilt--some of it, not all of it. (Again, plea bargaining. It's like they invented it just for you.)
You've apologized--again, for some but not all of your crimes.
On your journey you say you've found Jesus.
You're talking the talk and walking the walk.
And you're in back in action, QB-ing for the Eagles, and looking great on the field.
Lots of folks are rooting for you.

I want to root for you too. But here's what's stopping me: that stuff you did.

It wasn't widely publicized (That the NFL managed to muzzle the media is yet another thing you can be thankful for.) and the excruciating details were largely omitted. The truth is you were involved in the execution and TORTURE of the dogs you exploited and abused for fighting. I've promised my husband not to divulge the gruesome specifics because it's horrendous to think about and it's not something most of us care to dwell upon. But I've read some accounts. You did unthinkable, unspeakable things to those dogs--things that I've tried to block out of my mind but the images persist. What you did to those dogs makes me think you are NOT OK. Anyone who could do what you did is fucked up in a way that is likely unfixable.

What happened to you, Michael, that allowed you to do such monstrous things? Did you feel anything when you slowly, deliberately, tortured the life out of these animals? Did you enjoy it while they whimpered, cried and howled in agony? Did seeing them bleed and suffer excite you? It must have. Why else would you have taken the time and creative thought to devise such horrific ways to kill them? Really what I want to know is this: How could you? How could you stand what you did? How can you stand yourself now?

Have you read the book about your dogs? (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2010/09/michael-vicks-lost-dogs.html)
Like you, they've received a second chance--most of them. A few had to be put down because there was no hope for rehabilition. If you read the book now, after your big redemption, would you feel shocked and horrified at the things you did?

I know that forgiveness is an essential part of being an evolved human--something I aspire to be on most days. And no doubt it means nothing to you if I do or don't forgive you. But here's the thing--I want to forgive you. I want to trust that regardless of future circumstances you would  never do anything like that again. But the truth is I'm worried that if something happens that shortens your career or further embitters you against the world, you would again take it out on other living creatures. Michael, how can you be trusted?

I know you won't read this. Even if you did your response would be, "I owe you nothing, bitch. NOTHING!" True. But as a human being you owe this much to everyone: To do your best in spite of the bad that's happened in your life. To act as a good world citizen. We all owe everybody that. We all make choices every day about how we're going to live our lives. We all have opportunities screw it up or do the right thing. I hope your turn around is permanent. For the sake of dogs everywhere, please let it be a lasting change.

I'm offering a deal:  Live your life like you deserve all the adoration being showered upon you, now and in the future, no matter what happens.While you're doing that, I'll work on forgiving you.

Michael, enjoy your Thanksgiving. You're a twisted, sadistic, sociopathic criminal who's had the rare privilege to turn football superstar. Let's be honest. You should be the most thankful person on earth.

Most sincerely,
Lyn Nave


  1. being cruel to animals is wrong and what michael vick did is awful. if there is any good to this, it is that there is a heightened awareness of this problem in the u.s., and that law enforcement is targeting and being more successful in shutting down these operations. apparently michael vick has turned over a new leaf and is genuinely remorseful for what he did. i hope this is true. however, a tragedy remains as far as legalized cruelty to animals is concerned. a partial list would include:

    1. bullfighting (let the bulls have an equal chance of killing the bullfighter.....)

    2. fox hunting (let the english upper crust get torn apart by a bunch of hungry wolves instead-at least the wolves have the excuse that they need to eat....)

    3. cockfighting (filipino legislators run businesses doing this-they are also world famous boxers....)

    4. seal pup killing

    5. dolphin killing...

    and so on.

  2. Nice letter, Lyn. I feel your vibe completely. However, no matter what he does to try to redeem himself as a person, nothing will erase what he did. If anyone is capable of torturing of animals or any living being, the concept of trust is oxymoronic. The NFL is a business and the organization is all about $$$. Under the glamorous veneer of all the hype and 'redemption' is a sociopath. His handlers will try to keep him on a straight path and place bandaids on his past, but his future behavior without the entourage of 'support' should be interesting. I place him with the likes of OJ, Mike Tyson, and several other sociopathic sports figures. I believe he is demonstrating sublimation--performing tasks that enable him to use his aggression in socially acceptable ways--like on the football field--for now. When he is out of that arena, he will be put to the truest test of his character. Ky