Dear Michael . . .
Dear Michael Vick, Sorry to hear you can't understand why people are angry that you're doing the rounds of the book stores with your new book, Finally Free.
"Why would you continue to bash somebody who's trying to help make the world a better place?" you ask us all during an interview with USA Today.
Last week, Barnes & Noble put a hold on the book tour because the stores were worried about possible disruptions. Apparently you even received some death threats. But now you've decided to press ahead:
"A lot of people are sick and tired of hearing about my past, because there are so many other problems that are going on in this world that need to have attention drawn to them," Vick told USA TODAY Sports. "People are dying every day, children are being killed, going to jail. Not to say I overlook what I've done, but I try to do outreach as a positive.
"That's my responsibility. That's what I'm going to continue to do. That's what's important. Those people are not important."
So, back to the question you ask in the interview: "Why would you continue to bash somebody who's trying to help make the world a better place?" Until you tell us what you actually did to those dogs, you can never be forgiven. And no matter the title of your book, you will never be "Finally Free."Here's why:
We're all happy that you want to make the world a better place. But we still don't know what you think you did wrong that you're now trying to make right. The fact is you've never, to this day, said anything specific about it. It's all just been generalities. The judge managed to screw a few details out of you in court, but when it comes to talking to the rest of us, you've never admitted to anything – just a lot of vague and grandiose comments about how you didn't do enough to stop all the other people who were torturing the dogs.
In your first interview about the dog-fighting operation at your home, NFL Today anchor James Brown said he was going to be “asking the hard-hitting questions.” Here’s how it went:
JAMES BROWN: And the operation, Michael, that you pleaded guilty to bankrolling, to being a part of, engaged in barbarous treatment of the animals — beating them, shooting them, electrocuting them, drowning them. Horrific things, Michael.
MICHAEL VICK: It’s wrong, man. I don’t know how many times I gotta tell, I gotta say it. I mean, it was wrong. I feel, you know, I feel, you know, tremendous hurt behind what happened. And, you know, I should’ve took the initiative to stop it all. You know, and I didn’t. And I feel so bad about that now. And I know, you know, that I didn’t I didn’t step up. I wasn’t a leader.
Brown didn't even follow up. You never answered the question, and Brown just moved on to something else. And so it's been ever since. So, just as a reminder, here are some of the things we still want to know, plainly and directly, and from you:
- Please describe to us, in your own words, some of the things that took place at your kennels. Perhaps start with the dogs who had no teeth when they were rescued. Who pulled them out and why?
- Many of the dogs were so terrified of people, when they were rescued, that they wouldn’t even walk on a leash for months? What had you done to them to make them so afraid?
- Tell us exactly what you did with water to the dogs. Did you drown them? Please explain how and why.
- What were the electric cables for? Did you electrocute them? Again, explain how and why.
- Please describe what a rape stand is and what you used those for?
- Tell us, in detail, some of the things you personally did to the dogs yourself. Tell us what, in retrospect, was the worst thing you ever did.
Rehabilitation starts with acknowledging what you did. That's the start of any 12-Step-type program. Until you can step up and tell us what you did at your home, you're not even at Step One.
And that's the answer to your question: "Why would you continue to bash somebody who's trying to help make the world a better place?"
People can't get over what you did because you've never yet acknowledged what you did. Every interview you've ever given has been managed by PR people who have doubtless told you that it would be a big mistake to tell the truth. But until you do that, you can never be forgiven, and no matter what title you and your publishers put on the cover of your book, you will never be "Finally Free."
If and when you want to start talking, Michael, just let us know.