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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    I donít like the Atlanta Falcons. Iíve never been a Michael Vick fan. For these reasons, it is very easy for me to look at Vickís recent indictment and say ďI hope this ends his NFL career.Ē
    The crimes he has been accused of (and, yes, for the purposes of this article, Iím presuming guilt) are deplorable. They are crimes that could only be carried out by a cruel, callous, individual who has no respect for living creatures or the law.

    Taking a step back, though, I find myself asking the question: what if I was an Atlanta Falcon fan? How would I be reacting to all of this? And, more importantly, if he is guilty, would I ever be able to extend enough forgiveness to Michael Vick to allow me to root for him again?

    These thoughts lead me to a subject that, though talked to death by Rams fans, must be looked at again. Leonard Little.

    Little, as we all know, committed a crime that resulted in the death of an innocent person. He was convicted, and he served prison time. He then came back to the Rams, and has been a top performer. While I donít consider him one of my favorite Rams, and I would never wear his jersey, when he sacks a QB or makes a play, I cheer.

    And yet, I feel as though, if I was a Falcon fan, I would not be able forgive Vick.

    Am I being a hypocrite? I donít think I am.

    Certainly, the consequence of Littleís crime was far more severe than those associated with Vickís actions. As much as I love dogs, I would never equate animal cruelty to manslaughter.

    But, while the law often considers the consequences of a criminal act in determining the severity of punishment, as a football fan, I apply a different standard. I am concerned with the character of the individuals who play for my team. As a result, in deciding whether I can forgive a player who has engaged in a criminal at, I look more at intent and contrition.

    From that standpoint, I think Little is far more forgivable than Vick. When Little committed his crime, he had no intent to harm anyone. He was criminally reckless, no doubt. I donít condone or excuse this type of behavior. However, I do factor in the lack of an intent to harm when evaluating a crime such as this.

    As for contrition, my understanding is that Little has acknowledged that what he did was wrong, and has expressed remorse. I fear he may have not fully learned his lesson, as his subsequent arrest suggests, but at least heís not defiantly claiming that he never did anything wrong.

    In Vickís case, if the allegations are true, everything he did was entirely deliberate. When you put two animals in a ring to rip each other to shreds, you are fully aware of and intend the brutal consequences. When you kill the dog that loses, you are not acting recklessly. You are acting with intent.

    While perhaps Vick may someday ďcome clean,Ē at this point, all he has done is deny his guilt and point the finger at others. There has been no contrition from Vick whatsoever.

    So, in the end, Iím not a ďLeonard Little fan,Ē but I can cheer for him as a Ram. I donít think I could ever cheer for Michael Vick.


  2. #2
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    That was a really good read. It is true. You have to remember (as you said), that Little didn't have bad intentions. People make bad choices all the time, but you have to forgive them. I have forgivin Little, because for the most part, he has learned from his mistakes. Vick, if found guilty, makes Pacman Jones look like a great person. Well maybe not, but you get the point. Being a dog lover, I find what Vick did disturbing. I think he should be out of the league. As far as forgiving him goes, maybe he learns from this, and after doing his time, he becomes a better person. Then, and only then, will I not hate his guts. I might not like him, but I won't hate him.

  3. #3
    Drew's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    like you pointed out AV ...Little has admitted his guilt and faced the music so to speak and well Little`s bro was murdered so ya know with not only the guilt that he served time for but the guilt that will haunt him for the rest of his life,he has learnt what it feels like to lose a loved one close to him for no reason....

    as for Vick he just seems to do what he wants and thinks he`s untouchable....

    plus i hate running backs playing the quaterback position,tho i admit that isn`t relevant in the context of this thread i just had to say it!

  4. #4
    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    I agree, what Little did was terrible, but he fessed up to his crime and is sorry about it. It wasn't something that he tried to make happen. Americans are forgiving people, but I wouldn't ever like Vick no matter how many times he apologized because the crime is so blatantly and intentionally cruel.

  5. #5
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    What not a Vick fan? You and the rest of the media. This is a prime example of a player gone to far with hobbies and involving outside influence to kill an NFL career quickly.
    Nancy Grace is not even happy. And the NFL cannot comment on the indictment.
    So let's make sure everyone is clear. Vick is just another growing NFL player with related bad company. To everyone's surprise he is a big time concern. The crack down by the NFL on similar issues has been harsh on the no name players. But a Superstar, we will see how the punishment fits the crime.
    As for the dog fighting concerns. It is inhumane to even have a mind set for this type of cruelty. Where is Mike's mother and her opinion concerning the matter. The media should be embarrassing his family to get there side of the story. Makes you wonder what else he likes to do if it does not involve animal cruelty.
    Either he is in over his head with some underground cartel pressuring him to set up and place these events for monetary means or he is a sick individual.
    Mike Vick has been overhyped since day one and he has not produce. One season is not enough. Mr Blank is a man that does not like controversy. And he will change or make changes with Vick or not Vick. Real businessmen do that. The NFL now has a perfect platform to perform the justice badly needed on a so called Superstar.
    It will be an example for the decades. And Goodell will be the first to adddress this huge cancer of african american athletes out of control in the public view.
    FIFA does not allow players to damage the image of soccer. Well the NFL is FIFA and no player is bigger than the league it plays on. A player is replaceable no matter what.
    When that message is send out and carried out, then and only then will these players learn to become responsible citizens and role models. Playing NFL football is a privilege and should not be taken for granted.
    THE FIELD GOAL

  6. #6
    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    I think the lack of responses shows this is a touchy subject.

    I think that if Little wasn't a Ram we would hate the guy because of what he did. Alot of NFL fans (well, most NFCW rival fans) that know what he did really dislike him because of it and I'm sure it doesn't help that he's a good player as well.

    But that being said I think it's totally unfair to compare Vick to Little. I think the national response in Vick's case shows you how atrocious and calculated his crimes really were. Like you said, Little didn't mean to do this and I'm sure it haunts him every day of his life. Vick totally enjoyed what he did and I guess found some entertainment value in it and will probably never regret it, except for the fact that he was caught.

    On the grand scale Little's crime was more costly then Vick's. An animal's life should never be held in the same regard as a human's.

    What I personally look at is wether the person meant to do what he did and wether he is truely sorry for it or not. Little is a good person who made a terrible mistake that cost a life. Vick is a morally corrupt human being who happily commited his crime and ovbiously saw nothing wrong in it.

    In essence, I guess I can forgive Leonard because he's a good person who didn't mean to hurt anyone. But then again, I'm a Ram's fan, so I'm not sure how valid my veiw is.

  7. #7
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    I agree with you on the criminal difference between Little and Vic. What Vick had done is beyond comhrensive to any dog lovers, like me. If it was up to me, I would put Vick in the dog ring and let them pitbulls have him. Vick need to feel the pain! He should ousted for good.

  8. #8
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    Agreed, Ar.

    I have a hard time accepting that Vick had no idea what was happening on property he owned, regardless of who was or was not living there. I can not conceive of anyone being so callous and unfeeling so as to enable dog fighting for entertainment.
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  9. #9
    DaddoRam's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    Another thing to consider here is that while Little's crime was worse, it was a one-time act. Vick's crime is about actions he took over, and over, and over again, decisions made hundreds of days to commit this violent felony, a habit rather than a one-time mistake.
    Daddo's the oldest of the old farts at myspace!http://www.myspace.com/darrenhellwege

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  10. #10
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    Very well said. I think you and I agree totally on the Michael Vick situation. Intent as you said is the deciding point here. Thank you Woody
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=Navy]woodyramfan1

  11. #11
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    Another thing to factor in. And I know that this article is not about Little, its about Vick.

    Little was a young man, just signed with the Rams and had been taken out to celibrate his birthday with a load of Ram players. All factors that I am sure most of us have been in at one time. So you have a great deal of peer pressure regarding Littles situation.

    Now you take Vick (or ANYONE who gets involved in dog fighting) he choose to take up this "hobby" of killing animals for fun. Thats what it is. Killing animals for fun. Remember that we " the human race" are supposed to be the more intelegent species on this planet yet thousands of us stil choose to KILL on a regular basis for fun ....................

    I have not time for these "people", they are no better than the animals that they torture and kill for fun and as far as I am concerned they dont deserve to breathe the same air as me.

    mmmm, I think I had a wee rant there

    Sorry but I just had to say it.


  12. #12
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    I wonder how many other NFL players have been involved in this "Sickening" sport?

    Where's Marcus Vick? Michael's younger brother.

  13. #13
    marccat's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    My take on this is he is going to pay for his trangressions and pay large! But, its a kind of fresh start at getting it right and he could do good things to help those he has wronged. We'll see what kind of man Vick is out of football, cause I dont see him on a NFL team till 2010 at least. Its a brutal action,and this man has much to atone for his stupidity. Believe this, Vick will go thru hell to just get to the point of forgiveness and true humble repentence, so it is his choice now.

  14. #14
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    There is a HUGE difference between the two situations. Little's incident was an accident. Was he negligent? Probably so, especially with the drinking. But no one has ever said that Little had any intent to break the law, let alone an intent to injure another person, let alone any intent to kill anyone.

    Vicks acts were intentional. He knew what he was doing was breaking the law and he did it anyway.

    I am not equating the death of the woman with the animals in the vick case, however, intent is at the core of our criminal code. There is a HUGE difference between an overt and intentional act especially when the person knows what he is doing is against the law and an accident.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  15. #15
    woodyramfan1's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Vick, Leonard Little, and the Forgiveness of Fans

    I can no fault with your "rant" if you choose to call it that. What Little did was horrible but I don't believe he intended anything to happen other than have a good time. What Vick did was defintely intentional and in my opinion without forgiveness. If he played for the Rams I could never attend another game with him on the field.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=Navy]woodyramfan1

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