Overheard on CNN.com: Have Americans forgiven Michael Vick yet?
Michael Vick will head to D.C. in support of legislation to crack down on dogfight spectators.
July 19th, 2011
05:35 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Have Americans forgiven Michael Vick yet?

Comment of the day:

"Michael Vick. A proponent of illegal dog-fighting legislation? That's rich. I don't care how far he can throw a football. He hasn't earned my forgiveness and probably never will.” - cmd5150

Vick goes to Washington

Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Michael Vick, who was released from prison in 2009 after serving 20 months for a dog-fighting conviction, is continuing to speak out against animal cruelty. Along with the head of the Humane Society of the United States, Vick will speak on Capital Hill about his support of a new bill that aims to strengthen penalties against spectators of dog and cock fights.

So has the public forgiven Vick, or do people think he will never be able to right his wrongs? CNN.com readers were divided:

esteebo said, “[I am] a long-time advocate of animal rights and I am disgusted with comments on here calling him ‘sick’ and ‘trash.’ He did something horrible; he was punished for it and is now taking steps to ensure that others do not make the same mistakes. If a drug dealer went to prison, saw the errors of his ways and started working with inter-city youth to keep them from selling drugs, would we be saying the same thing?”

ness22 responded, “The truth is he was never punished for the torture and murder of dogs – he was sent to jail for gambling. Also, he needs to be ‘contrite’ to keep getting those endorsement deals, like the one he just signed with Nike. If you think he is sorry, I feel sorry that you are so naive. He was flippant and obnoxious about his involvement, showing no remorse until it was obvious he needed to change his tune if he wanted to get paid again. He is a horrible role model and a horrible human being.”

ckbabs said, “I'll be the first to admit that I thought he was a lost cause back when he was caught in this wretched case. I wanted them to throw away the key. But he has absolutely demonstrated a willingness to help fight the good fight. He also shed light on the fact that it was a way of life – kids grow up seeing it from a very young age. He served time and now frequently works with the Humane Society to fight this. He is able to talk to people from neighborhoods that are pretty rough ... I truly hope he continues educating people in those circles.”

mymax said, “Served his time? Vick held a dog as high as he could and repeatedly slammed her to the ground until she died because she did NOT want to fight (just one of the dogs he killed). You don't fix this type of cruelty in two years at a prison where his fellow prison mates probably treated him like a king. You sports fans supporting him only care that he is still a good player. He cancelled his interview with Oprah when he found out the new owners of his [rescued] dogs were also going to be on the show. If he is such a good person now, why run and hide? If Vick had not been caught, he would STILL be killing dogs. That is the fact of the matter.”

TheFinalWerd said, “You all are such hypocrites. On one hand, you hold this non stop hatred for a football player who made a mistake years ago, paid for it and is now trying to right his wrong. On the other hand, you openly cheer for players who have defiled women, stolen, even killed innocent people and have never paid for it! You really want to make a difference? Then go adopt one of the dogs that are victims of this tragedy. Oh wait you don’t want to because they are pit bulls and you think they are vicious dogs anyway? Well then they are getting a needle and dying without big bad Vick around.”

brux73 responded, “Wrong! I did adopt a pit, with scars on her from when someone let her get all bit up by another dog ... my kids were pretty small too at the time, but I knew she was a sweet natured dog the minute I saw her! I love our dog, and my kids love our dog, and if something happened to her I would get another pit in a second. I have helped several of my friends adopt pits too! They are loving sweet pets. Mine sleeps with my little cat every day in the sun together. Nothing vicious about her!

leftyraydy said, “The Problem with This country is the fact that no one can forgive someone. Here's a Man that paid for his crimes and is trying to get back out there and continue his life. He pleaded guilty, went to jail and is trying so hard to make a name for himself again.”

I’m her mom, not her nanny

Rose Arce, a senior producer at CNN and contributor to Mamiverse, is leading the upcoming documentary “In Her Corner – Latino in America” about a Mexican-American amateur boxer. Her recent article about being a mother who is often mistaken for her daughter’s nanny sparked some debate.

Some CNN.com readers empathized with Arce, citing similar experiences, while others couldn’t understand where she was coming from.

mimzywhimzy said, “I am a half Hispanic woman. You're tripping because a two-year-old child called you a babysitter? Get over it. Stop plaguing your daughter with your neurosis and insecurities and focus on raising your daughter to be educated and confident. The only person who has a problem with you being Hispanic is YOU.”

xiaohuaxing said, “If I saw a white looking child with a Hispanic looking woman, I'd think she was a babysitter. If I saw a Hispanic looking child with a white looking woman, I'd still think she was a babysitter. Stop trying to make everybody else look racist. I'm pretty sure the ‘can I get some service?’ thing happens to me in restaurants more times than it happens to you (Chinese here). I always think it's funny.”

cn78 said, “As the white mom of a half Asian child, I'm more often mistaken for the adoptive mom. I'm asked where I got her. Saying "my uterus" usually shuts idiots up. If it's a kid, I'll just explain that her dad and I look very different.”

mkjp responded, “I'd love to know why on earth people think it is any of their freaking business! In what universe is it good manners to ask a stranger where they got their child?”

deepthinker said, “Though some believe that it's not racial, tell that to my black friend whose children are half white and a bit lighter in skin tone. While on an outing, 'caring' folk called the police on him assuming that he kidnapped his own children. Cheers to you Rose for this writing. Some people will get it and others won't.”

toosense said, “This isn't so much because everyone ‘stereotypes’ you. It is because you don't look like your daughter. THAT is why everyone thinks you are the babysitter. We have cleaners; they are white. We have a babysitter; she is white. They don't seem to share the same disgust at their professions that you do. Neither do we.

Female Dems supporting Palin and Bachmann?

The New Agenda is a nonpartisan women's advocacy group that united many women who were disappointed after Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2008. Now they support Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and believe the women offer the best chance to break the glass ceiling in presidential politics.

The majority of CNN.com commenters said that they did not share the group’s cause:

Joker1984 said, “ ‘Support *any* woman seeking a top political office?’ That's insane. Support only those who are competent, as expressed by the deeds. Hillary Clinton, yes! Kay Bailey Hutchinson, yes. Olympia Snow, yes. Sarah Palin, no. Michelle Bachmann, no. Palin couldn't handle a full term as governor of Alaska. Bachmann spouts empty propaganda and displays an obvious lack of knowledge of American history. America will have a woman President some day, but she'll be a woman of substance, not empty rhetoric.”

IEK responded, “No kidding, it's not an attack on women when Bachmann actually IS a flake. She would be a horrible President and it's shocking that she's even in Congress. There will be other women, better women, to be the first woman President.”

Pembrolelib said, “Treatment of Palin and Bachmann is not sexist. It is deserved since they are totally unqualified, ignorant and not quite sane.”

Nanders said, “I supported Hillary and I am a woman. However I prefer to kill myself before I support a woman like Bachman. In my opinion it’s not the gender that defines her, she is snake.”

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Monica

    If "all" he had done was dog fighting and gambling I could see that he might be contrite and change. But the blatant, intentional, unecessary, horrific cruelty those animals endured at his hands? I think someone with the mentality that can do that is fundamentally flawed and does not change that aspect of his character. It is ingrained and at a deep level. Animal cruelty is one of the basic signs of significant psychological damage, and Vicks demonstrated that over and over.

    July 20, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • cathy figueroa


      I agree with everything you said about Michael Vick,thank you so much, I feel the same way to this day. I get sick when I look at him. How the hell can you hurt a dog that is so loyal to us humans,the other thing is about our animals... when they say it's in the triple digits in some states it's so hot out,the first thing that comes to my mind is I hope know one leaves there dog's in there cars or outside in this heat. Dog's need us to watch over them and take care of them, and people do stupid things to there dogs, like leave them out in the heat. Dog fighting is sick and it has to stop just like the puppy mills need to stop. We need to take care of are animals because they our so good to us....

      July 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chiefchowan

    Does it really matter if you forgive him? No he has done what he needs to to change his life around. If you dont like it, dont watch the Eagles, dont buy his merchandise, and dont talk about him. He wont care and I wont either!

    July 20, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat2u

    Listen !!!!! The man had a period of serious stupidness. Is there anyone posting here that hasn't done something seriously stupid in their life ? If you answer yes, then you are a liar. The man did his time, is trying his best to atone for that period of stupidity, and all you small minded people just can't leave it be. Besides, I'm sure he really cares about what you think. If Michael Vick has made peace with himself, it is no one elses business.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. toxictown

    While I don't think we need more judicial punishment in this case (if 2yrs of soft time is what a jury of his peers sentenced him to, then, you gotta go with it – it's america) I'm cynical enough to believe this is all for the TV cameras and to repair his money earning potential. Whatever. I don't really care about this guy and don't really care if he's changed or not. At my house we do a lot of work w/dog rescues and fosters (pulling dogs out of high kill shelters and trying to move them along) and there's work to do. Michael who?

    July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cindi

    Michael Vick has it in his blood. He showed no remorse at the time, and has never apologized as far as I can see for the death of the dogs he caused. Around the camera he's reformed, but what about when he's out of the public eye. As a pit bull owner, I can look into the eyes of my sweet boy and it devestates me to think he killed those gentle animals that wouldn't fight because of their demeanor. Reformed? I seriously doubt it.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      So I guess you're like physic or a god or something, huh ? Can you truly look into the mans soul ?

      July 20, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • airward21


      July 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Francis Marino

    seriously...who the hell cares, he went to jail, he lost millions, he is still in debt and the eagles still suck with him...Get the hell over it people. Bet ya guys arent this upset over the ax murderer tryin to get out of his execution

    July 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • airward21

      Exactly people are worrieed about the worng thing. These days there is so much more important things going on in the world besides Vick.

      July 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    Monica....You go girl.......NO I HAVE NOT FORGIVEN HIM AND I WILL NOT BE. Vick is only 'playing' all of America by making people think he is sorry and reformed. SERIOUSLY????? He wants that big money and will say anything to get it. Forgiveness for him is just another injustice to animals everywhere. Open your eyes, people. And to bobcat2u: you don't have to be a psychic or a god ..... you just have to have a brain and common sense. Animal abusers are sick and do not reform.....just as pedophiles....they never reform. Anyone who thinks he is sorry for what he did, is a fool.....it's all an act for the $$$$$$$. He deserves to suffer like those dogs did....publicly. I have zero tolerance for ANYONE who even thinks about harming an animal and I not only talk the talk, but I walk the walk.

    July 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • cathy figueroa


      AMEN,DITTO..love the way you feel about this

      July 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      It never ceases to amaze how just a normal person knows what's in another mans heart.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Annie

    I agree with Monica. This was not a random act. Torturing animals is one of the inherent tendencies of a deranged person. Nothing has changed. I will not watch him play for anyone ever, nor buy any product he endorses. He is forever garbage to me.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gail Kelley

    It sickens me that he is allowed to play football at all. If you can drown an animal while they struggle, and electrocute a living thing, this speaks of his lack of character and tells a great deal about what kind of person he is. No amount of jail or community service will change the "man" that he is. How could you cause and be present at such tortuorus events, and be called a human being? He totured helpless creatures who depend on humans to take care of them. He is a disgusting man.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KaRon

    Well lets see where do I start...? Richest african-american quarterback at one time, to convict, to prison, to the lowest paid High Caliber NFL athlete. Now I do not condone anything illegal, nor do I think his involvement in the activity was right. It was wrong. But when did we as people get the right to judge a man after he has paid the wages of his crime? In this case the "dead horse" has been beaten to s**t. Let this man live, and lets forgive him like God has forgiven all of us, and you hypocrites that continue to do what you do in the dark that no one knows what you do, but yet continue to cast stones on Mike Vick because of his status and his ethnicity. Wonder if it was Tom Brady....??? hmmm.. did I strike a nerve?

    July 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • White Mike

      If Elvis did it I wouldnt care..

      July 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GINGER51

    To KaRon, I wouldn't care if it was the pope, I would still not forgive or forget. Vick is an inhumane piece of trash. I don't care where he is from or what color he is, or what type of ice cream he likes. He does not deserve to be making all of the money he is making.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Leslie

    NFL players that have committed crimes but are loved by fans!

    Leonard Little – The Rams defensive end pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for a drunk driving accident where he hit another car, killing a woman. Little was sentenced to 90 days in a work house, 1,000 hours of community service, and four years of probation. In 2004, Little had another DUI arrest.

    Tank Johnson – A NFL player (Bears, Cowboys) who was arrested several times for charges ranging from possession of a hand gun, aggravated assault, and possession of unlicensed firearms.

    Mark Ingram – an NFL player arrested multiple times. The former receiver, who played for the Giants, was arrested in 1999 for failure to make child support payments. He was arrested in 2001, driving a stolen vehicle in which counterfeit money was found. He was arrested for bank fraud, money laundering, and bail jumping, after he failed to appear to start serving his sentence.

    This is a very short list! I don't condone what Michael Vick did but I don't judge him. I am NOT GOD and none of you are either. I honestly believe that a lot of the outrage is because he's a black man. Dog fighting was started in China in 240 A.D. Dog fighting in America was started by young white men in the south that had too much time on their hands. At one time it was actually legal. If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning were convicted of the same crime, would there be this much outrage? It's highly unlikely! Americans are so racist, judgmental and un-forgiving. I pray for each and every one of you and I pray that if one of your family members gets in any type of trouble, I pray that society is forgiving.

    God says forgive all. Jesus Christ was tortured by other humans and he asked God to forgive those people. Why do we think we're better than Christ? Wake up people.......we are NOT better than Christ! Forgive before it's too late!

    July 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. White Mike

    Dat aint goooooooooooooood!!!!! lol

    July 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. White Mike

    Karon... I like your Tropical shirt!

    July 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. VeryCrazyGirl

    Is he forgiven? NO! He never will be by the millions of animal lovers in our country. As a graduate of Virginia Tech, I am disgusted that both he and his brother will be forever associated with such an otherwise wonderful university.

    July 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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