Monday, February 14, 2011

We Hope He Gets Hurt

That's the money quote from Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle on Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick. Here's the whole thing:

“(Vick) had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we watched the game and I know it's bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt. Everything you've done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”

Buerhle is passionate about animal rights, which I guess means that we're supposed to know that he means this, and isn't just going off half-cocked. But "something bad needs to happen." Kind of an amazing point of view to speak out loud, from a public figure that's reliant on his health to, well, continue in his chosen profession. Also kind of an amazing point of view for a guy who, well, performs in a profession where any line drive, at any moment, could end it all. Or a prolonged streak of bad luck, since he's a pitch to contact type who is dependent on some reasonable amount of competence and cooperation from the guys behind him...

Many of whom, well, might value a human life more than an animal's. Or might think that spending time in the federal pen, losing tens of millions of dollars and becoming the single greatest pariah to a portion of the public might constitute something bad happening.

And really, what this speaks to, really, is a failure of journalism. Give us some details, Mark, in your desire to see karmic vengeance. Should Vick be concussed to the point of brain damage, paralyzed from a blow to the back, or simply have a knee or ankle shredded, so that he's unable to continue his profession? Because we can't imagine how a simple injury would be enough to constitute as something bad. We've got to be in the career or life threatening moment, really.

You don't want to like Michael Vick, fine. He plays QB for one of 32 NFL teams; I can see why 31 other fan bases want him to fail. You don't want to forgive Michael Vick, that's entirely your right as well. It means that you think your own opinion is higher than the law of the land, but that's free speech, and you don't have to be right or justified or even very forgiving or far-sighted to speak your, um, mind.

But you might want to consider that wishing ill on another person, beyond the simple ill of wanting them to not win or succeed, is a whole 'nother kettle of bad karmic fish, really. And saying out loud, to a reporter?

Well, it makes a man wonder whether or not bad things will happen to the speaker. Because when you say hurtful nonsense like this? It usually does.

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