NFL, Falcons must act

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The National Football League and Atlanta Falcons may be putting themselves into an unnecessary pickle.

They seem to be suggesting that the federal court case against Michael Vick must play out before they do anything.

That's nonsense.

The superstar quarterback accused of participating in a dogfighting ring - and even executing the losing dogs - is presumed innocent in a court of law. But at the league and team offices, executives can, and must, take action in a more timely manner than the courts allow.

If the league or the team are briefed on the evidence, and are confident that Vick was involved in illegal and barbaric dogfighting, then they not only have the option of giving Vick the boot right away, they have the obligation to do so.

So far, they've adopted a wait-and-see posture.

Well, baby, just wait until they see the public backlash against Vick.

Unless the federal case against Vick is shot full of holes, it's difficult to see how the Falcons can let him take the field.

Again, they don't have to wait until a federal jury renders a verdict sometime in the next year or two. They can reach their own conclusions, and take whatever actions they deem necessary to protect the integrity and image of the Falcons and the NFL.

Indeed, Tennessee Titan Adam Jones has been suspended for the entire year for repeated run-ins with police - and he's never been convicted in any of them.

The league and team also are free to consider factors a jury cannot - such as whether Vick lied to them about all this. And whether his association with unseemly types has pulled the team's and league's reputations into the sewer.

Our prediction: Growing public outrage, and the seriousness of the brutality alleged in the indictment, will not allow the NFL and Atlanta Falcons the luxury of putting off a decision on Vick's standing in the league until the court case wends its way to a conclusion.

"He'll be a running ad for the NFL as a thug league, exactly the thing (NFL Commissioner Roger) Goodell has been trying to clean up," writes Chicago Sun-Times columnist Greg Couch. "Maybe he can suspend Vick indefinitely but keep his salary in escrow until a conviction or until charges are dropped.

"The league might have to be a little creative here, might have to help pay his salary if it eventually turns out he has no hard connection with this. Whoever pays, though, the league has got to get rid of Vick now."

That was the message delivered Friday by protestors outside the NFL headquarters in New York, who demanded Vick be sacked. They promised more demonstrations in Atlanta and Virginia.

Like it or not, long court case or not, that sentiment is just starting.

Comments (77) Add comment
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intheknow
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intheknow 07/23/07 - 04:57 am
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Okay now, to hell with

Okay now, to hell with Courts. Let the football, baseball basketball leagues judge people now. In that case, why is Barry Bonds still playing. Surely there is enough evidence that he was using drugs. Why the rush to judgement in Vicks' case. You justify what you are saying by comparing a person that " Had repeated run in with the police" and this situation with Vick? Talk about apples and oranges.

NANF
4
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NANF 07/23/07 - 05:03 am
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It's all about the money.

It's all about the money. The NFL bosses talk a great story about sports needing to clean up their act. Easy to point fingers at the other sports, but when it comes home to roost, the NFL wants to make excuses. Vick has a viscous track record. When he flipped a bird at a stadium full of fans, he should have been booted right then. I'd bet that he will play from opening game on. Money over morals. That's the NFL motto.
He had to know about the dog fights. Something that large on his property could not be missed. He's a practiced liar.
I am held responsible for anything that happens on my property, whether I " know" about it or not. He should be too.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/07 - 05:06 am
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Yes but will they have to

Yes but will they have to prove it in a court of law, or should they just take you to jail and you lose your job, without a trial?

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 07/23/07 - 07:02 am
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You're off the mark with your

You're off the mark with your extremism intheknow. Vick will get his day in court, what's being discussed here is his value to the team and league. Blank has a fortune invested in the marketing of Vick and his job is more then throwing or running. He is also a representative of the Falcons and the NFL. Right now he's damaged goods. Even without a trial, enough information of Vicks long time involvement in dogfighting is out. Wishing the information away won't work. Vick is damaged. Why would any team want to deal with this type of baggage?

SON of Scoob
434
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SON of Scoob 07/23/07 - 07:10 am
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Vick is guilty of despicable,

Vick is guilty of despicable, cruel and above all illegal activity. Most people love animals, especially dogs. There is no excuse for his behavior. He should be released from the Falcons and banned from professional football.

docbo68
0
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docbo68 07/23/07 - 07:19 am
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I wonder if his Vick's

I wonder if his Vick's lawyers had a an illegal activities clause put in his contract where if anything happens to him without being proven guilty, then the team/league pays upfront? As NANF said, it is about the money. Without everyone watching the commercials, buying the tickets, buying NFL merchandise, etc. there would be no NFL.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9175
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/23/07 - 07:32 am
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My television will not be

My television will not be tuned to a Falcons game and I will not purchase any NIKE products. These people are supposed to be role models and keep their business above reproach. I don't believe that is the model here. I would not want a child of mine attempting to emulate this man.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 07/23/07 - 08:11 am
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I wonder if Blanks lawyers

I wonder if Blanks lawyers had a behavior clause put in Vicks contract where if he couldn't behave himself, the Falcons would no longer be obligated to him. I doubt it. Maturity seems to be too much to ask from a professional athlete.

bone
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bone 07/23/07 - 08:13 am
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yes, freelancer1, spending

yes, freelancer1, spending vick's money on coke and beer would have been preferable to what they ended up doing with his money. and to anyone who is complaining about a company taking action before a conviction, you must live in a different world than i do: employers usually take action when an indictment is made. what business keeps people who have been indicted in federal court?

fallguy
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fallguy 07/23/07 - 08:27 am
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All of you people who have

All of you people who have rushed to judgement and ready to crucify Vick should be ashamed of yourselves. I guess we should just forget about the judicial system and jail everyone who is indicted. An indictment is just an "accusation" thats all it is. Simply meaning that the Feds believe that a crime has been committed and that Vick may have committed the crime. Do any of you actually feel that some should lose their job because of an accusation. Even murderers and sex offenders must get their day in court. I bet that most of you wouldn't be a bit concerned if it were a human being had been killed, you all would not say a thing about getting rid of Vick

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9175
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/23/07 - 08:44 am
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Fallguy I'll stand by my

Fallguy I'll stand by my previous post.
An Indictment is an accusation that is carried before a Grand Jury and presented to the Jury for them to determine if there is
sufficient reason to bring this person to trial. Where there is smoke there is fire! Also, had a "Human Being" died I don't think it would have reached this point!

fallguy
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fallguy 07/23/07 - 08:54 am
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My point in making that

My point in making that profound statement was to illustrate how far some people are going to get rid of and jail Vick. There have been other ball players and high profile people that have been actually involved in a hman killing and never have I seen the outrage of the public like this dog fighting issue. people are demonstrating, talking of boycotts, throwing away season tickets and other acts because of an accusations of dog fighting. humans beings are killed everyday and these same people wouldn't give a flip about the lives of these killed human beings.

blazing1
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blazing1 07/23/07 - 09:03 am
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Mike Vick; "100% NOT GUILTY."

Mike Vick; "100% NOT GUILTY." Who let the DAWGS out!

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 07/23/07 - 09:08 am
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I don't think Vick is any
Unpublished

I don't think Vick is any less vicious than an NFL player ought to be. If you were doing everything you could to help your team win, recievers were dropping 30% of your completions and the fans booed, you would probably flick them off too, they way many of you do in traffic when you get upset anyway. I actually know of someone who bought a dog from Vick and she said he was an aimiable, down-to-earth guy. People just need something to get irate over. Journalists know just how to do that. Anybody know who Terri Schiavo is?

Vulcan_Rider
0
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Vulcan_Rider 07/23/07 - 09:14 am
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I do not know if he is guilty

I do not know if he is guilty or not, and I am more then willing to wait on the court to determine that. However, if he was involved, I would have no respect for anyone wearing his jersey or any other gear. I have yet to see Mr. Vick show up in front of the cameras and say. I am not guilty, I had NOTHING to do with dog fighting. I love animals and dogs for sure, anyone that would do that needs help.

blazing1
0
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blazing1 07/23/07 - 09:25 am
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Did anyone see West

Did anyone see West Virginia's Senator Byrd, his outrage on the senate floor about dog fighting. He said that anyone fighting dogs should be put to death. These words from a man who was the GRAND WIZARD of the KKK for years. The very same man who participated in LYNCHING Black people. Why is there no outrage or contempt for Senator Byrd who has done far worst things to Human Beings than MV. Oh that's right in America Black people are lower than animals. Man what a country we live in!

Vulcan_Rider
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Vulcan_Rider 07/23/07 - 09:32 am
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Blazing, Took me all of

Blazing, Took me all of about 30 seconds of searching the web to find out you have no clue what your saying. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/18/AR200506...
He did belong to the KKK in the 1940's, was never a Grand Wizard, and was never accused of any Lynching. Nice try to muddy the water and play the race card, but in this case it does not wash.

Vulcan_Rider
0
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Vulcan_Rider 07/23/07 - 09:35 am
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Historical fact Blazing

Historical fact Blazing "Forty-eight people, including 28 blacks, were lynched in West Virginia, mostly during the late 1880s and early 1900s, according to the Tuskegee University archives. The last two reported lynching's occurred on Dec. 10, 1931, in Lewisburg, W.Va. By the time Byrd began organizing for the Klan during World War II, the organization had largely morphed into a money-making fraternal organization that was virulently anti-black, anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic."
I am in no way defending the Klan.

proudsoutherner
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proudsoutherner 07/23/07 - 09:37 am
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blazing1...you are a fool.i

blazing1...you are a fool.i suppose thre damn correct thing to do is let vick and his thug wannabees do as they please ?
if his sorry [filtered word] is innocent, why doesn't he say so?if he isn't why can't this big ,bad gambling,dog fighting tough guy find the guts to nip this in the bud for team and fans by coming clean?

blazing1
0
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blazing1 07/23/07 - 09:38 am
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As you stated Vulcan

As you stated Vulcan HIS-Story; people in the US have a strange way of writing HIS-Story.

fallguy
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fallguy 07/23/07 - 09:39 am
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Vulcan Rider Go to Wikepedia

Vulcan Rider
Go to Wikepedia and put in Senator Byrd's name. Look under his history You will see his involvement in the KKK

Waymore
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Waymore 07/23/07 - 09:45 am
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You do realize that Wikipedia

You do realize that Wikipedia can be amended by anyone, right? Their sources are not infallible.

blazing1
0
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blazing1 07/23/07 - 09:57 am
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US history has been changed

US history has been changed to fit White American, of course you can say that Bryd was never a Grand Wizard who wrote the story? He was a Klansman, and should be the last person to make comments about anything.

fallguy
0
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fallguy 07/23/07 - 09:58 am
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Oh, just like the information

Oh, just like the information on Vick can possibly be not infallible? duh!!!!!

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/07 - 10:03 am
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proudsoutherner, you dont

proudsoutherner, you dont give a damn if he is innocent or not. everything you say is negative towards anyone of color.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/07 - 10:04 am
0
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Some of the same people on

Some of the same people on here defend a barry bonds or a ben harbin, and do not even start on Scooter. But because of your dislike of Vick, you already KNOW he is guilty.

Vulcan_Rider
0
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Vulcan_Rider 07/23/07 - 10:05 am
0
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Fallguy, The story I quoted

Fallguy, The story I quoted was from the Washington post newspaper. I do not deny his involvement. Wikepedia is written by anyone that cares to post to it. Not a good source for facts at all.

Vulcan_Rider
0
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Vulcan_Rider 07/23/07 - 10:06 am
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As I said in my first

As I said in my first comment, I have not made up my mind on if he is guilty or not. I am more then willing to let that play out in court.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/07 - 10:06 am
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And if the worst thing he has

And if the worst thing he has every done is flicked off some drunks in the stand, then I say let him run for President. That is if you do not think flicking someone off is worser that cheating on your wife.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/07 - 10:11 am
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well vulcan, i give you

well vulcan, i give you credit for at least waiting for the legal system to work. too bad all these " good conservatives " are not willing to let the same system, that a lot of ust have put our lives on the line FOR, WORK IT'S COURSE.

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