Yeah, I know…It’s beginning to sound a little repetitive.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the comparison; Michael Vick went to jail for two years for comitting despicable acts to dogs, while Donte Stallworth is going to get 30 days in the big house for killing a person.  I do value life, especially human life, however there are a few things that makes this an apples to oranges comparison, and it isn’t really fair to mention the sentences in the same breath.

Michael Vick initially denied involvement in any criminal activity or participation in the dog fighting scandal.  He blamed and pointed the finger at others. Furthermore, it wasn’t just about dog fighting and/or the disgusting mistreatment of animals but rather running an organized crime operation from his home and across state lines (making it a federal offense).  Sadly, I’m sure that if you asked him, off the record, he would still say “Man, they’re just dogs.”  I’ve heard many thug asses echo these same words.  These are the same people that walk the Venice Beach boardwalk with their Pitt-bulls and Rottweilers on a CHAIN.  Dude!  Buy a frieken leash…It doesn’t make you cool or tough that you have your big-ass, probably poorly trained, dog on a 1/2 inch yacht anchor chain with a Master Lock.  Now, you don’t have to go buy the Louis Vitton kit and caboodle, but links and pad-lock are a little much.  There seems to be a correlation that is being missed.  I would think that  in some way cruelty to animals translates to how you value life and respect for others in general.  I get that animals are animals but if you treat them like savage animals then that is exactly how they will act.  Come on…would you guys put your kids on a leash?  Actually…you probably do.

Now on to Stallworth.  I in no way condone drinking or being all sauced on the devil’s lettuce, and getting be hind the wheel of your Flying B.  But when Donte had a terrible lapse in judgement and ran the wrong rout right over a pedestrian, he didn’t flee or deny it.  He did what a person is supposed to do….He owned it!  He called 911, stayed at the scene, took a blood alcohol and drug test, took responsibilities for his actions and was ready to accept the consequences.

Both acts truly sad and tragic, and both men exercising poor judgment.  Neither one should be free of punishment.  But one’s act was calculated and premeditated, while the other’s an accident.  One handled it irresponsibly, while the other did all the right things at the moment of his mistake.  I won’t jump and say that either are role models right now but they could be models of what not to do and what to do when you do mess up.

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