alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

The Michael Vick Case: Beat a Woman, Play On! Beat a Dog? You're Gone

This post, written by Sara Whitman, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

When the Michael Vick case first came out, I was quick to jump to the conclusion this was the railroading of a black man. Vick was probably not even remotely involved but the press was going to lynch him for it anyway.

Plenty of dog fighting rings being run by white guys that are still running this very second, getting busted and not a whisper of it in the news. Same ridiculous double standard the media always plays when it comes to crime and the color of someone's skin.

Then I read a piece this morning by Sandra Kobrin, "Beat a Woman? Play on. Beat a Dog? You're Gone." I would add gay bashing, too, as Tim Hardaway, among others, still garner the adoration of many fans regardless of stating proudly, "I hate gays'" on national radio.

The double standard, it seems, is not only about race -- I still believe race played a huge factor in the reporting of this case -- but about what you are abusing. Hit a puppy? Go to jail. Hit a woman? Well, we all lose our tempers sometimes, don't we? Rape a woman? You might lose some endorsement money. Maybe. It depends on how well you can humiliate and discredit the victim in the press.

Ask the football players at the University of Colorado. Better yet, ask all the victims.

Kobrin points out the professional sports leagues policies being adapted to insure no animal abuse will ever be accepted on any level at any time. Everyone is quick to insure the safety of small helpless creatures. Lots of very serious talk about unacceptable behavior and the cruelty of it.

No such policy exists about spousal abuse or any domestic violence. Let's face it, in this country, beating or raping a woman is not as serious a crime as dog fighting or animal abuse. Michael Vick is facing FEDERAL charges. If he had women fighting in a pit, half starved and beaten to be violent? He could have sold the TV rights for millions.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close