Michael Vick has been a hot topic lately as fans have been signing petitions for the NFL to remove him from being a Pro Bowl captain after he was sent to federal prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. The petitions have received over 500,000 signatures because of people's love for dogs. Columnist and dog lover, Beth Sherouse wrote an article for Medium in 2017, which has since resurfaced, called If You Still Hate Michael Vick, You Might Be Racist. In the article, the author talks details her love for dogs, admitting she has even volunteered at animal shelters. And while she has forgiven Vick, she details how black men in the U.S. are not forgiven like white men.
"We can’t consider the story of Vick’s rise and fall with understanding the context of the systemic racism that informed his life at every step, including his interaction with the criminal justice system and an American public intent on punishing people of color far more harshly than they do white people," Sherouse wrote.
"There is no shortage of evidence showing the profoundly racist double standards our society applies to black boys and men, particularly those who have found financial success or have any sort of public platform."
Sherouse went on to mention Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and how he was accused of rape. He has since been forgiven by some for his actions, but the same can't be said for Vick.
"A player such as Ben Roethlisberger gets to keep his contract and his career — and is now one of the highest-paid athletes in the world — after twice being publicly accused of rape by actual human women," she wrote. "When Vick appeared in Atlanta on New Year’s Day 2017, social media treated him like he were some remorseless monster who didn’t deserve to live, much less have a chance at redemption."
The article has been shared a lot on Twitter despite being nearly three years old and people have given thoughts on what Sherouse had to say.
This is the truth America doesn’t want to hear. https://t.co/FWGU0yS4w7— Michael Butler Jr (@_one901) December 9, 2019
Let’s just be honest,
It’s easy to hold a black man to his past indiscretions as if he didn’t loose everything and come out after doing 18 months doing more activist work than most plant based people who are signing those petitions.... https://t.co/lYy9aus6ij— no.8 (@no8cosmetics) December 9, 2019
This ➡️ https://t.co/BFErLIQIJv— Jackie Kramer (@jkramez) December 10, 2019
Vick played in the NFL from 2001-2006, 2009-2015. He made his biggest impact when he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons where he was a three-time Pro Bowler, leading the team to the NFC title game in 2004.