As of this week, former animal abuser Michael Vick has officially signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has begun practicing with the team despite disapproval from fans and the general public.
This is the second controversial quarterback that has played for the team after alleged rapist, Ben Roethlisberger.
There have been protests outside the Steelers’ practice stadium as well as an online petition gaining over 15,000 signatures from people who are against Vick joining the team due to his criminal past.
Vick was convicted of running a “cruel and inhumane” dog fighting ring and subsequently served 23 months in prison for the deed in 2007, but it appears this punishment has not been enough restitution in the eyes of some animal lovers and football fans alike.
However, the amount of backlash for Vick’s recent signing is surprising when Roethlisberger’s own controversial actions are taken into account. For those who have conveniently forgotten, Big Ben was accused of multiple instances of sexual assault by young women in late night drinking establishments. He was never convicted of criminal charges, and perhaps that is why there was much less of an uprising compared to Vick when Roethlisberger returned to playing. But, it still goes to show that the public cares much more about the welfare of innocent animals than that of allegedly inebriated human females.
Why is it an outrage when a convicted and supposedly reformed animal abuser is allowed to play professional football but no one really bats an eye when women are the victim of a quarterback who was never punished? It’s not that the protests against Vick aren’t justified, but they can be construed as a little misguided when looking at the questionable at best actions other football players have performed and gotten away with without so much as a sideways glance from the fans at that time.