It was brought to my attention over the weekend that Tiger Woods has steadily been one of the most hated athletes in the country, the result of his highly publicized philandering and infidelity in years past. No problem, I understand.
What I don’t understand is that four slots down on that list is Michael Vick, who pled guilty to brutally executing dogs in the process of running a dog-fighting ring. I don’t understand how these two charges are even remotely equitable, and the killing of an innumerable number of dogs is the more-forgivable of the two besmirching done to these men’s character.
I can understand people taking a dim view of infidelity, especially in a marriage that involves children. I know some might debate it even being called a crime, but that’s a personal and ethical matter for debate. What isn’t up for debate is the lives of dozens of animals being viciously and painfully exterminated because they were poor performers in a vicious underground pitfighting ring. These two things are not the same. These two crimes are not even on the same scale. I’m sure the former Mrs. Woods was hurt by her husband’s actions; I’m not even beginning to question that. But infidelity and mistrust are a far, far cry from the murder of animals.
Even if you aren’t the most staunch animal-rights activist, you must see the inherent cruelty in what Vick was doing for a protracted period. And if you can honestly tell me you believe the death of dozens of dogs is less serious and more forgivable than marital indiscretion, then you do not have a heart.
I was truly stunned to learn that the stigma of Wood’s cheating lingers to this day, while the reaction to Vick’s animal cruelty is ‘Are we still talking about that?’. These two crimes are not even remotely similar and to cast them as such, or Wood’s infidelity as the worse of the two, is simply beyond reasoning.