Speaking without thinking. It’s a common happening in sports, as over the years I have heard plenty of players, coaches, and even owners say things that come back to bite them. In this case, a pair of Washington Redskin players were speaking about biting, and their comments should show you just where the mindset of today’s players are today.
The two players are running back Clinton Portis and offensive linemen Chris Samuels, who both on Monday decided to speak out about the ongoing saga of Falcons QB Michael Vick and his latest snafu – a dog fighting ring that it appears he was somehow involved in. The ring was discovered by agents when they stormed a home that Vick owns in a raid, but Vick claims he does not live in the home, that his cousin does.
In recent weeks though, more than one source claims that Vick was not only well aware of the activities at his home, but also enjoyed taking part in them. Far be it from me to pass judgement on if dog fighting is a crime, but it does involve a number of illegal activities – gambling and cruelty of animals are two that come to mind right away. With all that said, Portis coming out and giving support to Vick like he did on Monday almost makes you shake your head in disbelief.
“I don’t know if he was fighting dogs or not,” Portis told WAVY-TV on Monday. “But it’s his property, it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.” Wow. If ever there was a case of not using your noggin before speaking, this has got to be right up there. Portis’ comments cannot be taken lightly, as he not only is defending a player that cannot keep himself out of the headlines, and for all the wrong reasons, as of late, but he is also standing up for those that breed animals strictly for the use of having them fight and then putting money on them.
Both Portis and Samuels giggled and laughed during the interview, and both brushed off the notion that dog fighting is a crime. Portis, who is from Mississippi, stated that down home there are dog fights all over the place, and people like police and even judges have dogs for the sole purpose of having them fight. Again Clinton, think before you speak.
Even if Portis is correct, and there are judges and police in Mississippi with dogs, that does not make the activity right. While dog fighting is not going out and committing murder, it is a crime, and a crime that should be dealt with. As with most pro players, they think because they have the skill to run a football faster than others, dunk a basketball or hit a home run that they are above the law. Portis and Samuels should include themselves in that list.
I can understand Portis being in Vick’s corner. I have no problem with he and Samuels’ support of a fellow NFL player. But you can easily say you support Vick and hope things turn out okay, and not have to try and brush off the crime like that is okay. Portis said if Vick is charged and convicted that “he got cheated…you’re putting him behind bars for no reason – over a dog fight.”
I can’t believe that someone from the Redskins organization, possibly even Joe Gibbs, is not going to pull these two aside and let them know that they may not want to come out and condone something that if they feel it is or not – is in the American justice system a crime. Not only does it make the person saying it look foolish, it makes the Redskins look bad as well. Just chalk it up once again to the one thing that gets more players and those in sports in trouble these days – speaking without thinking.