Deion Sanders is the latest former or current NFL player to defend Michael Vick's, ahem, love of animals. In the Fort Myers News-Press, the aspiring journalist wrote:
"What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I. Hold on, don’t start shaking your head just yet. Listen to me.
Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.
And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street."
Last week Emmitt Smith implied that he thought Vick was being unfairly targeted:
"Now, granted he might have been to a dogfight a time or two, maybe five times, maybe 20 times, may have bet some money, but he's not the one you're after. He's not the one you're after, he's just the one whose going to take the fall -- publicly."
And of course Clinton Portis didn't think it was a big deal:
"I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property, it's his dog. If that's what he wants to do, do it. I think people should mind their business."
These guys are all active or current NFL players, are all African American, and are all from the deep south. The deep south isn't like east coast major metropolitan areas. I drove through Mississippi on the way to Mardi Gras one year, and it looked more like a third world country than part of the United States. Things go on there that we can't imagine: entire cities living in abject poverty with a high school football stadium that put any in the affluent Montgomery County, Maryland to shame. Unspeakable hate crimes. And perhaps rampant dog fighting. Before Vick's trial is done, we are all going to go down the dog fighting rabbit hole and find that it's much more common than we had ever thought.