Open Letter to Art Rooney III Regarding Michael Vick

“As that dog lay on the ground, fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its back legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So, Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground until, at last, the little red dog was dead.” excerpt from ‘The Lost Dogs’.

Now, I want you to imagine actually doing this. Going through each action, deriving pleasure from it, so much so you keep going until you make sure the dog is dead. Can you do that Mr. Rooney?

I’m hoping your answer is no. So, why would you ever want someone on your team, representing your business and your home town who admitted to doing this or something similar ‘six to eight times’? The ‘six to eight times’ should give you pause, as well, because it speaks to a mind that had such little regard for the animals it was torturing to death, that it didn’t even think it was important to keep a tally.

That number is almost certainly a creation of Michael Dwayne Vick’s lawyers. This is an admission to a single incident ‘In or about, April, 2007″ according to the case, USA vs Michael Vick, Summary of the Facts. It is common dog fighting practice to kill under-performing dogs, dogs who have either lost a match or under-performed in trials. Michael Dwayne Vick has admitted to having a ‘fascination’ (why wasn’t it a revulsion?) with dog fighting since he was eight years old and his participation in dog fighting goes back long before his dog fighting business, ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ was formed. Vick admitted to participation in a number of fights between 2001 and 2007, with the qualifiers and the actual fights, it’s almost certain the number of killings is many times the amount he has admitted to.

The incredible cruelty of the killings should give anyone pause. These animals were tortured to death, by Vick’s own hand or at his direction for his amusement and the amusement of his friends. Dogs were hung so often, a dog ‘gallows’ was constructed on site for just that purpose. There were batteries with jumper cables and a drowning pool, where the cables could be attached to the dogs to electrocute them. There was evidence of claw marks in the pool were the dogs had struggled in vain to climb out. There were buckets for holding the dogs heads underwater until they were dead. There were shovels for bludgeoning the dogs to death. And if all else failed there was the tried and true method of slamming them to ground repeatedly which was described at the beginning of this missive.

And we haven’t even addressed the actual dog fighting, which in and of itself is inhumane in the extreme. Just do a search of the term and look at the images, associated with it. If it doesn’t turn your stomach, Mr. Rooney, I don’t know what will.

Now, the extreme ugliness of his cruelty to animals is not the only problem having Michael Dwayne Vick representing your business. Here is a list for your consideration, from Michael Vick’s Wikipedia page:

  • “In early 2004, two men were arrested in Virginia for distributing marijuana. The truck they were driving was registered to Vick. Falcons coach Dan Reeves said he lectured Vick at that time on the importance of reputation, on choosing the right friends, and on staying out of trouble for the good of his team.”
  • “On October 10, 2004, Vick and other members of his entourage, including employee and co-defendent, Quanis Phillips, were at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport on their way to board an AirTran flight. While they were passing through a security checkpoint, a security camera caught Phillips… picking up an expensive-appearing watch which belonged to… a security screener. After watching the theft on a videotape, (the security screener) filed a police report… Although Vick’s representatives declined to make him available for an Atlanta police inquiry, (the security screener) got the watch back six days later.”
  • “After a loss to the New Orleans Saints on November 26, 2006 in the Georgia Dome, Vick made an obscene gesture at fans in an apparent reaction to booing, holding up both hands with the middle finger extended. He was fined $10,000 by the NFL and agreed to donate another $10,000 to charity.”
  • “Vick surrendered a water bottle that had a hidden compartment to security personnel at Miami International Airport on January 17, 2007. “The compartment was hidden by the bottle’s label so that it appeared to be a full bottle of water when held upright,” police said. Test results indicated there were no illegal substances in the water bottle and Vick was cleared of any wrongdoing Vick announced that the water bottle was a jewelry stash box, and that the substance in question had been jewelry.”

Okay, why would you ‘stash’ jewelry in a fake compartment to get the jewelry through a metal detector when it almost certainly would set the detector off?


  • June of 2010, Vick’s co-defendent, Quanis Phillips was shot after a confrontation with Vick. Phillips had attended Vick’s birthday party, “… there was a confrontation between Phillips and Vick inside the party, that the confrontation then moved outside, and that’s when Phillips was shot.” None of the witnesses, including Phillips, would cooperate with the police investigation, so, no charges could be brought. (NBC Sports, Mike Florio, June 25, 2010)

Now, Mr. Rooney can you honestly tell me that the Steelers would ever allow a player to stay on the team after they had done any of the things above? Not the Steelers organization I grew up with.

Has Michael Vick ‘paid his debt to society’? He repeatedly lied to the authorities about his involvement in the dog fighting and torture/killings until other co-defendants started turning evidence against him. He was never charged for all the counts of animal cruelty. If he were to face all those charges he could have been looking at 65 years in prison by some accounts. The reason dog fighting exists is for gambling. It is a gambling sport, one Vick participated in, so much so, he felt compelled to start his own fighting kennels. Was Vick charged with gambling, even though there were multiple reports of him being a major player in the gambling associated with the blood sport? No. Again his lawyers knew that would be the kiss of death for a professional athlete. He was charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fight Venture”, instead of the much heftier charge of animal cruelty, even though Vick admitted to torturing to death ‘six to eight’ dogs. So I would put to you, no, Mr. Rooney, he has not come close to paying his debt.

Is Michael Dwayne Vick reformed? In one interview, which was broadcast on ‘The Norm McDonald Show’, he was asked if he had any regrets, anything he would change about his life and his reply was, “I would change my prison sentence from 18 months down to 5.” In his “60 Minutes” interview, he said he felt disgust for what he was doing ‘In prison’. Not the first time he tortured a dog to death, not the second time. Not during all the dog fights where he saw dogs ripped to shreds. It wasn’t until he was found guilty and forced to live in prison. He hasn’t given any support monetary or otherwise to ‘Vicktory Dogs’, the organization that rehabilitated and cared for the dogs that were seized from Bad Newz Kennels. If you go to the Humane Society’s page on Vick you will only find an acknowledgement that they had an association with him. I defy anybody to read it as an endorsement. And as for his ‘efforts’ in the cause to stop dog fighting I would put to you that he has only done what is necessary to save his career. The torturing of animals is often a gateway for sociopaths to move on bigger and more horrible crimes. The organization PETA, formally asked the NFL to ask that  Vick be subjected to psychological testing for the disorder. The NFL declined to do so.

Many fans have been dismayed by this signing. It has caused a deep division in the fan base of your business. It goes to the heart of the belief of whether or not their is such a thing as ‘the Steeler Way’. We fans fight the battle of public opinion for your business everyday and I can tell you this Michael Dwayne Vick issue is indefensible. Have you lost fans because of the Vick signing? That is almost certain. This letter, for example bears the endorsement of “Pittsburghers Against Michael Vick by Rally For Animals, Anti-Cruelty Group”, which has nearly 30,000 Facebook followers. It shouldn’t matter whether or not it effects your immediate bottom line, because there’s no reason it ever should have happened to begin with. Vick is in my opinion, an albatross. He’s never brought anything good to any team he’s ever been with. In my opinion and the opinion of many others, the sooner he’s off the team the better, but that Mr. Rooney, only you can decide.

Well, Mr Rooney, this is Michael Dwayne Vick. Can you tell me your namesake would have tolerated such a man to be on his team? Would he want someone like Vick representing his home town? Would he welcome such a divisive and polarizing personality? Would he want Michael Dwayne Vick associated with the Rooney name?

I can’t believe he would and I can’t believe you would either.

Petition asking Art Rooney II to sever ties with Michael Vick

Armchair GMPittsburgh Steelers
16 Comments on this post.
  • Michelle Disko
    21 January 2016 at 1:47 am
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    He is pure evil

  • Nancy Simler
    21 January 2016 at 4:48 pm
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    He turns my stomach. I can’t even watch the games when he plays.

  • Chili Smooth
    21 January 2016 at 8:17 pm
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    Bahahahahaaaahahaaaaa! Still at it….its actually beyond stupid but please continue. Iforgot about your site immediately after I stopped following you. Popped up again on my feed somehow and I see this same mess. If he’s let go, itll be because Jones may be a better option as they might draft one… WON’T because some people can’t get a clue and be like Elsa: Let It Go.

  • Mike
    21 January 2016 at 8:44 pm
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    HMMM, Do we have a problem with forgiveness???? Michael Vick paid for his crime. He paid a very hefty fine. He went to jail for years. He now is now speaks out against dog abuse. You nee to get over this and forgive the guy. No one is perfect and we are all in need of forgiveness. Please stop this absurdity and get over it already!!!!!!


    • Lt razor daddio
      22 January 2016 at 5:29 am
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      Hey… did you even read the article ???? or did you just see that it states the truth about what a pos you useless pos dog killing m-fckn idol is… and come on here and parrot the bullshit, lies and deflection, sugar coated and spoon fed to you morons by the nfl and dog killing pos PR teams ???? shove your dumb shit …. maybe you morons should be asking why the useless slime wasted bench space, unsuited, feigning an “injury” the last two months of the season ???

    • Charles Coke Newport news
      2 February 2016 at 5:27 pm
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      Maybe everyone should examine the way the dogs were discovered. Vick’s cousin was arrested for selling drugs and the address he gave was the Vick resident where the dogs were kept. So the house was used by a drug dealer who I’m sure Vick knew what was going on. My deciding factor on the character of Vick was a locale event when a local sports caster asked Vick about the dog fighting charges before his court appearance and Vick’s comment was ” it don’t matter, everybody loves some Michael Vick so I ain’t no big deal”.

    • alf
      3 February 2016 at 2:42 am
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      Get over it? You would not be so forgiving if he committed these atrocities against your pet.

  • Dee
    21 January 2016 at 11:23 pm
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    I wonder if they would write the same letter about big Ben’s rape victims. I’ll take a dog killer of a rapist any day of the week. Someone should ask that guy would he leave his daughter alone with Big Ben.

  • Lt razor daddio
    22 January 2016 at 5:23 am
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    I tell you what Dee …. shove it… deflection is all you have to say about this superb article ? If you are so upset at Ben for the rape accusations… why don’t you write a letter of this high quality to rooney, stating your outrage ????????? Because you can’t… you want to sit on the sideline and parrot out lies, bullshit and deflection… you support the dog killing pos and animal abuse.. just come out and say it.. enough of this garbage you morons have been spewing out since your idol was signed… I tell you what… you present police reports, rape kit results, photos of the “victims”, arrest reports, court records, transcripts, sentencing, etc… and start your own page.. until then put a lid on it and gfy !!!!!!!!

  • Lt razor daddio
    22 January 2016 at 5:42 am
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    I think the morons, that support the dog killing pos, and post their head up the ass response to great articles like this.. that tell the truth about their idol and role model.. are most likely professional internet trolls.. paid by the rooney steelers, nfl, and dog killers PR teams… to keep the truth suppressed, and agitate and stir up trouble… all they have is bullshit, lies and deflection for a defense.. and all these morons have the script down pat and parrot it perfectly… these morons really can’t be that stupid to see there’s no problem with having that useless, malingering, pos dog killing mfer on the rooney steelers… rooney SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!

  • Anne Hicks
    22 January 2016 at 11:11 am
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    Finally…someone writes an excerpt from “The Lost Dogs,” by Jim Gorant that tells REAL involvement by Michael Vick!!! He is a torturer and a murderer, over and over again with the same two hands used to throw a football and count all of his money!!!! He should NOT be an example of a NFL player!!! What he should be is in jail. He has never confessed to his real sins OR “done his time” for these sins….he has NEVER said that he is sorry for these heinous actions…!

  • Laura Manz
    22 January 2016 at 5:16 pm
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    Those who fight for the end of dog fighting will never forgive or forget Michael Vick. If he is wearing a Steeler uniform next season, we will continue our protest outside Heinz Field. He is a perfect lightning rod to draw attention to how ugly and toxic dog fighting is, the animal cruelty, the associated criminal activity and what it does to neighborhoods is something everybody should be against. Vick is a sociopath. Period. NFL football is a business. Period.

    As long a sociopath can create profits for a business they will use him. As long as fans are willing to tolerate criminals in this entertainment industry, the businessmen who own the teams will continue to offer them up…as long as they win. Rapist, drug users, domestic abusers….the list goes on and one… I target Vick because I am an animal activist. Quite frankly, it would be refreshing to see protesters against the other felons outside stadium across the nation….against the rapists, the domestic abusers, the convicted felons that are still hero worshipped by people hungry to escape the reality of their own lives. They could come and stand beside me. I am an animal activist. I fight dog fighting. It does not mean I do not care about the other issues, it means this is the issue I stand for. I will continue to stand for it…to fight against dog fighting…and to use Michael Vick as an example of the monsters who fight dogs.

    Rooney, the Steelers….they do not really matter to me. If I want to watch a game, I’ll go to my high school stadium. The NFL is too tainted to appeal to me with or without Vick. What is so upsetting to me is that so many have turned professional football into a religion….and their gods are dark, cruel and merciless…..You get what you pay for. If you continue to financially support the NFL, they will continue to serve up criminals of every variety. I will use the dog fighter/killer/torturer to educate and raise awareness about dog fighting if he is on the Steeler team for the next season. Heads up Rooney…..Bring him back….We will be outside Heinz Field with our signs….We will never forgive.. We will Never forget!!

  • Dee
    22 January 2016 at 9:25 pm
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    Listen, let’s all be very honest. The NFL has its share of characters. Some of them have been arrested for criminal offenses, some convicted. I am not an advicate at all for Vicks actions. I firmly understand that what he did was wrong and he deserved to be punished. However, Big Ben had 3 separate occasions where he was accused of rape on some level. At its core, I can’t see any REASONABLE MINDED person who have such harsh things to say about Vick & nothing to say about Big Ben. Who is definitely the White Bill Cosby of professional football. I would be worried about that guy around my daughter, then Vick around my dog. Just saying.

  • Terry
    22 January 2016 at 11:07 pm
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    Go away loser, if you don’t like the players on the team go be a fan of some other team. spew your hate elsewhere,

  • L3
    23 January 2016 at 10:15 am
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    Everyone hates Vick all the way to the bank. I think one of the dog protestors admitted they use Vick as a lightening rod for their cause. I think many of these protestors are the same people who fundraised for the anti Vick advertisements on Port Authority buses.

    Between their merchandise sales and donations, how much money did the Anti-Vick crew make?

    Even this blog was stuck in obscurity and unknown before Vick came to town.

    Yeah, the protestors have the right to voice their opinion and profit as a result. However, more people came to Heinz Field in 2015 than in any point in the stadium’s history. Steelers merchandise sold off the shelves and TV ratings broke records.

    The Rooney’s didn’t lose sleep over your protests. If bringing Vick back is best for the team, do it.

  • SHeekley
    26 January 2016 at 9:18 pm
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    Hahaha, and I thought Steeler fans called themselves the best fans in the NFL. Trouble in the camp HUH?

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