Public figures, especially public figures who have been involved in self-starting public relations nightmares throughout their careers, should keep one thought above all: Be very careful when it comes to posting on social media. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who served nearly two years in federal prison for his role in the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring, is about to find that out.
Recently, Vick tweeted out a seemingly innocuous picture from his kitchen table -- he was studying plays on his iPad, and his daughter was doing her homework. Nothing fishy there. However, what will undoubtedly gain notice is the box of doggie treats on the table (seen above). Vick quickly deleted the tweet and posted a new picture (seen below). Similar shot, but no Milk-Bones. (Both photos courtesy of the Crossing Broad website).
Per the conditions of his probation, which ended in July, Vick was not allowed to own a dog, but there are no known legal restrictions on him doing so now. And if he does own a dog again, it's too bad that he didn't make a public statement about it. For most people, that wouldn't be a big deal, but given Vick's past, why not come out and say that he wants to own a dog, and he's going to do it right this time?
"I haven't got one," Vick told CNN's Piers Morgan during a July interview touting his autobiography, Finally Free. "Being honest and being candid, I still deal with my kids every day, and for the last three years, not being able to have a dog because of my acts, I just don't think that's fair. There may be something that's therapeutic for them. And I can't take that dream away from them; that's selfish on my behalf. I've got to find a way to make it right, and I put everything in God's hands to make it right."
"I would let them pick it out," Vick said, when Morgan asked what kind of dog he might get for his kids. "It certainly wouldn't be a pit bull."
Well, that's understandable, but again -- given Vick's status as the face of animal abuse to so many, and the face of personal redemption to an equal or greater number of people, why hide it if he bought a dog for his kids? Wouldn't it be more helpful, and bring more awareness to the prevention of animal abuse and the need to help animals who have been abused, if Vick gave himself the responsibility of being the man who put that out there?
Of course, there may be nothing to this -- perhaps Vick's daughter was using the Milk-Bones for a school project. I have no clue what teachers want kids to glue to paper these days. But if it is what it seems to be, there's nothing for Michael Vick to hide. He wants his kids to enjoy growing up with a dog, he has every legal right to do so, and the only problem would seem to be the possible need to hide the fact that his family now has one.
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