As Commission Roger Goodell has asked Michael Vick to stay away from the NFL until the legal picture becomes more clear, the NFL is planning to initiate a PSA series on the ills of dog fighting.
The NFL also is planning a series of public service announcements throughout the football season in which active players will be doing commercials on the very subject. The league has not yet determined which players it will be using, but it is expected to be high-profile ones to help show the league is taking the issue seriously.
This is a wonderful endeavor and is something the NFL probably should have gotten involved in long ago.
However, we believe the NFL is mishandling this.
All this information about the vast brutality of this underground endeavor would never have become a front page story if not for Michael Vick's efforts. Vick is the person that made this story a national concern. Vick is the one who provided PETA with the opportunity to stage demonstrations in NY and gain valuable exposure for this issue.
And now, the NFL is going to run these PSA's in an effort to cultivate its own image. In an effort to show that the league is responsible and caring. Sounds like the right thing to do.
But in its desire to put itself first, the league has selfishly pushed Vick aside; attempting to take the credit for making this issue a household discussion by cutting Vick out of the picture. "Here, take your paycheck and disappear while we become the advocate for animals."
This is just another example of Roger Goodell's insatiable ego making the story about himself and the league. Vick is the one that did the leg work that made this a national topic, and he hasn't so much as held a press conference to put the spotlight on himself. Yet, Goodell issues press releases and takes every opportunity to associate himself and the league with it. Such behavior, in the long run, will have a negative effect on the PSA's.
Fans will see this as a media grab. They will recognize Goodell's desire to market by attaching himself and the NFL to the anti-dog fighting movement. It will be seen as insincere.
If Goodell really wanted positive results (and not just a marketing opportunity) from the PSA's, he would include Vick in them. Not coerce Vick into stepping aside so he can take the credit.
This is just another example of corporate America white washing an important social issue and trying to possess it as their own for self promotion, destroying the grassroots starts of the movement.
And it's all done at the expense of the individual.
The individual that brought the issue to light.
The individual with the passion for dog fighting.