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Oh what troubles freedom of speech can bring
Published on May 23, 2007 By terpfan1980 In Football

Sorry to those that want to claim that anytime a somewhat conservative individual uses the word Clinton it's to badmouth Bubba (aka Bill) or his bitch, uh, I mean wife, former first lady, now Senator and President wannabe, Hillary. This article isn't going to go there so stop saying all conservatives always attack the Clintons!

No, this article is going to go towards Clinton Portis, would be star running back of the Washington Redskins. Sometimes zany and crazy character known for speaking off the cuff and saying things freely and openly (though it can be tough to tell at times if what he says was said in jest, or something he very much meant and believes).

Portis made some comments that would seem to be somewhat in understanding and/or supportive of the claims that Michael Vick was heavily involved in the dog fighting that is alleged to have taken place on his property.  Dog fighting that is, in the area where it was alleged to have happened very much a felony (sorry to the animal lovers out there but in case you weren't aware dog fighting is not a felony everywhere.  Different rules in different places, I guess PETA hasn't gotten involved enough on the issue yet....)

Portis stupid words on the situation place himself in a pretty bad light, and realistically, many people could use Portis' words to very easily stereotype himself and Michael Vick and paint with the broad brush in assuming that a certain category of individuals might be involved in such events.  One could pretty easily point at what Portis said and say 'see!!! They all think it's ok and that it's just something some people do...' and in so doing could pretty easily assume that Vick is guilty of what he's been accused of.

Clinton Portis is certainly entitled to his freedom of speech, but perhaps he should also remember some of his Miranda rights... especially the right to remain silent, and especially the fact that anything he says can and [ may ]  be used against him or others in a court of [ law or public opinion ] .  As they say better to let people assume you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove it to them.

Portis is a bright guy, he's likable, engaging, and likes to talk.  But again, he should consider that what he says reflects upon himself, his teammates, others of his race and up-bringing, and the NFL in general.

There was no surprise at all that the NFL (through it's new commissioner, the new sheriff in town, and the man who has been laying down the law in trying to clean up and protect the NFL's image, Roger Goddell) was quick to distance itself from Clinton Portis' words.  The same happened with the Redskins who were left having to engage their PR machine to help make things better for Portis and themselves.

Hopefully Portis thinks a bit more next time, and hopefully in the meantime he and his friends and teammates in the NFL may look towards animal rights and animal protection groups as places to send some of their charity dollars so they can show that they aren't all common trash that enjoys blood sports between animals.


Comments
on May 23, 2007

Dog fighting, cock fighting, and other blood sports have no place in our society please.  They don't need to be defended, and they don't need to be explained as something that you understand as it happened where you grew up or around you when you were growing up.

Such events need to be frowned upon, discouraged, and scorned for being cruel.  They should be felonies everywhere, and those that participate in, manage the events, or otherwise or involved should be punished severely for doing so.   That would include Mr. Michael Vick if he is found guilty as it seems he could be.

on May 23, 2007
As long as the dogs have head gear, and use 16 ounce gloves, I do not see the problem.
on May 23, 2007
I had to wonder why a couple of Deadskins,er I mean Redskins, would chime up to defend dog fighting. (I have no idea if Vick knew, but at least he is not trying to defend the practice).
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