Is Michael Vick a Psychopath?
In a fax dated today, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) President Ingrid E. Newkirk asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to take a hard look at Michael Vick's mental health before deciding whether to let him return to the NFL.
Vick, formerly a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was convicted of dogfighting conspiracy charges in August, 2007, and could be released from federal prison as early as this summer. While acknowledging that Vick "has apologized publicly and to me personally," Newkirk wrote that his behavior "seems to fit the established profile of antisocial personality disorder."
Those who suffer from the disorder are referred to as psychopaths "in the common parlance," Newkirk wrote, and their prognosis for recovery is poor. She asked the commissioner to have Vick submit to psychological testing in order to determine his condition before deciding whether to let him back into the league.
PETA had been working with Vick and the NFL, but earlier this week withdrew support for an anti-dogfighting Public Service Announcement that Vick was to star in. This decision appears to be in part a result of the USDA report released two months ago. The report, Newkirk wrote, is "so disturbing that it cannot be dismissed."
"When the report was released, the world already knew that Michael had electrocuted, strangled, drowned, and shot dogs (although it now seems that he used a variety of guns, as if that in itself were a sport)," she wrote in today's FAX. "The last USDA report also shows that Michael wanted losing dogs killed rather than given away and that he put family pets into the pit with the fighting dogs."
Psychopaths lack the ability to put themselves in their victims' place (i.e., to feel empathy), Newkirk noted, fail to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior, are frequently manipulative and charming, lie easily, take pleasure in the suffering of others, and have difficulty controlling their impulses. Moreover,, "Cruelty to animals is a well-established predictor of psychopathic behavior..."
Turning from psychiatry to merchandising, Newkirk suggested to Goodell that Vick "is not the kind of person who should be offered as a role model. Severe and repeated acts of cruelty to animals are, of course, not what football fans, particularly children, need to think about when they see a football star, or buy a jersey or an autographed picture. Michael's appalling acts of cruelty to animals will always be a part of his image. That will not go away."
So what do you think? Is Vick a psychopath? Should Roger Goodell force him to take the psychological exams, or has he served his time and now deserves a second chance? Let us know.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: notthatdum | January 24, 2009 10:08 AM
Posted by: Bob22003 | January 24, 2009 11:06 AM
Posted by: dane1 | January 24, 2009 12:07 PM
Posted by: pdwyer1 | January 24, 2009 4:19 PM
Posted by: rmagritte | January 24, 2009 5:08 PM
Posted by: danmart44 | January 25, 2009 11:04 AM
Posted by: wold | January 25, 2009 12:39 PM
Posted by: ged0386 | January 26, 2009 5:24 PM
Posted by: jhheltman | January 29, 2009 2:19 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.