ESPN The Magazine Removes Rendering Of A White Michael VickBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Quarterbacks Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Controversy sells and it makes people rich. Very few things drum up more controversy than an issue involving race. There’s no subject more polarizing in the sportsworld today than Michael Vick and his dogfighting involvement.
The picture of Vick with some dogs in the background gets animal lovers’ blood boiling. ESPN knows this and that’s why they have pictures of dogs throughout their issue which focuses on Vick.
They know Vick is a lightning rod. That’s the reason ESPN The Magazine dedicated an entire issue to him and they made sure to talk about the race issue throughout the numerous articles which focus on everything from his childhood, to his football career as a quarterback, to his involvement in dogfighting, to his nearly two-year stay in a federal penitentiary, to his resurrection as Eagles starting quarterback.
The publication took things to another level when they had one of their artists draw a white version of Vick. It got my attention as I went through the pages of the issue. The fact that I’m writing this article validates the sports company reasons for deciding to do this issue and have this version of Vick created.
Now the publication has removed the picture of a white Michael Vick off of their website. I see this as nothing but another move for attention.
The magazine also has an article in the issue which discusses the fact that certain people will never forgive Vick for his involvement in dogfighting. They highlight the racial tension which was created by Vick’s signing in Philadelphia.
They have articles focusing on Vick playing the quarterback position is an “African-American” way by running with the ball. Most of the time scrambling isn’t designated as an “African-American” thing but it’s something that is part of the image of many black quarterbacks. They’re labeled “athletic quarterbacks”.
This was a controversy which followed Donovan McNabb, who didn’t want to be categorized as a scrambler, who couldn’t read coverages. Vick doesn’t seem to care about being categorized because he knows his ability to use his speed is one of his strengths.
We’ll see how much mileage ESPN will be able to get out of these publicity stunts.
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