MLB.com recently featured a great column on Mark and Jamie Buehrle’s passion for animal rights, highlighting their activity with local animal rescue groups.
After the author of the article, Scott Merkin, posted some unused quotes to his Twitter account, things began to spiral out of control.
Now if you go to ESPN.com you’ll see a story about Buehrle’s comments on NFL quarterback Mike Vick, who served 19 months in jail for his role in a dogfighting ring, this quote specifically:
“He had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we watched the game, and I know it’s bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt,” Buehrle told MLB.com. “Everything you’ve done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”
The poll that accompanies the story asks if readers think less of Mark Buehrle because of this quote. Currently, 52 percent of the 22,500 votes answered “yes.”
I won’t even delve into the comment thread at the bottom of the story. Give people a keyboard and a forum, and all hell breaks loose.
Here are some facts:
- Mark Buehrle has done great things for dogs and animal shelters in the Chicago area.
- Mike Vick has done bad things and has been punished. Though some people may think the punishment wasn’t steep enough, it’s done. He is now trying to rectify his mistakes to the best of his ability and move on with his life.
- Scott Merkin wrote a great human interest story to make the Buehrles’ wonderful deeds known to a greater audience.
- Buehrle said something that he probably should have kept to himself, but he was asked the question. He’s human.
I like Mike Vick. I attended Virginia Tech once upon a time, and he helped rescue my fantasy team this year. I don’t condone what he did, but I also don’t think Mark Buehrle is going to find him and go all Tonya Harding on him.
If you have already forged an opinion on the matter, what are the chances that opinion can be changed? Would you force your opinion on someone else in hopes to change theirs? How would you feel if someone did that to you? Would it work?
Can we please just leave this alone and turn our focus to baseball?