Credibility is earned by what’s said and who says it!
By Eric Seidel, CEO
The Media Trainers®
AdAge is reporting imprisoned NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s people are talking to PETA about Vick becoming a spokesman on behalf of the organization. Of course, Vick is serving time for engaging in dog fighting. I suppose both Vick and the animal protectors have lots of questions to consider before, or if, this becomes a deal.
Is it a good idea? Who has more to gain? Better yet, who has more to lose? Will Vick be sincere? More importantly, will he be perceived as being sincere? Does his history offer evidence that he can honestly change?
At a recent federal court hearing updating Vick’s financial obligations, the judge made a point of telling the imprisoned pro football player that he—the judge—was not yet convinced of any remorse on Vick’s part. He sent him back to his Leavenworth prison cell with that admonition to ponder.
Vick has had well over a year to begin apologizing and retooling his image. Instead, he’s remained silent while news stories about his questionable financial manipulations have filled the void.
It does appear that PETA, sometimes extreme and unrealistic in its causes, has more to lose in this situation. If Vick is not believable, then PETA appears to have been sucked in and used. Vick’s history does not offer strong evidence he can be convincing.
PETA’s director of youth outreach and campaigns, Dan Shannon, wants Vick to undergo psychological evaluation before any decisions are made:
“We’re suspicious this may come from a place of simply wanting to repair his public image, rather than genuine remorse. He was dishonest all the way up the line until he finally had to admit to what he did, which is a hallmark of [antisocial personality disorder]. If he can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, we can’t get in bed with this guy. At this point, he hasn’t chosen to submit to an evaluation. We hope the NFL will require that evaluation as a precondition of reinstatement. The bottom line is: Everybody knows he’s going to
apologize, go on Oprah and Larry King and say he did wrong, that he learned his lesson. But there’s no reason for anybody to take his word for that based on the pattern of dishonesty and the severity of cruelty he took part in.”
That being said, one has to wonder if/why PETA really is seriouly considering it. As for Vick’s side of this story, no one was willing to talk to AdAge.
And, finally, it’s of some interest to note that nothing about any discussions with Mike Vick can be found (at this writing) on PETA’s homepage or news page.