According to a recent Forbes magazine poll, Michael Vick is the most hated man in sports. The poll suggests that the Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback’s image is still suffering from his dog-fighting conviction in 2006.
However, it’s hard to believe that Michael Vick is more hated than polarizing sports figures such as Jerry Jones, Kobe Bryant, Al Davis and Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Forbes‘ poll doesn’t represent the thoughts of the majority of sports fans in the United States. The magazine only polled 1,100 people over the age of 13. That’s barely one percent of the number of fans who attend sold out Eagles games during the fall.
Also, the love-hate relationship that Vick has with sports fans is usually divided along racial lines. The embattled quarterback received enormous support from the black community during his incarceration.
David Wright, author of Fire on the Beach, wrote an article in Color Lines that explained why black people tended to side with Vick. “For Black people, the lingering image of the entire affair isn’t one of electrocuted, shot or ‘raped’ pit bulls,” he wrote. “It’s the image, endlessly broadcast on TV, of the overwhelmingly white crowd — mob, in fact — protesting outside the Falcons’ Atlanta training facility with chants and placards, one of which prominently reads: ‘Neuter Vick.’ ”
The racial overtones during Vick’s case proved that most black and white fans still view black athletes differently. The majority of black fans see black athletes as their own, while a large number of white fans only support black athletes because of their superior exploits on the field of play. –amir shaw