LETTERS

Editor’s note: Joe Hawk’s column Wednesday (“Vick deserves harshest sentence”) generated more than 240 responses by e-mail, phone and letters. All but six agreed with his position, with two of the dissenters saying the white media was going overboard in its assessment of the actions of a black athlete, and two others were upset that Hawk would open his column by comparing the loss of his own pet to the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. The following is a sampling of what was received over the past four days:

Send vicious Vick away for as long as possible

To the sports editor:

We don’t always agree with what Joe Hawk writes, but his column on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his involvement in dogfighting was so thought-provoking and moving that we had to acknowledge it.

We share Hawk’s feelings that, regardless of any plea deal Vick may have worked out, he should be sent away for as long as possible.

We are tired of hearing “he made one bad decision.” Are you kidding? He was the money; he was an active participant. Actually, he was judge and jury for innocent dogs, and we will never forgive him.

LIBBY AND BILL HOOVER

Dogfighting wrong, but sentence must fit crime

To the sports editor:

I completely agree with Joe Hawk’s position on dogfighting and do not support or condone this activity in any way. However, I cannot agree with his position that Vick should receive the maximum sentence of five years.

Vick should be punished, and certainly he will, but I feel Hawk’s recommendation of the toughest punishment possible is far too harsh. There are people convicted of far worse crimes, such as murder or dealing drugs, who do not spend that long in prison.

Our prison system is inadequate and our parole system continually releases convicted criminals back into society, and these unfortunate facts have to be factored into this situation.

GREG BIRCH

Financial losses may hurt Vick worse than jail time

To the sports editor:

To tell you the truth, I’m not too concerned about Michael Vick’s amount of jail time.

No one in the history of sports has lost the kind of money that Vick is going to lose as a result of this incident. It probably will be more than $100 million.

If the Falcons recover $22 million of his signing bonus, they may take everything he has, and if he can’t play football, what is he going to do? He could end up on the streets, starving and impoverished.

ALBERT G. MARQUIS

Fallen star should never be allowed back in NFL

To the sports editor:

If the NFL accepts Michael Vick back, I will never watch another game. On Super Bowl Sunday, I’ll just go to the beach and have the whole place to myself.

EARL ARAKAKI

EWA BEACH, HAWAII

Hawk invokes dead dog, 9/11 just to get attention

To the sports editor:

Joe Hawk’s comparison of his feelings about his dog’s death and the 2001 terrorist attacks probably will be one of the worst columns of the year.

Sadly, this is what writers do to get attention these days. And now he has it. I guess (his) dog didn’t die in vain.

ROBERT KNILANDS

CLEVELAND

The Review-Journal welcomes letters from its readers. Letters should be 100 words or fewer and must include the author’s name and phone number. Send letters to: Letters to the Sports Editor, Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070. Letters also can be e-mailed to: jhawk@reviewjournal.com.

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