The problem with Michael Vick
Long time Lakers newsgroup poster Fred puts into words better than anybody (with the exception of a gratuitous political non sequitur which I omit here) I have yet seen why we should shun Michael Vick:
The thing about Vick, for many of us, is not the dogs. It's the extended period of planned cruelty. It wasn't an impulsive decision, or a decision that was made under the haze of addiction. Those can be regretted, and the influences that brought the people to those tragic impulses could be addressed, corrected and kept from repeating.
Vick did this over a period of years, for ghastly sport and money. He tortured dogs that did not fight. He went to the pound and got dogs that weren't ever intended to fight, but were intended to be slaughtered by the bigger, meaner fighting dogs that he kept, and for his entertainment. Watching a little dog that was, at one time, someone's family pet, get torn apart by another dog trained to kill was this man's entertainment. [...]
It's the extended period of depravity and cruelty that should disqualify him from being a figure in the public eye, not the fact that the victims were dogs.