This is some BULL. Before I let you read the article... I have to say this is some real backwards thinking . I'm not diminishing the situation, if he is fighting and abusively killing dogs punish him for that, but he is being raked across the coals and nobody is seeing that he is being fleeced... LOOSING endorsements and such and he hasn't even gone to court... I believe in the greatness of the US justice system...but I do realize that for minorities... rich or poor it is guilty until proven innocent... OK... I expect that from average AMERICANS.... but we all we got...meaning whether or not the man did it .. let's rally behind him . If he did do something wrong, let him be punished and move on... there is a war going on in Iraq where HUMAN BEINGS are being KILLED... are those same animal proponets as vocal for HUMAN RIGHTS?...You know the Machine Though!
By Elizabeth Neus, Gannett News Service
The NFL Network has asked analyst Deion Sanders to stop writing about the Michael Vick case after Sanders' newspaper column on Vick and dogfighting came under fire on ESPN Radio and drew criticism from across the nation.
CHRIS COLSTON'S BLOG: Atlanta reporter says 'People think we're the bad guys'
Sanders has been writing a weekly column for The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, his hometown newspaper, since January. Under his new contract with the NFL Network, the network has the exclusive right to Sanders' image and opinions regarding NFL matters.
Last week, Sanders' column was on Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback facing felony conspiracy charges connected to dogfighting.
READ DEION'S COLUMN: Plus reaction from his hometown.
"What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I," Sanders wrote. "Some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. You're probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest. Maybe, he identified with them in some way.
"You can still choose to condemn him, but I'm trying to take you inside his mind so you can understand where he might be coming from."
On Thursday, the day that Vick pleaded not guilty to the charges in a federal court, ESPN Radio host John Kincade blasted Sanders' column, triggering a wave of criticism from across the country, as well from as Sanders' hometown of Fort Myers.
When Sanders submitted his follow-up column responding to the criticism to the NFL Network, the network refused to let The News-Press publish it on Sunday.
"This column and subsequent variations of it (are) not approved by NFL Network. It cannot run," said the e-mail from Thomas George, the NFL Network managing editor, to News-Press sports editor Ed Reed.
"It's unfortunate," Reed wrote in Sunday's paper, "because Deion really wanted you to see it. It was his best work since he started writing his column in January."
Reed wrote that the criticism from Fort Myers bothered Sanders: "He had hoped his previous writings on race relations, children and family had shown his character and values. He was surprised that people, after reading the full column, saw him excusing Vick and condoning dogfighting or that he was sticking up for a rich athlete."
Sanders told Reed in an interview that "the NFL is like a fraternity. The real issue to me is, I think anybody, if someone in their family has done wrong or is doing wrong or made a bad, terrible decision, do we stone them or do we pray for them? I definitely, absolutely do not condone anything, but I am praying for him."
The NFL Network is permitting Sanders to write future columns for the News-Press as long as any NFL-related content meets the network's approval. Sanders writes on a freelance basis, and has no contract with the newspaper.
"It's my hometown," Sanders said. "I want to stay connected to my hometown."