Vick: Sociopath or sincere? Jury's still out

The upshot, says PETA spokesman Dan Shannon, is that Vick fits the profile for antisocial personality disorder.

"It's the level of cruelty, and the level of indifference to the suffering," Shannon says.

He's referring not just to the report's eyewitness testimony of the hideous treatment of pit bulls forced to fight, but also to accounts that Vick threw family pets into the fighting ring. Then laughed as they were ripped apart.

Vick, the report reads, "thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs ... injure or kill the other dogs."

We already knew that Vick's own pit bulls fared just as wretchedly at his own hands.

He and cohorts, the report reads, "killed approximately seven dogs by hanging and drowning ... hung approximately three dogs by placing a nylon cord over a 2-by-4 that was nailed to two trees.... killed a red pit bull dog, by slamming it to the ground several times before it died, breaking the dog's back or neck."

When hanging didn't kill one dog fast enough, Vick took it down and threw it aside. Later, he hung it again.

Is it any wonder PETA wants Vick to undergo a psychological evaluation before it adds its blessing to his return to the NFL?

"No one should take him at his word," Shannon says. "We'd like to see him give people a reason to believe him."

Of course Vick won't. And there's no law to force him. If PETA is right, there's no conscience to compel him, either.

Besides, there's also no rule against sociopaths in the NFL.

PETA vows to fight tooth and nail Vick's return to the gridiron, but odds are he'll be back one day, and soon. Rich. Adored. Clean slate.

Till then, there's a sliver of poetic justice in seeing Vick kept on the ropes, in the ring, forced to brawl his way back to the good life, as if his life depended on it.

Contact Tamara Dietrich at tdietrich@dailypress.com or 247-7892.

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