NFL should clip Vick's wings

JODY VANCE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 6:18 AM ET

Michael Vick should not be allowed to play in the NFL this season -- period.

The time has come where criminal charges should equal suspension until such charges have been disproved in court.

I get how unpopular this statement will be with NFL fans, and I fully expect my inbox to fill with long rants as to why he should be "considered innocent until proven guilty." But I am throwing a flag on that --he shouldn't have a role of hero while his legal team and its endless flow of money stall the system for months and months.

Vick should be put in a position where he must discount any charges in a timely fashion so that he can return to the game he so loves and the massive paycheque that goes with it.

The Atlanta Falcons pivot was indicted Tuesday by a Federal Grand Jury on two felony counts for being a big part of a suspected dogfighting ring.

There is irony that the limelight-loving superstar will soon find himself the centre of attention in a legal dogfight. But now it should be he himself "in the pit."

Why do I feel so strongly about this? For starters, in the indictment the name "Michael Vick" doesn't just get a mention or two -- it is at the heart of the case.

His house in Surry County, Va., is ground zero for this ugly sport and it was there where federal agents found "forensic evidence of dog fighting" -- read: "dead dogs." These are dogs who presumably lost their fights, some shot, others hanged or electrocuted. Cruelty at its absolute worst. Raising dogs to die fighting.

So why am I so jaded when it comes to the U.S. justice system? I think the O.J. trial did it -- is it justice if boatloads of cash can bail out the worst of offenders or at the very least afford them preferential treatment (Paris Hilton, anyone)?

There is a glimmer of hope that justice will be served here as we are talking about a Federal Grand Jury and the feds have a conviction rate better than 95 per cent. They rarely indict if they don't feel they can convict.

With the feds doing their thing, it's time that the NFL do the right thing and put the brakeson this guy playing even one series on the gridiron until he can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no blood on his hands.

Bring on the e-mails.

Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours. jody.vance@tor.sunpub.com.

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