Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rose's Wagering Assumed Greater Offense Than Animal Cruelty

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
(212) 931-3800

Dear Mr. Commissioner:

Last night, after watching the second installment of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Kansas City Chiefs,” my buddies and I stayed tuned for Bryant Gumbel’s “Real Sports.” Like everything else associated with media and sports in recent weeks, there was a feature on dog fighting. They interviewed one guy that used to run a dog-fighting ring, breed/sell dogs for fighting, and murder those canines that were deemed “unfit for competition.” The special, in its entirety, was horrifying and disgusting.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is doing the right thing by allowing the legal system to determine what will happen with Michael Vick and his indictment. Some sports media figures are suggesting that the allegations of gambling charges are of greater concern to the NFL than those associated with the brutality towards animals. I find this preposterous. How is malicious murder a lesser offense than wagering and gaming? How is it that the world of professional sports can say with a clear conscience that it’s a greater offense to wager monies on competition than to willfully kill other creatures?

I’ve never been a gambling man myself, and I’ll probably never become one. I do however love me some sports. And some animals. Therefore, these statements by media personalities are, to me, mind boggling and ridiculous. Can one assume that Pete Rose could have his rightful spot in the hall of fame had he run a dog-fighting ring? I ask you to let that question sit with you for a minute.

Pete Rose raised the bar of baseball, the glory of the game and the will to compete. Sure. He bet on baseball while a part of the league, and obviously, he lied repeatedly when questioned on the matter.

Is that a greater offense than the utter disregard for man’s best friend?

Pete Rose. Cooperstown. Make it happen.

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