Philadelphia Eagle Michael Vick has been attempting to fly under the radar lately. Vick’s hoping to avoid talk of his latest ethical misstep, possible connection to the shooting of his dog fighting co-defendant, Quanis Phillips, outside his birthday party last month.
But on Sunday, Vick’s new teammate, Ernie Sims was all about making news. He hosted a Pit Bull parade — the first of its kind — in his hometown of Tallahassee, Florida. The reason: to help punch holes in misperceptions about the breed.
In fact, “humanity for all animals” is one of the three focuses of Sims’s community-centered foundation. As I poked around his website, I found photos of the star player with pythons coiled around his neck and an iguana resting calmly in his hands.
Maybe it’s time for HSUS and Wayne Pacelle to think about a new spokesman. You can be a tough guy — the image of Sims wrapped in snakes doesn’t exactly scream sissy — without being cruel. You can be powerful without enslaving someone weaker. You can be strong by fighting your own battles rather than breeding animals to do it for you.
I have a feeling Sims could connect with youth and pass along a message every bit as compelling as anything Michael Vick could say. Maybe even more so, considering he’s sincere. I’ll be curious to hear what, if anything, transpires between the two men this season.
Meanwhile, if Vick can learn something from Sims, maybe Pacelle could take a tip from Smith.