Friday, August 31, 2007

Wait, why does dogfighting have any connection to race again?

The whole time the Vick scandal has been going on there's been a ton of talk about how it all has to do with race, even though multiple ATLiens - black, white, purple, whatever - have said that most of the city isn't very happy with Ron Mexico.

I alluded to this in yesterday's links (here's the original BBC News article), but since it's finally making some headway here in the states, I thought a full post was called for.

Right now in Ireland, there is an eerily similar dogfighting case going on as well. Gerard Cavlan, a star of Ireland’s Gaelic football league, was exposed Thursday as a director of an illegal dog-fighting club. As you can see, Cavlan is white.

Earlier this year, Cavlan was convicted of possessing a dangerous dog and fined £650. In April, Dungannon Magistrates Court was told that Cavlan had merely collected the dog from kennels for a Dublin man and was not involved in any other illegal activities. That of course turned out to be a huge lie. Kind of like what Vick did. And by "kind of" I mean "exactly."

And it's not just Cavlan who's doing it. A 17-month undercover investigation by BBC Northern Ireland’s “Spotlight” program, broadcast Thursday night, found evidence of 15 illegal dog-fighting operations in the British territory of 1.7 million people.

The program secretly filmed Gerard Cavlan, a 31-year-old member of the County Tyrone Gaelic football team, discussing his ownership of more than a dozen dogs — and bragging about how one “hard-mouthed dog” gripped another in its jaws.

“Sure he had him in the chest, and he shook him and he shook him for 25 minutes,” Cavlan said during a conversation filmed covertly in his vehicle.

The program filmed Cavlan saying he had co-founded a dog-fighting club called Bulldog Sanctuary Kennels. The program described his business partner as “Dee,” a Protestant extremist and drug dealer.

Man, anyone having a sense of deja vu yet?

Interestingly, the Gaelic Athletic Association has permitted Cavlan to continue playing, although chances are he could be in some serious trouble soon since this story literally just broke.

So what exactly do we have here? It looks to me like we have a white guy and a black guy both with sketchy friends who are in serious trouble for running dogfighting operations. Race really seems irrelevant in both cases, seeing as both men committed literally the identical crimes and both are facing massive blowback and are up shit creek. Isn't that what should happen?

Anyone who thinks Vick was railroaded because he's black better pay close attention to this case in Ireland. Because it's likely Cavlan is going to be in a worse situation than Vick, considering they have Cavlan taped talking about his role in dogfighting.

Personally, I hope they throw the book at Cavlan. But that's because I'm Southern Irish Catholic. I think most of you know what I'm talking about.



Kevin Hayward said...

I'm kind of glad that's happening in Ireland, if only for the sake of removing race from the equation here. What Vick did is disgusting, and color is absolutely irrelevant. Obviously African Americans (blacks? not sure what's politically correct these days) aren't happy that the perp was one of their own, and understandably so. But I hate to see people like Jesse Jackson coming out and saying that the public reaction would be different if a white man was at the center of the ring. It's unfair and untrue.

Simon said...

How do you find some of this stuff, awesome post... And as I redhead Irish Catholic I agree with that final sentiment.

Jarrett Carter said...

Black people aren't mad because it was Michael Vick. In fact we aren't mad at all. He will get what he deserves.

On the other hand, there is a strange subplot we must confront when things like this happen, and that is comparison. With a history of unfair treatment and coverage from the same sources and governing bodies that are still very much in place today, why wouldn't we examine each incident with a fine tooth comb to ensure equity, which is what we all want, right?

Considering that this is the first news about the soccer player I've heard, and it's not been plastered all over ESPN, you tell me what the initial reaction should be?

Anonymous said...

Well, duh, Jarrett. Does ESPN cover anything to do with Gaelic football? Do you seriously think that if Peyton Manning had done the same thing, it wouldn't have been even bigger news than it was with Michael Vick? If a purple NFL star from Antarctica had done the same thing, it would have been big news. Put the race card back in the deck and keep shuffling.

Jarrett Carter said...

"Put the race card back in the deck and keep shuffling."

Consider why it's even in the deck and ask me that again. Not so anonymously next time.

Anonymous said...

Let's regroup here for a moment and get off the sports people. Does anyone know what the statistcs are in the general public of whites versus blacks with dog fighting? There is much of this going on that is caught and does NOT involve someone in the public eye. I have a feeling it just may be more racial than you think.

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