Knicks Star Stephon Marbury and Dr. Boyce Watkins Defend Michael Vick on Today Show, CNN

Knicks Star Stephon Marbury and Dr. Boyce Watkins Defend Michael Vick on Today Show, CNN

SYRACUSE, NY(RUSHPRNEWS) August 25, 2007 – Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick, embroiled in a dog fighting scandal, has taken a tremendous amount of criticism recently. However, not all prominent Americans are quick to attack him. New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury and prominent Syracuse University Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins both appeared on “The Today Show” to provide some element of support for Vick.
Watkins defended Vick on CNN Headline News and will appear with Marbury on Hot 97 in New York City this Sunday.

“It’s odd that we call Vick a monster and barbarian for dog fighting,” says Watkins author of the popular book “What if George Bush were a Black Man?”. “At the same time, Dick Cheney went on a hunting trip with full intent to kill animals and also shot his friend in the face while he was at it. He and Karl Rove have killed thousands in Iraq with Rove endangering the life of a CIA operative, but no one is calling them monsters.”

Watkins and Marbury were joined by the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP and former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders in providing support for Vick, but stopped short of saying he is innocent. “He broke the law and should face punishment,” says Watkins, a contributing writer for the popular website www.YourBlackWorld.com. “The problem is that the punishment must fit the crime and the notion that he should pay with the rest of his career is ridiculous.”

Dr. Watkins, who often discusses black athletes on ESPN, CNN, BET and other networks, stated that the tremendous scrutiny being faced by Vick is not uncommon. Speaking on The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Watkins asked “Do you REALLY think it’s a coincidence that the most hated athlete in America is almost always a black man? Whether you’re talking about OJ, TO, Bonds, Artest, Ali, or Jack Johnson, there’s always an extra element of disdain that is preserved for the black male athlete.”

In a recent opinion poll taken on YourBlackWorld.com, it was determined that America is divided along racial lines in the Vick case. While African-Americans are divided in their perceptions of Vick, the overwhelming majority of white Americans feel that the charges have nothing to do with race.

Dr. Watkins argues that the issue goes beyond personal responsibility. On a recent CNN interview, he mentioned that “There are far more black athletes doing the right thing than the other way around, but the only time we put black men on TV is when they are screwing up. If you shine a consistent negative light on a group of people, you are always going to see dirt. But this notion that ‘all those athletes need to stop getting in trouble’ is as ridiculous as seeing Paris Hilton and saying ‘all those white women need to stop drinking and driving.’”

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” He is regularly featured in the national media, including CNN, USA Today, FOX, ESPN and NPR. For more information, please visit www.yourblackworld.com or www.BoyceWatkins.com.

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