News: Joell Ortiz Defends NFL Star Michael Vick, Calls Out Al Sharpton Over Dog Fighting Protests

Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 3:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Slaughterhouse's Joell Ortiz has publicly vouched for NFL star Michael Vick after political activist Al Sharpton reportedly signed a request for sponsors to pull their advertisements from the athlete's reality show.

Writing via Twitter, Ortiz said the athlete's past punishment for running dog fights should not interfere with his current business ventures.

"Sam Simon is a f*cking a**hole. He is getting sponsors to pull ads from Michael Vick's reality show. The man paid his debt to society," Ortiz wrote Tuesday (March 2) morning. "Al Sharpton and Russell Simmons signed the letter to Michael Vick's sponsors as well Al Sharpton and Russell Simmons signed the letter to Michael Vick's sponsors as well No one is gonna say sh*t to Russ Simmons bout this bullsh*t but it's wrong dude. Im not defending dogfighting. Im defending ex offenders sucka sh*t gotta get called out and not letting ex-offenders eat is some sucka sh*t...he did the time they gave him. so he isnt ever supposed to work now? get the f*ck off my timeline you idiot. PETA got looooooong money and great PR vs Michael Vick who is black and bankrupt. Russ and Al went with the easy win." (Joell Ortiz's Twitter)

Around 2007, Vick's past sponsors received a letter from both Simmons and Sharpton speaking on the athlete's crime.

This morning, July 18, 2007, all of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's corporate sponsors, Falcons CEO Arthur Blank, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell received a joint letter from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, civil rights leader The Rev. Al Sharpton, and PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk roundly condemning dogfighting and other forms of violence. (PETA)

Simmons later inked a blog posting speaking on his personal reaction to Vick's situation.

"When I heard about the arrest of Michael Vick and read about what he did to dogs, it made my stomach hurt," he wrote in August 2009. "However, I was never like so many of my friends and co-workers who were on the "convict Michael Vick and put him away" bandwagon. I felt, as I do now, that he is worth more to people and animals, free and able to speak out about his crimes. I spoke to Michael today, and listened intently as he explained how sorry he is and how he now understands (and feels) that he was, yes, here is that word again, unconscious, when he participated in the killing and torture of those dogs." (Huffington Post)

Televison writer, Sam Simon, who Ortiz addressed his issues with via Twitter, spoke on his problems with Vick last year.

"I have my own dog foundation, I am a proud member of the PETA Vanguard Society. I was like the rest of the nation, well almost the rest of the nation, except for the NFL and NBA players who are avid dog fighters, I was outraged by Michael Vick. I am not a pro football fan anymore. I used to be crazy about the game but I was disgusted by this. I think it's rampant in the NFL, I think it's rampant in the NBA. At the same time, I don't know anyone who has played a bigger price for dog fighting. The guy's lost over $100 million, he's missed two years of his career. I've got his empathy test right here, he just seemed like he was coached to pass the empathy test. I guess he did. I think he's a piece of sh*t. I hope people turn out and boo him and express their feelings about him whenever he does get back out there. He is, however, entitled to play football." (LAist)

After serving 21 months of his sentence for animal cruelty charges, Vick made a return to the NFL last summer.

After his release from prison, Vick was mentored by former Colts coach Tony Dungy. On August 13, 2009, Vick signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. He will earn $1.6 million, of which no amount is guaranteed. The contract contains a team option for the 2010 season worth $5 million. Vick will be able to participate in all team practices and meetings as well as the Eagles' last two preseason games. (Wikipedia)

Check out a recent Joell Ortiz interview below:

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