"In cockfighting, the animals are ugly. Roosters do not raise the same sympathy level as warm and fuzzy puppies being raised to tear each other’s heads off.
Or, as we learned from Michael Vick, dogs being placed on rape-stands for mating, or body-slammed to death for failing during training.
And no matter what images this evokes, and what Dominican cultural norms Ramirez lives within, this is not any more acceptable than what Vick was doing with dogfighting.
Not morally, anyway. Not in showing respect for life.
When you raise animals for the purpose of watching them suffer and die for your entertainment, that is not acceptable. I’m not saying Ramirez needs to go to jail; it doesn't appear he's broken any laws. I wouldn’t even suspend him at this point. But the Cubs need to demand that he stop it. If it turns out that this is a widespread issue, then commissioner Bud Selig might have to step in.
We’ve already seen recently video of Pedro Martinez, and former pitcher Juan Marichal, involved in the ``sport.’’ ``Dominicans say cockfighting is in their blood.’’
That’s the headline on the Times’ story, which includes this passage: ``They can have their eyes pecked out by a more vigorous adversary. They can be impaled through the brain with one of the plastic spikes that are affixed to the foot of every fighting bird. Or, if a lung is punctured, the end may come in slow, raspy gasps.’’
We can’t accept this.
It’s a little trickier than with Vick, though, isn’t it? We’re talking about another country. And frankly, it bugs me when Americans try to impose our culture on others, as if they’re barbarians.
But cross-cultural policing has been in the news lately. You might have noticed that in England, athletes planning to compete in this summer’s Olympics in Beijing were forced by their own country to sign a contract vowing not to be critical publicly of China’s human rights record. The U.S. said it will not follow suit.
Steven Spielberg withdrew from his role as an artistic adviser to the Games, citing human rights reasons.
And a few years ago, I saw an Afghan woman run sprints at the Olympics in long pants, happily freed from the Taliban, but still wanting to honor her country. Maybe members of the U.S. press were looking for her to tear into her country, but after her race, she said she was just disappointed she couldn’t find her flag to parade around the track.
It isn’t easy trying to be a judge of other cultures. But in the case of cockfighting, I’m coming back to Michael Vick.
But from what we know now, the actions of Ramirez and Vick seem to be hauntingly similar. If Vick had taken his dogfighting ring to another country, he still would have deserved harsh criticism.
And Ramirez, who represents Chicago and the national pastime in his Cubs uniform, does now."
Now listen... I don't agree with animal cruelty at all. I don't hunt, and I feel bad killing a motherfucking fly. However, saying that this is on the same level as Vick's acts is absolutely ludicrous. Couch even says, "I’m not saying Ramirez needs to go to jail; it doesn't appear he's broken any laws. I wouldn’t even suspend him at this point." So if we are saying this is on the same level as Vick's acts, this means Vick should not be in jail? Vick should not be suspended? That's utter bullshit.
Additionally, we are completely unaware of the details and extent of Aramis and Pedro's involvement in cockfighting to make such a comparison. And last but not least.... It's LEGAL in the DR! Whether we agree with it or not, there's nothing to say these guys cannot be involved in such acts in their home country. If the rest of us grew up within their culture, we might not see anything wrong with that. It's just the way it is.