July 20th, 2007
12:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Byrd: ‘Hottest places in hell' reserved for dogfight promoters

Watch Byrd’s speech Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Fallout intensified Friday from NFL star Michael Vick's indictment on charges linked to dogfighting, a practice that a longtime U.S. lawmaker denounced as "barbaric" on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who has addressed lawmakers often about his love for animals, shook with emotion during a forceful condemnation of dogfighting.

"Barbaric," shouted the senator. "Let that word resound from hill to hill and from mountain to mountain and from valley to valley across this broad land. Barbaric!"

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Filed under: Robert Byrd
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Eric, East Hanover, NJ

    You know what else is barbaric, Senator Byrd? The Klan activities you took part in as Grand Wizard.

    July 20, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Lanie - Oklahoma

    Our illustrious lawmakers need to get a grip on reality - I love animals too, but not more than people. Our elected lawmakers need to take a look at our senior citizens and those hovering in poverty, without healthcare and miniscule pensions while they pass laws protecting the ultra-rich classes as big business whines about the cost of healthcare per employee. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the billions big business take for themselves while whining about the cost of healthcare. Sen.Byrd can be passionate about his personal beliefs–but he needs to do his job first. Protect American citizens - ALL of them.

    July 20, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Geo, Granville, WV

    There have been many links showing the abusive/cruel treatment of animals, may lead to the likes of Jeffery Dalhmer, etc.

    Mike Vick...is NOT the kind of role model any parent would want for their children. There is so much hype about the "great quarterback"..and now the horrible reports of what he may have been involved in ..in the "punishment" of loser dogs. I certainly would want someone to "deounce" the reports so that children don't idolize Vick in any way shape or form. SO..if it takes a 5 minute blurb..in CONGRESS, to denouce such behavior...then..so be it.

    I guess you all never listen to cspan. DO yo know all the things they talk about...certainly it isn't THE WAR all the time. where you all been

    July 20, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Jared, South Carolina

    I guess everyone is too embroiled in the over-politicized hype of this story to realize how funny this speech was. I don't know how those dudes on the floor of the Senate didn't keep from cracking up at this senile old redneck's best efforts at a diatribe. BARBARIC!

    July 20, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Tom, Albany, ME

    Steve H please show me the biblical reference where God says that the liberals and socialists are going to hell.

    If you have a point to make, at least do something to encourage debate. The world has enough politicans and idiots with money spending all their time fighting. If politicians spent as much time and energy trying to solve problems as they did pushing their own personal agendas things might actually get done by the government.

    July 20, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Ian, Carrollton, TX

    I think dogfighting is evil, and can only wish that someday liberals will have the same compassion for babies as they do animals. What is wrong with people who cringe at the mistreatment of animals, but are okay with babies' skulls being crushed, their brains sucked out by a suction tube and then their bodies being ripped piece by piece out of their mothers' wombs WHILE THEY ARE ALERT AND CAN FEEL PAIN.

    I agree with Senator Byrd's condemnation of dogfighters but think he and other liberals don't have the right to condemn Michael Vick until they support the humane treatment of innocent human babies. I have to admit though, that it is refreshing to see a liberal who believes in Hell.

    July 20, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. wl

    He would know about hell and it's temperature. That's were all the 'good ole boys' came from and that's were they are going!

    July 20, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. James Phoenix AZ

    The words of Senator Byrd on March 2, 2001 (yeah – he REALLY has learned a lot since his days running the KKK)....

    "[Race Relations] are much, much better than they've ever been in my lifetime.... I think we talk about race too much. I think those problems are largely behind us ... I just think we talk so much about it that we help to create somewhat of an illusion. I think we try to have good will. My old mom told me, 'Robert, you can't go to heaven if you hate anybody.' We practice that. There are white 'N' (derogatory term beginning with N). I've seen a lot of white 'N's in my time. I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much.

    July 20, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Tris, Minnesota

    In any other profession this guy would be either suspended or put on leave until further notice. But not in professional sports boy. It's an old boys club that protects its own, and we're all indirectly responsible for worshiping and paying for these thugs. Do the right thing and write a letter to the Atlanta Falcons telling them to suspend this creep until the trial.

    July 20, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Dan, New York NY

    if Michael Vick likes to see fights, why doesnt he fight himself against other people for 25, 50g's whatever the price is. Why torture these poor innocent dogs, who are peaceful in heart but trained to be barbaric. Vick is a big wimp, with no courage and knows he would get his butt kicked by just about anyone, that's why he doesnt fight other people.I'm looking forward to a nice crushing blow to his knee this season by a big DL, hopefully it will end his career. Dont worry Falcon fans, he sucks anyway, never has and never will win a super bowl, my grandmother has a better arm than he does!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    July 20, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Right On!

    In any other profession this guy would be suspended until the trial, but professional sports is an old boys club that protects its own, and we're all the reason it exists. Do the right thing and write to the Atlanta Falcons to tell them to SUSPEND Michael Vick

    July 20, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Tris, Minnesota

    Well tell the Atlanta Falcons what you think. They have an official website. Demand that more be done.

    July 20, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    People like Steve H that make such slanderous comments and people that defend dogfighting should also go to hell.

    So let me get this staight...people would rather attack Byrd and kill the messenger than condemn dogfighting?

    July 20, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Jim, Jacksonville, FL

    According to the laws of the land you are innocent until proven guilty. That applies to everyone, not just to certain people, be they white, black, rich, or poor. Doesn't matter if your a former clansmen, a dog fighter, or professional athlete accused of murder.

    People need to pull their heads from the sand, read the constitution and the other laws of the land and then speak. Because until the constitution and the laws of the land change the NFL is doing things the way they should be done.

    If there is a conviction then he can be fined, thrown in jail, or punished in any other way. Of course nobody here seems to ever think about the fact that if he was found guild he could be made to continue to play but have his whole paycheck used to fund an organization dedicated to the humane treatment of animals.

    But I guess if your so blinded by your rage at what has been done it is easy to pass quick judgement and a harsh penalty without looking at all the possibilities.

    July 20, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. James, Phoenix AZ

    Anynomous wrote, "So let me get this staight…people would rather attack Byrd and kill the messenger than condemn dogfighting?"

    Perhaps you should go back and RE-read the posts that have been written here. EVERYONE concurs animal abuse is wrong. MANY of us also think Robert Byrd is a racist dinosaur that should fade into the hills of West Virginia.

    Believe it or not .. it IS possible to agree with the message but disapprove of the messenger – or is that above your capacity?

    July 20, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Tris, Minnesota

    Hey Jim - there is not a damn thing wrong with "suspending" someone if there are questionable allegations against them. This happens to police officers, firefighters, regular business people, politicians and everyone else. No one is asking for this guy to be permanently let go until he goes through the court process and is convicted. SUSPENSION is the right thing to do until this guy has his day in court. But one other thing - in order to get a "federal indictment" in the first place means there's quite a bit of evidence against this guy.

    July 20, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Luis, Miami Florida

    people...what is it??? ADD

    way off subject...
    on, and on about abortion, the war, KKK and all the other... you all are missing the point...


    July 20, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Tris, Minnesota

    Jim – we've already heard the "innocent until proven guilty" argument and it doesn't fit here. People are not asking for this guy to be cut from the team. They are asking for the old boy's club to do the right thing and suspend him or give him a leave until his court date. At least THIS would tell the public that they're taking this seriously. Everyone knows that in order to get a "federal indictment" in the first place there must be a whole heck of a lot of evidence against this guy.

    July 20, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Lewis Wolfe Parkersburg, WV

    Additionally, the severity of the punishment given to Adam "Pacman" Jones who has not been convicted of anything either and the situation with Vick, vis-a-via the NFL, makes me lose all respect for that organization. Ball-less wonders in my book.

    Michael Vick needs some serious help. People who torture animals are one step from hurting people. Many people who abuse spouses and children have s=histories of harming animals.

    July 20, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. Dan

    What is wrong with these people? They get more bent out of shape about 1 man's dogfights than they do about the Iraq war. Get some real work done.

    July 21, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  21. mannabozo

    People who promote dogfighting need to go to jail. Forever. I have spoken.

    July 21, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    No the hottest place in hell is for Congress and Bush.

    July 22, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  23. Alecia , Hollywood, Florida

    Get this straight: I CONDEMN DOG FIGHTING and any cruelty toward animals – I DO NOT EAT MEAT, not because of my religion, but because it would mean I am a party to KILLING animals – however, I am overwhelmed by the rhetoric, the angst, the passion elicited by DOG_FIGHTING, however cruel.

    AS A HUMAN BEING, I try to protect weaker things, animals included. But, nowhere recently has any of the passionate objectors remembered the days of slavery in this country when DOGS went hunting BLACK people, when they were hung, set on fire, tarred and feathered, their women RAPED, their men CRUSHED, when unconsionable medical experiments were carried out on them..I dont hear Nancy Grace being as passionate about the fact that BLACK men make up the majority of the prison community...

    In fact, today the news reports that 2 white men, broke into a house, raped and killed 2 lovely girls, the outrage is there, but not as strong as the outrage for the DOGS.

    THe point made by the anti-abortionist poster is true: Kill children, kill our boys in Vietnam, Afganistan, Iraq, that is OK – Kill a DOG? NO!!!

    Time for a PRIORITY CHECK! Lock up VICK, but stop the bellowing about it...the average child in America cant eat as well as a DOG....

    July 26, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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