Mark Buehrle: Dogfighting not a sport
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle said he has no regrets about saying he at times wished Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had gotten hurt this past season as retribution for his involvement in dogfighting.
Hunting is a sport. There are hunting stores out there. If that's illegal, shame on my dad and my grandpa and his grandpa. It's kind of been brought up throughout the history of America. The last time I knew dogfighting was a sport was never.” -- Mark Buehrle
"No, I said it," Buehrle said Thursday about his recent comment to MLB.com. "It's an old story. Again, we are not bringing drama inside and past history stuff. So, I said it, meant it. It's over, and we'll move on."
Buehrle and his wife Jamie are huge advocates for animal rights, particularly with dogs. An avid hunter, Buehrle was asked the difference between dogfighting and the activity he enjoys.
"Hunting is a sport," he said. "There are hunting stores out there. If that's illegal, shame on my dad and my grandpa and his grandpa. It's kind of been brought up throughout the history of America. The last time I knew dogfighting was a sport was never. Again, that's all we need to comment on that. We'll concentrate on baseball."
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Buehrle has the right to his opinion.
"I don't agree with what this guy [Vick] was doing, but it's none of my business," Guillen said. "I cannot say, 'Do this, don't do that' because I love bull fighting. People look at bull fighting in a different way than we do. [Buehrle has] got his own opinion, and I respect that. If somebody has to say anything about his comments, it has to be Vick. Nobody else has to say anything."
General manager Kenny Williams had a mixed reaction to Buehrle's original comment on Vick.
"None of my business," Williams said. "I'm putting that in the no-drama-for-Kenny zone. It is my business in the sense that he is a Chicago White Sox player, but it was the offseason, and he's his own man.
"He's got some very strong opinions about animal rights, and I support those. I wish that it would have been handled differently, but it wasn't and that's as much as I'm going to say on it. No drama."
After serving 18 months in federal prison, Vick was signed by the Eagles in 2009. This past season he was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year after making the Pro Bowl with the Eagles.
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"[Vick] had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we watched the game and I know it's bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt," Buehrle told MLB.com earlier this month. "Everything you've done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys."
Vick canceled an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Wednesday. A show spokesman said his representatives called late Tuesday to cancel his appearance for personal reasons. The daytime talk show host's interview with Vick was scheduled to air Thursday.
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.