Tucker Carlson addresses Vick role

Updated: December 30, 2010, 2:19 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles are more worried about Michael Vick's injured leg than another attack on his dogfighting past.

Fox analyst Tucker Carlson gave the harshest critique of Vick's past yet, saying the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback "should have been executed" for his gruesome dogfighting crimes.

Carlson Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did [it] in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that.

-- Fox analyst Tucker Carlson

Carlson was guest hosting for Sean Hannity's show on Fox News Channel on Tuesday night when he made the remarks. He led a panel discussion about President Barack Obama commending the owner of the Eagles for giving Vick a second chance after his release from prison. Vick served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring.

"I'm a Christian, I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said on the show. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did [it] in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?"

Pamela Browner White, the Eagles senior vice president of public affairs and government relations, said the team had no comment.

The Eagles did not practice on Wednesday so Vick, voted an NFC Pro Bowl starter, was not available for comment.

Neither Vick's agent, Joel Segal, nor Fox News immediately returned phone messages on Wednesday.

This season, Vick has gone from a seldom-used backup to the NFC's leading passer, the catalyst for Philadelphia's dynamic offense. He was selected in a leaguewide vote by NFL players, coaches and fans to start for the NFC in the Jan. 30 Pro Bowl in Honolulu, and has led the Eagles to the No. 3 seed in the NFC.

He bruised a leg on the first play of the Eagles' 24-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday night and might not play in Sunday's season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

Carlson, a conservative commentator, was angry that Obama told Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie he believes people who have paid for their crimes should have the opportunity to contribute to society again.

"But the idea that the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs [is] kind of beyond the pale," he said.

Vick, who saw his first dogfight as a 7-year-old, has revived his career and is taking steps to rebuild his image. He spends time on his off days working with the Humane Society of the United States and speaking to school and community groups about the cruelty of dogfighting. He has said he'd never be able to completely forget the horrific acts he witnessed and committed.

He made headlines recently when he said he genuinely cares about animals and would like to have a dog for a pet. Vick said his kids ask him every day for a dog and wants to adopt one for his family.

It won't happen soon. Under the terms of his probation, which ends in May 2012, he cannot own dogs during that time.

Carlson called Vick "some creepy rich overpaid football player" and used his platform to take a dig at Obama.

"He went to jail for two years. I mean, whatever," Carlson said. "I think the president should be quiet on this one."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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