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Dear Mr. Stallworth,

I'm wondering what you, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, make of the Michael Vick situation. I'm perplexed that many fans still think Vick, the former Falcons quarterback, shouldn't be able to earn a living after serving nearly two years in prison for doing all manner of admittedly cruel things to canines while operating his underground dog fighting ring. Vick has done his time and should be able to resume employment—assuming NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gives him the green light. Whether teams will want an aging, rusty, one-dimensional quarterback with accuracy issues and a passion for dog fighting is another issue altogether. 

But what should we make of your situation? While driving under the influence of alcohol, you struck and killed a man in Miami, for which you will serve a whole 30 days in jail—the beneficiary of the sorts of "plea agreements" and "financial settlements" that are the territory of the very rich and (at least moderately) famous.

All accounts point to the fact that you were honorable and cooperative in the wake of your tragedy in ways that Vick wasn't, but my question is this: Why isn't the general public similarly cranked up about you? And why weren't they all that indignant about St. Louis Ram Leonard Little, whose 1998 case was similar to yours, when he drove drunk and killed a woman, netting a whole (more sarcasm) 90 days in jail and an eight-game suspension? Is that the going rate on human life? 

Little resumed his career without missing a beat and fans seemed, as a whole, pretty forgetful, if not forgiving, of the whole thing. But your mere 17 catches in 2008 will be a whole lot easier to replace than Little's double-digit sack seasons. That, more than ...

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An Open Letter to Donte Stallworth
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