'Ron Mexico' has to go

By Jeffery Armstrong

A little over a week ago, I noticed in an Associated Press story about Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed he gave her a sexually transmitted disease a couple of years ago in Virginia.

This woman claimed that Vick came up with an alias when he went to clinics to get tested so people wouldn't know who he was and that alias was "Ron Mexico." What I'd like to know is, as popular as Vick was in Virginia how in the Sam Hill could he have gone in a health clinic and nobody would recognize him and realize he's using a fake name? Now for Vick to allegedly come up with that name is pretty comical, but what happened after that isn't funny at all. All sorts of people went online to NFLShop.com to try to order Michael Vick jerseys and personalize them with the last name of "Mexico" for a while. The National Football League, realizing that Vick is one of the most popular players in the league, stopped that mess short, issuing a statement that a Vick jersey with the name "Mexico" on it won't be shipped to anyone.

Kudos to the NFL for their actions, but they couldn't regulate the Internet. Some yahoo then bought the rights to the web domain RonMexico.com and used it to basically humiliate Vick. After reading several wire stories on the whole situation, I went to the website and saw that this joker was selling men's and women's T-shirts, beer steins and other items with the words "Who is Ron Mexico?" and a picture of a black man that looks eerily similar to Vick before he grew his hair and put it in braids. The items were going for at least $17 or more. Now, there's a site called RonMexico.net and that one even has a trucker hat that says "Free Ron Mexico" on it for $12.50.

Now that's horrible.

I couldn't believe what I was looking at when I went to the first web site – how can someone look at himself in the mirror after exploiting someone's tragedy like that? How can someone make fun of another person's mishap like that? And the fact that people will actually buy those things is amazing to me.

The good thing about this whole Ron Mexico situation is that many people are upset with this knucklehead for doing this. On the first RM site, fans were extremely angry with this guy, peppering his site with curse words in their e-mails. I was especially glad to see this, because Vick presents himself to be a pretty decent guy and doesn't deserve to be treated in this manner. He's married with a child now and he doesn't get into trouble, so he should be left alone and supported during this unfortunate time for him and his family. I mean, if an ordinary guy had given this woman an STD, she probably wouldn't be trying to take him to court, especially if the guy worked in a convenience store or something. But since it's the multi-millionaire Vick, this has to go to press and to court. Hopefully, he didn't knowingly give her the STD as she claims. But if he did, he'll have to pay for it eventually – it's not right for us to make fun of something that's truly serious as this.

Way to go NFL executives and football fans for sticking up for one of the best players in the league in his worst moment.

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com .