78. A professional football player was charged by government prosecutors with breeding dogs to fight, providing the site for the dog fights, gambling on the dog fights, and killing dogs that were not good fighters. The quarterback, Roger Cheney, at first denied everything. He told the media that he hoped his mother would not hear about any of this and, if she did, she knew him well enough not to believe any of the charges.
Unfortunately, all the people that worked for him immediately confessed everything, hoping for reduced sentences. They all pointed a finger at the quarterback.
The media interviewed Cheney's father, who said that he had told his boy that dog‐fighting was evil and he should stop it. His son told him that it was only some dogs—it wasn't like he was destroying lions or elephants. "He told me that humane societies destroy thousands of dogs a month, so what was the big deal," Cheney's dad said.
Two weeks after the initial charges were made, Cheney agreed to plead guilty to several reduced charges, including animal cruelty. He could be sentenced to five years in jail. Across the nation, football fans and animal fans were equally outraged at his admission. "Athletes are supposed to be a model for our nation's youth," said some. "He is more of an animal than any of his poor dogs," said others. Few were surprised or saddened when the National Football League suspended Cheney without pay for an undisclosed term.
8.8, 63.2, 28%, 17.6, 247
Vocabulary: admission athlete breed charge confess cruelty deny destroy disclose elephant equally evil fan gamble guilty initial jail league lion media model outrage plead professional prosecutor quarterback reduce sadden suppose suspend PLUS animal deal dog fight finger football kill nation pay site term well youth
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