Somewhere between Jackie Robinson and Michael Vick, things got all fouled up. "Street cred" became the anthem of the modern black athlete, this misguided notion that the only way to appeal to the young demographic of the sneaker-buying public was to adopt the negative attitudes of the thug life popularized by black hip-hop/gangster rappers. According to the 18-page federal indictment, Vick is accused of sponsoring the sort of gruesome dogfighting enterprise that is readily identified as a part of the dark side of that culture. So that's how someone like Michael Vick came into existence. He got hijacked, and we all let it happen. We let it happen by passively condoning this mess. We did it when we turned Allen Iverson into a marketing figure and rejected someone like Grant Hill because he lacked "street cred." We allowed it to happen slowly, insidiously during the past 20 years. The problem is the hijacking of African-American culture by the hip-hop generation that has helped glorify every rotten, foul and disgusting racial stereotype it took generations to eradicate. http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-sp.othervoices21jul21,0,1362620.story Bryan Burwell writes for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!