Vick’s Playing Days Should Not Be Over

May 21, 2009

Michael Vick still has those elusive moves, doesn't he?

Michael Vick still has those elusive moves, doesn't he?

Sports outlets around the country are a twitter with the news of embattled ex-NFLer Michael Vick’s release from federal prison this week. Unless you care nothing about sports or have lived under a rock for the past two years, you already know that Vick spent the previous 19 months in Leavenworth, Kansas as part of a sentence for federal dogfighting crimes. You already know the scope of these crimes, from the thousands of dollars funneled over state lines to finance the fights, to the brutality of the fights themselves and the ‘unconventional’ methods used to breed the dogs and put them down if they did not meet battle standards. You already know that Vick went from media darling to one of the most despised sports figures in the country. But that’s all in the past. The issue now is whether Vick should be allowed to play in the NFL again. And the answer is an unequivocal yes.

The argument here is not whether Vick is a good person or not. He is definitely not a role model. But what he is is a gifted athelete who can still help out several NFL teams. He worked his whole life to get to where he was and, unfortunately, his bad decisions and seedy friends he kept undermined his achievements. Even Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank, who probably felt the sting of this whole incident more than most, agreed that Vick should be able to see the playing field once again.

“It goes beyond, ‘Has he paid his debt to society?’ Because I think that from a legal standpoint and financially and personally, he has,”  Blank said Wednesday at the NFL owners’ meeting in Florida.

Vick will serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement and working for a local construction company for ten dollars an hour. He also has spend many hours working with the Humane Society as a volunteer. Vick’s main goal is to get back into the league and attempt to untarnish his image. Is he remorseful for what he has done? Who knows? Maybe the man is just a bad guy, but the fact of the matter remains that he has done his time and paid his debts. His life is in financial and social shambles. His one chance to get some of it back is to return to the league. Just because he has committed a crime does not mean he should not be able to work ever again, correct? The NFL is battling an image problem, but if you are going to let PacMan Jones or Ray Lewis back in the league after they committed felonies, why is Vick any different. Granted, if he plays for my team, the Detroit Lions, I will not be cheering for them or him. I can rest easily knowing that the Lions drafted a quarterback, Matt Stafford from Georgia, with the number one pick. Signing Michael Vick doesn’t seem like an option for them.  For some reason, I can see Vick playing for the Oakland Raiders. How fitting would that be??

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4 Responses to “Vick’s Playing Days Should Not Be Over”

  1. Well put, and on a similar note, stick Pete Rose in the hall of fame. Sure the guy may have been a douchebag, but there are plenty of douchebags in the hall. How about notorious racist and boozer Ty Cobb? Rose may have had a horrible moral compass, but you can’t take away the fact that in the game of baseball Pete Rose safely reached base more times than anyone in history, including anyone else in the so called hall of fame.

  2. chriswillemse said

    Pete Rose also bet on his team, 100 percent of the time. So you can’t say his betting negatively affected the outcomes of the games, because he always wanted his team to win.

  3. Sarah said

    You have to be kidding me. They should put this man in a ring and let the dogs still left alive have at him. Never mind debating whether he should play again; he should not be allowed out of prison. There is something mentally wrong with people who find amusement in watching animals kill each other. Even other inmates know that, which is way animal abusers often meet a fatal end in prison themselves. Most criminals don’t even have tolerance for animal-related crimes. That is all that needs to be said. This perspective of yours disgusts me completely.

    • chriswillemse said

      You are disgusted by his actions, yet you want to see him get mauled by the dogs? So what kind of person does that make you? Sounds kind of sadistic to me.

      I agree that his actions were disgusting. I agree that he is, or at least was, a bad person. Who knows if that changed. But our legal system allows individuals to dp their time, pay their fine and have a second chance. So why not the NFL? I can think of many people, athletes included, who have done worse and were handed less significant punishments.

      I think the punishment fit the crime. And I am glad he is back in the league, but only from an NFL fan’s perspective, not from an emotional standpoint.

      Thanks for reading.

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