Does Michael Vick deserve it? Pro vs. con

William Herbe

20021225 Vick MichaelDoes Michael Vick deserve it?

Yes, he deserves a second chance

You would have to have been on Mars to not know of Michael Vick’s dogfighting involvement and criminal case. Consequently and rightfully, the NFL suspended him indefinitely. Vick’s NFL salary and product endorsement deals were stripped, and in July of this year he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Until last Thursday’s exhibition game for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick had not played in an NFL game for almost three years. The NFL conditionally reinstated Vick this summer after he spent the past 28 months under intense public scrutiny, 18 of those months in prison.
He absolutely brought this on himself. It was his compound where the dogfights were held. Vick admitted his guilt, confessed to his crimes and did the time.  I certainly don’t condone dogfighting and the brutality Vick was wrapped up in. Dogs make me incredibly happy and the thought of dogfighting is extremely upsetting. It was a terrible thing he was involved in, but he paid the price and deserves to have a second chance.

The chance to redeem and reinvent oneself as a decent human being is a chance to set an example and exemplify change…positive change.  It gives strength to those who have served time.  It gives them hope and confidence. This is an opportune time for Michael Vick to inspire the instutionalized to be solid contributors to society after they are invited back to the free world.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thought long and hard about Vick’s reinstatement and the right choice was made. He made the NFL look like an organization that can embrace a situation like Vick’s and help him turn his criminal past into a comeback story. He’s under a one-strike policy, doesn’t have any room for error and won’t be offered any leeway if he messes up his chance at salvation.

Before his conditional NFL reinstatement, Vick began his positive image shaping. He spoke to at-risk, inner-city kids about the dangers of animal cruelty in Chicago.  He also spoke in a Humane Society of the United States video that speaks out against dogfighting. The Humane Society is trying to get him back on track.  The NFL is following suit.

Vick made appearances on national TV, including a “60 Minutes” interview where he only blamed himself, expressing regret and remorse for his previous actions.  At least he is pointing the finger at himself and nobody else.
I think it’s important to give someone a second chance.  It’s healthy and encouraging to make examples out of those who have previously made mistakes and to give them a chance to redeem and reinvent themselves as a role model for recovery and resilience.  It’s an inspiration to see someone get a second chance and succeed.  Thus far it’s reasonable to think that Michael Vick will do the same.  If not, all the haters out there can say “I told you so.”

Does Michael Vick deserve it?

No, he’s only sorry he was caught

Joe Glatzer / Senior Staff Reporter

Michael Vick doesn’t belong back in the NFL. The people running the NFL don’t care about animals, second chances, or doing the right thing. They care about one thing and one thing only: the almighty dollar. Michael Vick did some wonderful public relations to smooth over the scandal, but does anyone really believe its purpose was anything besides damage control?

During his “60 Minutes” interview, Vick seemed remorseful about having gotten caught, rather than remorse for what he actually did. The whole interview was a phony routine, set up to publicly embarrass Vick enough to make it socially acceptable to let him back in the league. The interviewer played concerned father scolding his wayward son: “Horrible things, Michael!” I was almost expecting him to follow up with, “Now go to your room!” The whole thing was a pathetic publicity stunt.

If Jesus can give him another chance, Vick said, than we can too. “I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God.” A prison must be the most religious place on earth, because people seem to magically find Jesus when they’re convicted.

Try telling the police officer who just pulled you over for speeding that when you saw those flashing lights, you miraculously found Jesus, and see how far that gets you. Aren’t you sick of celebrities getting off the hook, when if you did the same thing there would be no mercy and the book would be thrown at you?

This is a story about status, celebrity privilege and money. We live in a country of double standards for the rich and well-connected. Who else other than a celebrity would be given a “second chance” after a felony conviction? What other convicted felons would be allowed to work with children at the Boys and Girls Club, as part of their community service?
Animal cruelty is never OK. Running a dogfighting operation, with gory tactics like strapping the dogs to “rape racks” is sick, twisted and inexcusable. But, Michael Vick isn’t the only guilty party.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals websitewill tell you all about how your delicious hamburgers got to the drive through: “Cattle are castrated, their horns are ripped out of their heads, and third-degree burns (branding) are inflicted on them.” There are surely those who hypocritically criticize Vick with the blood of castrated cattle hamburger still on their faces. Before you scream hypocrisy, yes I am a vegetarian, so I have room to judge.
He doesn’t belong back in the NFL. As an abuser of innocent creatures who just want to be our friends, this man doesn’t deserve to be in a position to make millions of dollars again.