Michael Vick was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to a two-year deal on Thursday night.
During his press conference on Friday morning, Vick expressed his remorse and how he wants to be “part of the solution”.
There are many anti-Michael Vick people who are not convinced he’s a changed man. You’ve certainly heard it all: “You can’t change overnight”, “He wasn’t sincere in his apology”, “He’ll always be a dog killer”, etc…
Prison can change even the hardest of people. Vick spent nearly a year and a half at Leavenworth Federal prison in Kansas. That’s Leavenworth, for anyone who doubts his plight, not Rikers or house arrest. Vick did 18 months hard time for his role in a dog fighting ring.
So far Vick has said and done the right things. Aligning himself with former Colts head coach Tony Dungy was certainly the right move. Dungy, who has served as Vick’s mentor throughout most of this ordeal, vouched for the former Atlanta Falcons signal caller.
Dog lovers have every right to voice their opinions. If they choose to end their support of the Eagles or the NFL as a whole, so be it. It’s their right. The Eagles and the NFL could lose a few sponsors, too. As business owners, they also have that right.
But let’s get one thing clear. Vick plead guilty and did his time. This is supposed to be a God-fearing country that embraces the idea of giving someone a second chance.
“one nation, under God indivisible”. That’s what it says in the Plegde of Allegiance. If we are truly a nation of God-fearing people, than we must forgive. We should never forget what he did. It was a dispicable crime. Beating and killing dogs is a terrible thing. But Vick did his time and should be given an opportunity to redeem himself.
That includes allowing him the opportunity to earn a living. Some people continue to harp on the idea that playing in the NFL is a privilege and Vick shouldn’t be allowed to play football again.
Wrong! Privilege implies that Vick was just handed his former job as Atlanta Falcons quarterback.
Hence the definition of the word privilege: a special entitlement or immunity granted by a government or other authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis.
If playing in the NFL or for any professional sports league is a privilege, no one would be cut. And I’d be playing linebacker for the Jets right now. Vick earned his right to play in the NFL. And the Eagles are convinced he still has the skills to compete, so they gave him a chance. If he can’t hack it, he’ll be cut faster than you can blink.
We won’t really know how much Vick has changed for a long time.
So for the time being, Dungy’s recommendation, along with Vick’s time in prision and his apology will have to do for now.
Questions or comments: Marcus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org