Vick Deserves Fresh Start in the NFL

Since Michael Vick met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and cleared the first hurdle in returning to the NFL, Credit: APthe internet has become saturated with polls debating whether or not Goodell should have reinstated the player who was convicted of running an illegal dog-fighting ring and animal abuse.

Seeing the results of many of these polls favoring that Vick be banned from the NFL for life, it is evident how hostile and out-of-touch our country has become.

It’s like an emotional lynch-mobbing.

One Carolina television station poll showed viewers 61% in favor of a lifetime ban with comments like, “The judicial system sucks. [Vick] should be still in jail, leashed to his bunk.”

In recent history, several people have made serious mistakes, many more severe than Vick’s, but our society has elected to ignore those criminals while becoming obsessed with creating a villain out of Vick.

Over the years, the mainstream media and many of its followers have blown off the illegal behavior of corrupt politicians, athletes and businessmen, granting them forgiveness for their acts after they appear at a podium in their suit simply saying the words, “I’m sorry.”

Others like Vick pay a severe debt losing tens of millions of dollars while serving long prison sentences then find themselves battling an aggressive media and overzealous society when they are released.

What Michael Vick did was brutal, inhumane and illegal. He knows it, the general population knows it and the judicial system knows it, that’s why they acted on it so aggressively, hitting Vick with a sentence so severe, it could have destroyed the man’s life and career.

As with any other former prisoner who has paid their debt and served their time, our system is structured to offer a fair opportunity and reintroduce these United States citizens back into society.

Vick’s situation should be no different than anyone else who abused animals and served a sentence for the acts but because of his popularity many are labeling him as a villain who does not deserve the same opportunity other ex-convicts are granted.

When people fill sports blogs with comments how Vick should “never take another snap in the NFL,” where is their reasoning?

The man has spent almost two prime years of his life in prison for animal abuse. Think about that in its literal sense.

Do those opposing Vick’s return feel other ex-cons should not be allowed an opportunity to go back to the careers they had prior to their sentence? Should a bricklayer be banned from laying a roadway; an accountant banned from operating a calculator?

At the time of his conviction, Vick’s job was throwing a football in the NFL. It would be un-American to ban the accountant or bricklayer from returning to work, just as it would to ban Vick from returning to the career he had prior to his conviction.

Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, released a statement regarding his return. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League. As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward.”

I wish Vick the best and hope he capitalizes on an opportunity to show others how to take advantage of the opportunity granted to him by the NFL.

Thank you, Roger Goodell, for doing the right thing.

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