Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Michael Vick- Crime and Punishment

I want to put this in perspective. My wife and I adopted a blind dog that had been beaten as a puppy. The remains of his eyes had to be removed surgically and then the skin around the eyes was sewn together to prevent further problems. We know first hand about cruelty to animals.

That being said, give Michael Vick a break. He was involved in a horrendous activity. He will forever be branded for what he did and what he permitted to be done. His deeds are unforgivable. But he should be forgiven, at least on the football field.

He is not asking for your daughter's hand in marriage. He is applying for reinstatement to play an often brutal sport at which he is highly skilled.

This happens to be a sport in which we are aware that many of its participants treat fellow human beings like dogs off the playing field. The sport is littered with felons and also with would be felons who have either evaded detection or prosecution. Charges relating to assault, domestic violence, weapons possession, drug possession, hit and run and DUI, death relating to DUI, and even 'innocuous' matters like urinating in public and exposing oneself, all occur with unrelenting frequency. Let's not kid ourselves. While some may be called Saints, few are. This is not a field of dreams.

Mr. Vick will now have to beg forgiveness for his sins from a higher being (Roger Goodell). He has already been bankrupted and incarcerated for over one and one half years for his crime.

Mr. Goodell can, and undoubtedly will, mouth phrases about the need to set a positive example for today's youth. He will talk about participation in the sport as a privilege, not a right. He will say all the right things but unless he talks about second chances and redemption he will be saying all the wrong things.

If permitted, the owners will ultimately decide whether their bottom line can withstand the attack it may take from allowing Mr. Vick to don their team's uniform. The highest power of all, the almighty dollar, should be the ultimate arbiter of Mr. Vick's future. He has already paid a steep price for his past.

PS - I have discussed this piece with a friend and been directed to an article written by Ian O'Connor in today's Bergen Record. It is eerily close to what is written above. I hope this just means that great minds think alike.


Anonymous said...

He paid his debt to society. Lost millions in salary and endorsements. [I guess he will not become a spokesman for Iams or Purina dog chow] He didn't bet against his team, or take drugs, or do anything that impacted on his playing abilities. So, even though he did a horrendous thing, he paid his debt. Let's play ball !!

Robert said...

It will be interesting to see the dog and pony show that takes place if Mr. Goodell announces an intention to permit Mr. Vick back into the league. There will be considerable grovelling involved if this happens.