Michael Vick — Victim or Violence-Fighter?

Michael Vick -- Victim or Violence-Fighter?

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, now a free agent after release from federal prison, may be eligible for an NFL contract. Reports, citing unnamed sources, say NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell may force any club hiring Mr. Vick to make him sit out the first four games of the 2009 season.

Some football fans see this as unnecessary roughness, even “double jeapardy,” additional punishment for a man who has served his time and literally paid the price for his role in a dog-fighting ring. On the other hand, many of America’s 60 million dog owners will never forgive Mr. Vick for his role in a cruel and illegal blood sport.

But Commissioner Goodell’s decision may be more a matter of timing than punishment. Mr. Vick is scheduled to start a public service campaign for the Humane Society of the United States next week, and the NFL season starts September 10th. A final decision about putting Mr. Vick  on the field could be postponed until October, enough time for his HSUS campaign to show if it has real bite. The NFL — and team owners — would be wise to see how the public reacts to the sports star’s anti-dogfighting activities before putting him back on the field.

 

Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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6 Responses to “Michael Vick — Victim or Violence-Fighter?”

  1. 4wrdthnkndad Says:

    What more does this guy have to do? The guy has served time and has followed the rules. Let him play.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Mr. Vick has violated not just the law but the conduct rules of the NFL, which address behavior that undermines confidence in and the reputation of the League. His reinstatement requires a hearing, and a compelling demonstration that he has rehabilited his reputation as a sportman after engaging in a felonious blood sport and the associated gambling. The public part of that demonstration begins next week.

  3. 4wrdthnkndad Says:

    I love pro football, but seriously, it wouldn’t take a rhodes scholar to make a case that football is a felonious blood sport and associated with gambling.

  4. Mike Licht Says:

    4wrdthnkndad wrote: it wouldn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to make a case that football is a felonious blood sport and associated with gambling

    Dogfighting is against the law in 50 states; football isn’t.

    You can bet on sports legally in Las Vegas, but not if you are employed in college or professional sports and want to stay that way.

    Mr. Vick ran a dog pit where bets were taken.

  5. 4wrdthnkndad Says:

    My point is not really about the laws as they currently stand. If you consider the physical damage football players endure for life.And that the average football players life expectancy is shorter than the average person in this country, something is wrong. Similarly, bets are made on football games throughout the nation, not just in Las Vegas.

  6. Mike Licht Says:

    4wrdthnkndad wrote If you consider the physical damage football players endure for life.And that the average football players life expectancy is shorter than the average person in this country.

    The NFL, like the NBA, selects for persons of extremely unusual size and stature, and such people have shorter lifespans even if they don’t play pro sports. Football itself is more dangerous for normal-sized people. As I recall, the game kills four high school players a year and cripples many more. Your logic works much better for pro boxing, where the object is to deliver a concussion to your opponent, and some people are trying to ban boxing on grounds. of cruelty.

    bets are made on football games throughout the nation, not just in Las Vegas.

    Certainly. But if a pro athelete getas busted betting in your office pool he gets banished from the big leagues. Ask Pete Rose.

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