I believe Michael Vick deserves a second chance because he’s paid his debt to society. But as a dog owner and dog lover, I think his past involvement in dogfighting is nothing short of disgusting and savage. I have little respect for him, but I still believe he deserves a right to work.
I’m hoping he realizes there’s no excuse for his actions. I understand that dogfighting is a socially and culturally acceptable activity where he grew up. It was something he was introduced to at a very young age. As a matter of fact, one of my clients who grew up in the same area as Vick told me that he attended a dogfight when he was 13. He never went back, but he said it was commonplace to see guys in his ‘hood breed dogs for fighting and money.
My guess is that Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to take his time deciding this matter. He’ll speak to Michael and his representatives after July 20, the date Vick is released from home confinement and federal custody. He will personally check on Vick because Roger is a hands-on guy.
The real reason he may be patient is to give Michael time to adjust and to watch the path he makes for himself. He’ll want to know who his friends are, what lifestyle he chooses and how he conducts himself minus fame and fortune. My assumptions are that Roger will wait and observe Michael’s behavior for nine months to a year. If he conducts himself in a squeaky clean manner, I bet he’ll be reinstated by next summer. But if Vick so much as gets a speeding ticket, it will push back his reinstatement.
There’s definitely a sticky balance to this situation. If the commissioner acts too quickly, he could be seen as a little soft and may also get some flak from animal-rights groups. If he waits too long, he might have Vick supporters, picketing his New York offices.
Whatever he decides, you can bet he’ll put the image and interests of the game before Vick’s wishes.
I want to hear from you, the fans and consumers of the game. Should Vick be reinstated? If so, when?
If not, why not? Your voice matters.
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