Monday, July 20, 2009
Let Vick Play
Michael Vick was released from federal custody Monday after finishing up the house arrest portion of his 23 month sentence for dog fighting. Now Vick can officially petition the NFL for reinstatement, but should Commissioner Goodell let him back in the league?
I say let the man play. Vick has served his time and has a pretty complicated road ahead of him just to get back on the field. Vick is still on probation for the next three years and if he wants to leave his home in Virginia he must submit a request to his probation officer which can take a week or so to approve. Not exactly ideal when you have to travel for job interviews.
I understand that some teams may be wary of losing some sponsorship if Vick is signed, but I believe the benefits out weigh the risks. Vick will put fans in the stands especially after being gone for the last two years. I doubt he is in playing shape right now, but word Monday is that he hired Tom Shaw, a personal trainer to professional athletes, to help him get back on track physically.
The man spent two years in jail for running a dog fighting ring. Now I'm not saying he should be on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine for running an illegal and wrong operation, but rapists, murderers, and drug dealers have spent less time in jail than Michael Vick. When St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little was convicted on manslaughter charges in 1998 he only received 90 days in jail, four years probation, and was suspended 8 games by the NFL. More recently Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth, on a very similar manslaughter charge, was given 30 days in jail, which he basically bought his way out of more time given the large amount of money he will be giving to the family of the deceast, and a indefinate suspension by super-tough Commissioner Goodell.
Both Little and Stallworth killed a human and received a far less jail sentence than Michael Vick and we are still trying to villify Vick. He has more than earned a second chance according to the law and now its time he has a second chance with the fans.