Vick Doesn’t Deserve a Second Chance, but Give it to Him Anyway

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Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is back in the news this week after being released from prison to serve out the remainder of his dogfighting sentence at his home in Virginia. Now the questions are being asked: Should Vick be allowed to return to the NFL? Does he deserve a second chance? What team would be crazy enough to take a chance on him? Tony Dungy and the president of the Humane Society seem to think he’s sorry, so what should happen now?

Commissioner Roger Goodell has a tough decision to make it seems, but as far as I’m concerned the precedent has already been set. Adam “Pacman” Jones was involved in numerous incidents, including one where he was indirectly responsible for the shooting and resulting paralysis of a Las Vegas bouncer, but, after apologizing, he was reinstated. There’s no reason Vick shouldn’t receive the same treatment. The things he did were horrible, but he went through the justice system, did his time and it’s time to move on. Maybe he doesn’t deserve a second chance, but we should give it to him anyway.

People argue: “We don’t want him to be a role model.” Too late. Kids watched him for years be the most exciting player in the league. They know what happened. Would you rather have your kids remember the Michael Vick who blew his chance, went to jail and then went back to the same activity when society wouldn’t take him back, or the Michael Vick who blew it, learned his lesson, apologized, got his life back on track and went on to do some good?

And, of course, PETA is up in arms about this. They are demanding that Vick undergo psychiatric testing and suggest that he fits “the American Psychiatric Association profile for anti-social personality disorder.” He’s not a psychopath; he grew up in a culture that condones dogfighting. Goodell is accountable to the fans of his sport, not these wackos, and the fans say let him back in

Reinstatement is only half the battle for Vick. Some team must decide he is worth the risk. I might be too late for him to make it with a team this year, but I think we’d see him back in uniform for the 2010 season if he’s cleared by the commissioner. Having him sitting on your bench would be pointless: all of the backlash, with none of the benefits. But, Vick is a great talent and if he can become a starter and turn a losing team  into a winner, all will be forgiven. We have a short-term memory with players who win, just ask Ray Lewis.

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

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    As a psychiatrist I want to add that one should not so easily dismiss Vick's brutal behavior towards animals. He didn't just witness dog fights and wager on their outcome but actually drowned and electrocuted animals who did not perform well. Would be safe to assume that he must have derived some pleasure out of these activities because he chose such vicious ways to kill animals in pain (rather than, for example, putting them out of their misery with a gunshot). One of the risk factors for sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder is cruelty to animals and Vick is more than guilty of such. I personally think it's deplorable that this man is making millions of dollars playing professional football and has yet to prove to me (and thousands of other animal lovers – we are not all wackos) that he has earned his chance to work in such a stage. Let him make significant financial and personal sacrifices and contributions to the humane society first. Hasn't been much of a public spokesperson against animal cruelty yet.

  • Name

    As a psychiatrist I want to add that one should not so easily dismiss Vick's brutal behavior towards animals. He didn't just witness dog fights and wager on their outcome but actually drowned and electrocuted animals who did not perform well. Would be safe to assume that he must have derived some pleasure out of these activities because he chose such vicious ways to kill animals in pain (rather than, for example, putting them out of their misery with a gunshot). One of the risk factors for sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder is cruelty to animals and Vick is more than guilty of such. I personally think it's deplorable that this man is making millions of dollars playing professional football and has yet to prove to me (and thousands of other animal lovers – we are not all wackos) that he has earned his chance to work in such a stage. Let him make significant financial and personal sacrifices and contributions to the humane society first. Hasn't been much of a public spokesperson against animal cruelty yet.

  • Name

    As a psychiatrist I want to add that one should not so easily dismiss Vick's brutal behavior towards animals. He didn't just witness dog fights and wager on their outcome but actually drowned and electrocuted animals who did not perform well. Would be safe to assume that he must have derived some pleasure out of these activities because he chose such vicious ways to kill animals in pain (rather than, for example, putting them out of their misery with a gunshot). One of the risk factors for sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder is cruelty to animals and Vick is more than guilty of such. I personally think it's deplorable that this man is making millions of dollars playing professional football and has yet to prove to me (and thousands of other animal lovers – we are not all wackos) that he has earned his chance to work in such a stage. Let him make significant financial and personal sacrifices and contributions to the humane society first. Hasn't been much of a public spokesperson against animal cruelty yet.