Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Should we forgive Vick?

Dog Killer. Felon. Star Quarterback. Comeback. Redemption. Which word would you use to describe Michael Vick? Coming off his spectacular performance Monday Night against the Redskins I think it is a perfect time to ask the question: Should we forgive Vick?

We all know the story of Vick by now. We know what went on at Bad Newz Kennels. We know where he grew up from and what the culture was like. It seems like he has changed but has he really? Or rather, does it even matter?  Some people will hate Michael Vick forever. Some people have already forgiven him. But for those of us that are undecided why have we not made up our minds yet?

America is a forgiving country especially if you are really good at something. If Michael Vick wasn't an NFL star he'd be working at your local grocery store or be out on the streets right now. People wouldn't be giving excuses for him or saying he served his time. He'd be another ex-con from the streets.  But since he is a superstar athlete he is given a second opportunity at life. Whether or not that is fair it is the reality. 

Do I think Vick has changed? In some ways. I'm sure he recognizes what he did was wrong and that he is sorry to some degree. But I don't think you can ever truly change someone's core values. In his head he knows he was wrong, but in his heart he probably will never realize how atrocious his crimes were.

For those of you who say he served his time and deserves a second chance I'd ask you the same thing I ask people who are anti-death penalty or anti-abortion. What if it happened to you? What if it happened to your dog? This guy knowingly allowed Pit Bulls to be hung and electrocuted on his property. These are defenseless animals killed for sport. Now the guy is going to get a huge multimillion dollar deal after this season and these dogs are still going to be dead.

But this is a place where we allow Dante Stallworth and Leonard Little to keep playing after killing someone while drunk. We allow people like Ben Roethlisberger to serve a 6 game suspension after an alleged rape. Why not give Vick another chance? Were his crimes worse than theirs? I guess it is all a matter of opinion.

If you do choose to forgive Michael Vick please never forget what he did.  While I'm glad to see all the good he doing now for the community, it doesn't take back what he did for so many years before this. While he came from a place where this was part of the culture that by no means excuses his actions. Especially when he had the means to get out of that lifestyle and still chose to stay in it.  Yes, Michael Vick is indeed back. Whether or not that is a good thing is for you to decide.