Saturday, September 3, 2011

Michael Vick - Part I

In case you know nothing about me - I am a dog LOVER.  Adam and I currently have a handsome black lab mix and are in the search for another lab mix to keep us company.

I also am a believer in second chances, because people make mistakes.   I've given family and friends many second chances when they screw things up.  I of course am always perfect, so I don't need them* :)

Back in '07 (or whatever year it was) when everything went down with Michael Vick - I was disgusted by what he did, and felt strongly that he should be sent to jail for a long time.   He was sent to jail, but not for a long time - but that was the courts ruling, and it was his job to serve it and get on with life afterwards.   He has done just that.  

I will admit that I wasn't a fan of Vick being signed by the Eagles, but I did feel that he deserved to be given a second chance, I just didn't want it to be my team.   When he was signed, I just accepted it, and continued to root for my Eagles, because they took a big chance, not just on signing Vick who was unproven at that time, but because they knew there was going to be a large public backlash for giving him a second chance.

In my opinion Vick has done a really good job of the afterwards part, and working to prove himself a decent human being.

He chose not to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy where his debts would have just been cancelled out, and all the people he owed money to would never have seen a penny.   Instead, he worked with lawyers, financial advisors and the court system to make a plan where he would pay back all his debt over time.  (With his new contract, as long as he is able to play out the majority of it, he will have his debts paid off pretty fast).    Many other people (and companies) have chosen to just wash away their debts and start anew, leaving their debtors in the wind.

He brought in a huge team of people to help fix his image and help him make the correct decisions.   This was a decision which was obviously needed if he wanted any shot of having a fan base and/or endorsement deals - so this point is less showing his good character than his choice to have a career in the NFL and make money.

It also has recently come out that he had the opportunity to join other NFL teams where he would have been the starter and in the spotlight, but those teams were full of people and issues that could have easily led him astray.   He took the advise of those he was learning to trust, and went with a 3rd string position on a team known for winning and professionalism, instead of a starting QB job on a team known for a culture full of legal and immoral issues.

He still has a way to go to prove he is fully a changed man, but there are plenty of other professional athletes who have abused and killed human beings and gotten very little to no punishment, and then come back into the spotlight without an ounce of anger from the fan-base.  For example:
  • Brett Myers abused his wife and never got suspended or charged - he endured some booing when he made his next appearance in Boston (which was like 2 days after the assault took place in that same city), maybe he got some minor booing in Philly - but barely anything.   
  • Donte Stallworth drove drunk and killed a man.   He killed a human being and got 30 days in jail, and was out of the NFL for one year and has since played for the Ravens and now the Redskins, and I haven't heard anything about him.

I love my dog, and he is one of my best friends, but a human life is considered of higher importance/worth than a dogs.  For those who would disagree with that, see basic examples below:
  • If a dog has cancer and doesn't have a good life left to live, you can put them down - if you did that to a human you would be arrested and charged for performing euthenasia.  Hell, if you were stupid enough, you could put a dog down just because he has some training issues that you don't have the time or money to work on - and there would be no penalty in you doing that - just don't tell me.
  • When you have a kid, you can claim them as a dependent on your taxes; when you get a new puppy, you spend TONS of money on them, but don't get any tax benefits.
  • You can leave a dog at home by themselves and put them in a crate (and should for safety reasons); if you leave a young kid at home by themselves and put them in a crate, you are charged with child endangerment and abuse (as you should be).
If you haven't done so already, I think you should forgive Michael Vick (and the Eagles, if you are also holding them in contempt), as he has served his time and should be afforded a second chance.    I think the only lifetime punishment that should be afforded to him is that he should NEVER be allowed to own a dog.    I know he wants one, and he might be a changed man, and for that he deserves to have a fair shot at life, but dog ownership is a privilege and he lost that privilege in my mind.

Im sure there are MANY people out there who disagree with me on this - probably even some family members - and you have the right to both disagree with me and share that disagreement and thoughts with me.   I will consider your thoughts, I just hope that you consider mine, and think how you would want to be treated if you went and made a HUGE mistake, served the punishment you were handed - but no one ever forgave you or gave you a second chance - that's part of why we have so many repeat crime offenders in this society.

*I shouldn't have to explain sarcasm, but for those of you who know nothing about me, first and only time Ill say this - I am EXTREMELY sarcastic - even when i probably shouldn't be.   This last comment is obviously me being sarcastic.

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