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Michael Vick Back in the NFL

Should Michael Vick Be Allowed to Return to the NFL?

That’s the question of the day.

A lot of people and a lot of media experts are going to say that Michael Vick should either have been suspended for a whole NFL season or should be barred from the NFL for life. That second option is pretty extreme and very much in the minority, but from listening to the media these past couple of months, I think the idea of a punitive suspension for up to a year by Roger Goodell is what most people (or media members) think should have happened.

So let’s explore this argument. Let’s see the debts Michael Vick has paid (to society) for his crimes.

Michael Vick Went to Prison

Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in the dog-fighting and the criminal conspiracy surrounding dog-fighting. When you see that other dog-fighting criminals get several months for direct involvement, I would say that Michael Vick’s 18 months in prison (out 5 months early for good behavior) was plenty of time served for his crimes. Michael Vick spent more time in jail because the authorities wanted to make an example of him.

Michael Vick Won’t Ever Do It Again

I heard one prominent radio host on ESPN national says he thought Michael Vick should be suspended for 1 year by Roger Goodell, because he “didn’t know if Michael Vick has learned his lesson”.

That astounds me.

More than any other professional athlete getting out of prison for a crime, I am more convinced that Michael Vick will not commit the same crime again. I am convinced Michael Vick will never be part of a dog-fighting ring, which is what we are discussing here. Tell me of all the athletes who’ve gone to jail for drug crimes or violent crimes, which one of them was less likely to fall into those same crimes again than Michael Vick? Of those athletes who have killed someone drunking driving?

Ask Yourself This

For instance, do you think it’s more likely that Donte Stallworth will drive under the influence again, or that Michael Vick will start another dog-fighting ring?

I’m convinced Michael Vick career as a criminal mastermind is over.

Michael Vick Paid a Huge Financial Price

Michael Vick has probably paid a higher financial price than any athlete has ever paid for his crimes. Michael Vick was estimated to be making over $25 million per year in NFL salary and endorsements. Michael Vick had a Nike shoe contract, for crying out loud, which is something few NFL athletes can say.

When Michael Vick’s crimes came to light, the Atlanta Falcons voided his NFL contract, which originally was worth $100 million. He probably lost upwards of $40 million to $50 million from that contract.

The Nike contract was over and Vick lost tens of millions of dollars. Every other endorsement deal was out of the window.

Michael Vick is now bankrupt. He has to deal with a bankruptcy court, in addition to the criminal courts.

In other words, Michael Vick lost probably 75 million dollars, or at least the potential to make that much money, all told from his stupid decision to become a dog-fighting impressario.

Say what you will, but that’s a huge price.

What More Do You Want?

So I ask, what more do you want from Michael Vick? I see nothing good can come from Michael Vick sitting around the house for a year, waiting for his chance to get back in the NFL. All he’s going to do is get into even more desperate financial straits.

Let him sign with a team, face his critics, create publicity for the Humane Society (whom he’s with these days) and try to repair the damage he’s caused. Our American system is about rehabilitation, so let’s give Michael Vick the best chance to rehabilitate. If he screws up again, I’ll be completely on your side of this.

But for the time being, I think it’s the right decision to have Michael Vick return to the NFL.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 1:16 pmand is filed under NFL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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