Monday, February 16, 2009

Michael Vick's Moment of Truth Not Far Away

Last week the Atlanta Falcons announced their plans on trading their rights to the infamous Michael Vick. Vick is still in prison serving his 23-month term for dogfighting-related crimes. He is scheduled to be released in July which, theoretically, means he could be back in the NFL for the 2009 season. There are a number of things that would have to fall into place for this to happen but it is not outside of the realm of possibility.

Now I know that to many dog welfare advocates and Pit Bull crusaders Mike Vick is pretty much persona non grata, but I have a different take on it. A few months ago I made this comment on the Bad Rap blog site:

"I know there are those who will disagree with what I'm about to say but I feel it needs to be said. I'm rooting for Michael Vick. I feel the man should be given a chance to redeem himself like he said he would at that press conference. I want to believe that he really is sorry. I want to believe he really has seen the error of his ways. I hope that he leads a successful career when he is released from prison.

The dogs given to BAD RAP are the perfect analogy. These were animals that would have been put to death if it weren't for BAD RAP stepping in and saying, "Wait a minute. These dogs shouldn't summarily judged as being beyond help. Just give them a chance." (or words to that effect).

I'm sure that there are many who feel that Vick he is a horrible person that did horrible things and should be thoroughly punished and should not be allowed to play football ever again. And while that sentiment is understandable I believe it would be unfair to have given those dogs a chance at redemption but not extend that same chance at redemption to Vick as well.

Malcolm X is one of my heroes. He was a drug user, a drug dealer, a pimp, and a thief before he went to prison, turned his life around and became one of the greatest heroes of the civil rights movement. People CAN redeem themselves, but only if they're given the opportunity.

Here's my crazy wish for Michael Vick. My wish is that he really has seen the error of his ways, that decides to champion the fight against animal cruelty when he is released from prison, regains his superstardom in the NFL, and uses his fame to raise awareness for the cause.

I know it's nuts of me to hope for such a thing, but wouldn't it be great if it happened? I think it's worth giving it a chance."

Vick may be released early into a halfway house so he may be exiting prison very soon.

Mike, you said in your press conference that you WILL redeem yourself. Well, talk is cheap. It's will soon be time for you to put up or shut up. I'm keeping an open mind but it's not going to stay that way for very long. This is your last chance. Don't let us down.

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