Michael Vick: To Play or Not to Play?

Yesterday,  Michael Vick signed a two-year deal with the Eagles.  Apparently, Donovan McNabb (Philly’s starting quarterback) lobbied management to get him there.  Everyone in the sports world is speculating on what Vick’s role will be on this team already loaded with offensive talent.  Meanwhile, everyone in sports fandom world is wondering if he should ever play football again.

Over the past two years, I’ve read some hateful, vile things about Vick.  Yesterday I spotted a comment on Facebook where someone wrote, “I hope he sustains a career ending injury on his first play.”  Yes, I understand what Vick did with those dogs was insanely cruel.  Yet, I still haven’t heard anyone talk about why he did it.  His then-record setting contract with the Falcons allowed Vick to finance his dog fighting operation.  We’ve seen countless cases of what fame and fortune can do to a person–it can go to their head, and the resulting pride leads them to assume they can do whatever they want with no consequence.

Now, nearly three years later, Vick has paid his debt to society the judicial system handed him.  He needs to repay his debts (why is it that those with the most money tend to pile up the most debt).  In his statements, and statements by others (namely his mentor, Tony Dungy), Vick seems remorseful for his actions.  He wants another chance to play ball so he can pay off his debt and do what he’s naturally gifted to do.

The question for me isn’t whether or not Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL (I think he should).  It’s whether or not he should be allowed to make a living and pay off his debts doing what he is gifted to do.  Some of us would say, “No.”  He had his chance and blew it, so he can go flip burgers.  I would say, “Yes.”  Give the man a second chance (it happens all the time to people who inflict crimes on people, much less animals).  Let him make his living playing football.  By the way, I’m not hearing near as much on Donte Stallworth, the Browns receiver who killed a person because he was wasted.

And to those of us who don’t think he should, lay off the “I hope he breaks his leg or worse” rants.  Wishing harm on him isn’t much different than what he did.  I know, I know–you’d never do it.  But what comes out of our mouths (or, in cyberworld, out of our keyboards) shows what is in our hearts.

So what do you think?  Should Vick be allowed to play, or did he blow his chance?  And why do you think that way?


About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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8 Responses to Michael Vick: To Play or Not to Play?

  1. Dude – my EXACT thoughts on the Stallworth deal – come on people HE KILLED A PERSON not a bunch of dogs – and before anyone goes and slams me, I am NOT saying it was okay to kill or fund the killing of those dogs – that was cruel and RIDICULOUS, but if you cannot agree that there should be MORE value on a human life over an animal life then we probably would not be able to have a legitimate conversation. Also I COMPLETELY AGREE with your assessment that people that are wishing ill & harm on him are showing some of the same mindset and lack of appreciation of life that Vick showed for those dogs (it might not be the EXACT SAME but it is on a slow path to the same point when you start being the one to decide someone should be harmed)
    I am a very skeptical person and will have a hard time fully believing Vick isn’t just “saying what needs to be said”, BUT I will say this – Tony Dungy is a GREAT GUY and very trustworthy and since I will not be ANYWHERE near the inner circle on this situation I do feel like Dungy is trustworthy enough to help me believe Vick does want to get on the right path.
    I don’t really have a deep concern or care about the entire situation except to say it would be nice to see someone who was really messed up and in some bad stuff – go through the penalty portion of their life and then be able to return and do well. To own up to what they did – to pay their debt literally and figuratively and for people to learn valuable lessons from it. Will that happen? I guess only time will tell.
    But hey why not lay off for a while and start checking out the Donte Stallworth deal cause that is a pretty bad situation!

  2. Doug says:

    I agree with your perspective on the whole thing, especially about how we rant about wishing ill on others, as if they’re “worse than me”. You’re right (because the Scriptures say) that what comes out of the mouth comes from what’s in our hearts. We need to tell sin to walk the plank right out of our own eyes!

  3. RyanD says:

    As one who believes we’re children of a God of second chances (or 3rd or 4th chances), I think Vick should get another shot. There’s no doubt he has some special abilities. If we’re to take seriously the thought that we’ve all been gifted for a purpose, shouldn’t we be supportive of Vick trying to make right on his past wrongs and use his natural abilities for something? Maybe now he’ll have a platform to show a lot of people how he’s been turned around by the whole experience. Let the man play.

  4. Stuart says:

    For starters, I think humans are immeasurably more valuable than animals. I see people trying to raise money to help animals and I think it’d be much better spent on people. I am fine with the death of animals to sustain the life of people (whether it be food, drug testing, etc.). This being said, I’m not a fan of abusing animals, but it is nowhere near on par with causing suffering in humans.

    Something else I think worth noting. “Mother nature” is cruel. We say it’s a dog-eat-dog world because that’s how it works in nature and often in human interactions. We like to think of dogs as higher than less cuddly and less domesticated animals, but in the wild, it’s pretty rough. Starvation, disease, in-fighting, and being preyed upon aren’t exactly humane, nor is their treatment of the animals that they eat.

    So, although I don’t condone dog fighting, part of me thinks it should be kept in perspective. It’s just like when we bemoan sweat shops because we only think of it in the context of American children, though in their context, sweat shops are often better than other options for children.

    Moving beyond the actual nature of the crime, he paid for his crime, did he not? If the courts decided that that was his punishment, why punish him more?

    Keeping him from playing ball is taking his liberty away, and without warrant. I get the vibe that most people, when they’re talking about professional athletes, exude an unhealthy amount of envy/enmity anyway. That, paired with people’s disproportionate emoting for all things cuddly, means Vick is getting hit with a double whammy. But hey, who cares what is lawful or fair; he hurt little puppies, amirite?

    Honestly, I think some people are more upset at what he did with dogs than at what some parents do/don’t do for their kids.

    I may have to come back later and try to offend some of the people I may have missed, hehe.

  5. Koffijah says:

    You guys are crazy if you think Vick’s crime is less than Stallworth’s! Don’t you understand that what Stallworth did happened when he was DRUNK? We can’t blame him for what he does when he’s drunk. You know, prohibition didn’t work, so that’s just the way it is.

    Vick, on the other hand, is guilty of the eternal sin of exterminating the likes of Snoopy, Scooby Doo, Lassie and probably Bambi’s mother, too, if they would have allowed the evidence. These are not just animals, but they are fellow-mammals and are furry, cute and have feelings. They even talk on TV. They’ve never hurt anyone, but Vick still saw fit to personally squeeze the breath out of these helpless, sinless creatures. Remember, there aren’t as many dogs among us as there are people. People are more disposible because there are already too many of us.

    (For those of you who might not follow the lack of logic here–I’m being sarcastic.)

  6. lsaufley says:

    I LOVE that your blog readers have some sense. (Koffijah had me going for a second there, though!)

  7. chris says:


    I forgive you Mike…. I just don’t like him playing for the Eagles.

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