14 August 2009

Reactions to Vick signing

It is being announced today that the Philadelphia Eagles signed Michael Vick to a one year contract with an option for a second year. Reaction has been swift and (from my perspective) mostly negative. There seems to be a great deal of outrage that anyone would sign Michael Vick at all.

Michael Vick was convicted of federal dogfighting charges and served 18 months in prison and additional time on house arrest (missing two full seasons). Earlier this year, NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell reinstated Vick conditionally, allowing Vick to play the last two preseason games. He could also miss a handful of regular season games.

Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth was driving drunk and hit and killed a pedestrian. While their were mitigating circumstances (the man was not at a crosswalk, etc.), Stallworth's actions resulted in the man's death. Stallworth served a grand total of 30 days in jail, and Goodell suspended him for the entire upcoming season.

I have never been a Michael Vick fan, but it is difficult to deny his talent. Added to this is the recent addition to the NFL of the "Wildcat" offense for which Vick would seem to be the perfect fit. So it is inevitable that someone was going to sign him this year.

No one is defending the cruelty that Vick perpetrated. It was vicious, violent, and wrong. I willingly admit I was one of the many people who was glad to see him go to prison. But he served his time, and he has apologized and accepted responsibility. What else can you ask of the man? Stallworth will miss this season, but he'll likely be back next year. Why don't we see the same level of outrage at Stallworth, whose action resulted in the death of a human being?
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