Sunday, October 3, 2010

Forgiveness and Football

Today Donovan McNabb and the Redskins (it sounds weird to even say that) return to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. The Eagles are led not by young QB Kevin Kolb but by Michael Vick, who has been playing incredible football in the last few weeks. Sounds great, right? Except I still haven't figured out what I think about Vick.

When he was convicted of running a dog fighting ring I felt it was unforgivable and that I could never respect him again as a person, let alone root for him in football. But now I have been wondering whether I'm being too harsh. I am a strong believer that our justice system should not only focus on punishment but also rehabilitation. Outwardly, Vick seems to have rehabilitated and be truly sorry for his actions. But how do I know whether that's true? I don't think I ever will.

The Sports Guy wrote a great article about this very topic; his wife still hates Vick but he disagrees. I think this is a really polarizing subject because it gets to the heart of a crisis in this country as more and more people are incarcerated.

What do you think? Do I trust Vick's current actions and wholeheartedly root for him? Or does someone who treats animals so badly never deserve success?


Audrey said...

While I believe in rehabilitation, I think that the NFL's actions in giving Vick a job right after his release from prison are questionable. In any other profession after something like this, there would be a pretty long period of review and rehabilitation where the person's progress was carefully monitored before they were reinstated.

I read this article on NPR about a new book about the 49 dogs who were rehabilitated after being abused by Vick. I'd really like to read it!

Jennifer @ New Shade of Green said...

I have a hard time believing that he feels any differently toward animals than he did before, especially this soon. I think he should be able to have a job, and be successful, but I hate the attention he gets in the NFL. I guess in typing this comment I've realized, that no I have not forgiven. At least not yet.

John said...

Audrey - I disagree with your "In any other profession..." statement.

Do you mean to tell me that I (an engineer), upon being released from prison would have to go through a monitoring and evaluation process before I were to even be eligible to apply for a job again? Who would own that burden? Not the prison, and surely not the state or federal government.

The man did his time, and now he can resume his place in society...and that is as a football player in the NFL.

Erin said...

Alicia, I'm still not sure where I stand on this either and think it's an interesting topic. I'm wondering though, if you are re-thinking this because Vick is with the Eagles now (I'm not saying that's a bad thing!)? I think it would be way easier to keep hating him if he wasn't playing for your team!