Sunday, July 26, 2009

suspension for vick would be double jeopardy

As you guys know, I am a Michael Vick fan. Always have been. Always will be. Did he do something criminal and heinous? Yes. Did he deserve punishment? Of course. But he didn't kill a person. (cough, cough Donte Stallworth) He has paid a huge price for his actions - his money, his reputation, his freedom, his "next big thing" status - a price I believe to be too high already. It is time to let him back into society and into the NFL.

In his column for the Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock argues that suspending Vick feels like double jeopardy. I agree.

Goodell shouldn't punish Vick
By Jason Whitlock
Kansas City Star

It feels like double jeopardy.

Michael Vick spent more than a year in prison for financing an illegal dog-fighting operation. He lost a fortune, a career as a franchise quarterback and his reputation.

Now that he’s paid a rather sizeable debt to society, why impose a suspension upon his return to the NFL?

I don’t get it. It seems unfair that commissioner Roger Goodell is ready to suspend Vick for two to six games (according to ESPN) at the beginning of the 2009 season. Let the man rejoin society.

I’m not a Michael Vick fan or supporter. I don’t see him as some sort of tragic victim of a racist criminal justice system. Arrogance and ignorance placed Vick behind bars. He underachieved as an NFL quarterback primarily because he wasn’t mature enough to prepare and carry himself like a pro.

And, quite honestly, I won’t be surprised if Vick once again spectacularly collides with public stupidity. My belief is there are too many people ready to tell him he did nothing wrong.

But it’s still America, and Vick deserves an unimpeded second chance. He’s been punished more than enough. Additional punishment isn’t going to make Vick anymore logical or mature.

At this moment, forgiveness and acceptance would help Vick more than Goodell playing the role of irate parent.

We make re-entry into the mainstream too difficult for ex-cons. We act like incarceration isn’t enough. It is, especially in the case of Michael Vick. ...

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