Boy Are People Mad Michael Vick is in the Pro Bowl

Michael Vick did a very bad thing: dogfighting. I don’t think people realize just how brutal a thing dogfighting was. And honestly, I don’t think Michael Vick actually realized how brutal dogfighting was when he was involved in it.

But Michael Vick is a reformed man who paid his debt to society; in fact, his prison sentence was longer than what his plea deal called for. He served nearly two years in prison and had to pay back $20 million of his signing bonus to the Falcons. But Vick also played another 7 seasons after his release from prison, during which he was a model player and citizen.

Vick is reformed; he knows what he did was wrong and he not only hasn’t done it again, he’s done a lot of work to educate people on animal cruelty.

Because Vick was a great NFL player who worked hard to make up for the bad thing he did, he was named one of the NFC’s “Legend Captains” for this year’s Pro Bowl, along with Darrell Green and AFC captains Terrell Davis and Bruce Smith. None of the retired stars would actually be playing, they’re basically just assistant coaches for the game.

Still, people are furious about Vick’s inclusion, with People reporting more than half a million people signed online petitions calling for his ouster.

In one of three petitions, creator Joanna Lind writes, “When is the NFL going to take any responsibility for the behavior of it’s current and former players?  To honor a man who had zero regard for animals is unacceptable and I would like your help to make sure he is NOT honored at the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl.”

Comments from supporters call him a “horrifically abusive person” and “a monster,” arguing that “in order to do things like he did you need a complete lack of empathy not unlike a serial killer.”

This is a bit much, and by a bit much, I mean completely insane. Michael Vick deserved a second chance, he got that second chance and he’s been a sterling example since getting it. He was already punished for what he did, he does it need to be punished again.

Luckily, Roger Goodell agrees and made a statement in support of Vick, as reported by NBC Sports.

“[O]ver the last what is it? Nine years or so? I have supported Michael, and I think his recognition of a mistake that he made,” Goodell told reporters. “He’s paid a heavy price for that. He has been accountable for it. He’s worked aggressively with the Humane Society and other institutions to deal with animal rights and to make sure people don’t make the same mistake he made. And I admire that. I know that there are people out there who will never forgive him. He knows that. But I think this is a young man that has really taken his life in a positive direction, and we support that. So I don’t anticipate any change, no.”

I get that you might be mad that Vick was given a second chance at all, but frankly, everyone deserves a chance to be better. And when someone does become a better person, they deserve to have that acknowledged. I, for one, am glad that Michael Vick has become the kind of person who deserves this sort of honor.

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