Michael Vick Comes to Philly

Thursday, my new hometown football team signed Michael Vick.  Friday morning, after his signing, the talk radio shows were abuzz about what a despicable human being Vick is and how disappointed the fans were that the team would sign him.  I, however, have a different opinion.

I didn’t learn to appreciate how precious life is until one of my friends passed away nearly a year ago.  Since then, I’ve done my best to forgive people and not hold grudges because after all, we never know when this is all going to end and the last thing anyone wants is to be part of an eternal grudge.  I’ve been on both sides of grudges and having this experience reminds me that being the party in the wrong, like Vick, is trying and difficult.

What Michael Vick did to dogs was terrible and inexcusable, but I hope that while he was incarcerated he had a chance to think about what he has done, is ashamed of himself, and sorry.  If this is the case, and with Tony Dungy serving as a mentor, I believe it is, then he deserves a chance for redemption.  It would be a terrible reflection on our society if we chose to cast him aside, to brand him with a scarlet letter, and not support a person who asks for forgiveness and wants to be a better person.  If an individual out of the public eye had done the same thing, served the same two years in prison, and felt the same feelings of remorse, I think that person would be treated differently than Vick is going to be treated.

As society evaluates the “new” Michael Vick, it is important to remember that he is a husband, a father, and a human before being considered an athlete.  He should be treated that way and not made the poster boy for all that is wrong in the world, just because he plays a sport and is an easy target.  He’s not the same as Adolf Hitler or Osama Bin Laden.  He’s a young man that probably didn’t know any better, got in with the wrong crowd, and made a lot of poor decisions.

We should support Michael Vick and encourage him to do things differently this time.  No one reading (or writing) this blog has led a mistake-free life and life is too sacred and valuable to not give people a chance to earn forgiveness.

Although he’ll be wearing an Eagles jersey this year, I will be rooting for Michael Vick the person to rebuild his life and to survive the storm of public doubt that will undoubtedly exist in Philadelphia.

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