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Vick deserves a second chance

POSTED July 24, 2009 10:15 p.m.
What Michael Vick did was a terrible, terrible thing. It was inhuman, inexcusable and unbelievable.
But he deserves a second chance.
Don’t we all?
For him, it means a chance to be his former self, one of the most exciting players to ever play at the highest level with his incredible, out-of-this-world speed and his ability to leap over raging linemen like hurdles.
The latest news is that his federal dogfighting sentence is over. He no longer has to wear an electronic monitor while under home confinement for the last two months of his nearly two-year sentence. This essentially means he’s taking a huge step in his effort to return to the football field, the one place a lot of people in the world don’t want him to be — no matter how much of a physical phenomenon he really is (remember, he’s only 29-years old). One of those people is Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner who would rather do without Vick because, for example, it would give his league a cleaner image.
Without second chances, the world wouldn’t be what it is today. Families would have been forever separated because of an affair. Politicians would have been forever exiled because of some mishap. And celebrities would have been kept in some dark hole, far away from a rehabilitation center.
At least in the sports world, people are moving on. The Atlanta Falcons released Vick, so he’s free to go to any team or any league. It’s also been reported that Goodell and Vick are talking about a possible return — which is somewhat of a surprise. Goodell is the one who suspended Vick from the league, sending a message to every player that such criminal behavior is not allowed.
Some say Vick would be lucky to play in the Arena Football League, which is currently taking a season off because of financial reasons. Some say he would be back in the NFL, though in a position other than quarterback.
But Goodell wants to see change.
“That’s something he has to prove to myself and the general public,” he told the Associated Press in April.
Vick is slowly doing that. He worked in construction for $10 an hour while he was under home confinement — which is next to nothing to the millions of dollars he earned with the Falcons. And then he moved on to a different job, assisting in children’s health and fitness programs at the Boys and Girls Club in Virginia.
And he’s also staying away from the media. He knows what he says can affect Goodell’s decision.
Of course, the general public will never forget what he did — nor will the NFL commissioner, the one person who holds Vick’s destiny. But we can’t just say people like Vick don’t deserve a second chance.
Denying him a second chance would be unjust.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.
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