MMQB Mail: Vick edition (cont.)
Now for your e-mail. It's all Vick, all the time. I think the best way for me to handle these are, for the most part, to let your voices be heard. You know my feeling: Once a man has paid for his crime and done his time, and served whatever suspension the NFL hands down, he ought to be able to be eligible to resume playing football. Men who have been steroid cheats are back in the game. A man who drove drunk and killed a woman is back in the game. Men who have multiple DUIs are back in the game. Men who have been wife- and girlfriend-beaters are back in the game. Men who have used their football bulk to bully and beat the crap out of other men are back in the game. Have I heard one talk-show host or columnist scream that if Donte Stallworth is found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, and found to have been driving over the legal limit, he should never be allowed to play football again? No.
Michael Vick staged an elaborate scheme to set up dog fights, shield them from public view and gamble on them. When his two-month home confinement is over, he will have served 20 months for the crime. The justice system will set him free. That's a longer period of confinement than any NFL player since Rae Carruth will have experienced. Then, I believe Roger Goodell should suspend him a minimum of four weeks for his serial lying -- to Goodell, to Atlanta owner Arthur Blank, to former Atlanta coach Jim Mora, to Atlanta p.r. man Reggie Roberts, who continually staked his good word on Vick's denials -- about involvement in dog-fighting. If Goodell wants to make it eight, fine with me. But then I think he should be able to ply his trade. Who would sign him? Maybe no one. But he should be able to apply for work.
THIS STARTS THE FESTIVITIES OFF RIGHT. From Peter Jackson, of Atlanta: "No good reason why Vick shouldn't be reinstated? God, you're a fat [expletive deleted] idiot.''
DO NOT LET MICHAEL VICK BACK IN FOOTBALL. From Anthony Bagnette, of Sydney, Australia: "I am a huge NFL fan, have been for over 30 years, and have Twittered you enthusiastically (@DownUnda2008) in the past regarding the NFL. However, one point I will NOT falter on is that Michael Vick should not be permitted back into the NFL. He embodies everything that is disgusting about the NFL insta-millionaires. Regardless of what you think about animals, it has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that he has taken lives. Granted, they were animals. However, if you love life and animals as I do, that is utterly inexcusable. I am an attorney, and yes I recognize that he has in fact served his time for those offenses.
"However, in my opinion he should not be afforded status in the NFL. Much like the privilege of voting, some privileges should not be reinstated after incarceration. I truly hope Roger Goodell does not afford Vick the privilege of representing the NFL ever again. If Vick is reinstated, I am done with the NFL -- absolutely done and will not watch another game again. I know many [including you] people disagree with me and that is certainly their [your] prerogative. But I stand firm with my convictions. I trust that I am not the only person. I love life and dogs more then the NFL. Please don't reinstate him Commissioner Goodell.''
A TWITTER FAN FROM KUWAIT CHECKS IN. From Bader, of Mishref, Kuwait: "Vick deserves a chance and that four-game suspension you said is practical. He needs a coach and owner who are tough.''
NEVER LET HIM PLAY AGAIN. From Paul Hemenway, of Olathe, Kan.: "I have to disagree with your assessment on how Vick should be allowed back in the NFL. What Vick did was a disgusting, horrible and despicable thing. A thing that cannot be forgiven. If the NFL lets Vick back in to play, then the NFL is not sending the right message to the players and fans. It's not just us adults who watch this game. Children of all ages watch and dream of playing in this game. When they see Vick back on the field after killing dogs for fun in the manner in which he did, then they'll think its OK to do so as long as you do a SMALL amount of jail time to pay that price. The message this sends to players is equally horrible. Adam "Pacman" Jones did things not nearly as bad as what Vick did, and yet nobody is talking about letting him back in to play. There are numerous ex-players who played the game who won't be allowed back in for far less than what Vick did. Mr. Goodell is trying to show the world that the NFL will not tolerate men of dishonest, and bad moral character and judgment in the league. He would be making a huge mistake letting Vick back in, and would completely undermine everything he's trying to accomplish in the NFL. God I hope nobody lets Vick play a game in the NFL again.''
JASON IS ADAMANT TOO. From Jason, of Scarborough, Maine: "You don't think there is any good reason for Mike Vick not to be reinstated to play in the NFL this fall? I challenge, hell, I dare you to use your online column space to go head-to-head with someone with the opposite viewpoint. My guess? You pick anyone with five working neurons and a pulse, and they will make you look like a buffoon.''
BRETT FAVRE ENTERS THE FRAY. From Mateo Pearson, of Austin, Texas: "If Michael Vick 'served his time' in a federal penitentiary why would the NFL not reinstate him? Your hypocrisy continues to shine every week. We are still waiting on your comments on what an egotistical maniac Favre is. But we all know that is not going to happen. You would never speak the truth about your good ol' boys in the NFL.''
TONY DUNGY DID A GOOD DEED. From Tim Nichols, of Goodlettsville, Tenn.: "I don't like what Vick did. But Tony Dungy reaching out to him by visiting him in jail is priceless and reminds me that part of my faith is forgiving the truly repentant. Tony Dungy should be hired as the NFL's Goodwill Ambassador.''
DON'T CRUCIFY THE MAN. From Wes Bruns, of Kansas City: "I don't think I will ever understand why Michael Vick is being crucified for dog-fighting. NFL players that are in the league now and playing have done much worse and to human beings. No excuse for the cruelty brought upon those dogs. But explain to me why Vick is being treated like he murdered 50 people.''
GIVE US BARRABAS. From Chris, of Erie, Colo.: "He's a dog torturer. He has no room in our society let alone our favorite sport. He should be banned for life.''
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