No second chances for Vick and celebrities

Nate Mulberg ('10)/ Eastside Staff

vick.jpgHave you ever heard of someone retaining his or her job after committing murder? Chances are, you probably have not. However, that may soon change thanks in large part to the infamous actions of former NFL phenomenon Michael Vick.

After pleading guilty to participating in a dog-fighting conspiracy in which he took part in the murders of numerous dogs, Vick received a 23-month jail sentence. When Vick is released from jail in October of next year, many questions will surface regarding whether or not he should be allowed back in the NFL.

Simply put: Michael Vick should not be allowed back.

The NFL is losing credibility as one of the best professional sports leagues in the world by continuing to allow convicts back into the league. For example, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has tested positive numerous times for marijuana but has been allowed back into the league nonetheless. Look at Adam “Pac-Man” Jones, a defensive back of the Tennessee Titans. He initiated a shooting at a strip club that paralyzed someone, yet he someday will also be allowed back into the league.                     

This is the NFL’s chance to show the public eye that despite being a business, it does have proper values. Vick needs to be banned from the NFL to send a message to other players that just because they are celebrities, they can not do whatever they want without consequence.

Also, allowing Vick back into the league could also harm the NFL’s popularity. Numerous fans of the league are dog owners or animal rights supporters. These fans could be angered by the reinstatement of Vick into the league, lowering the fan support that helps make the NFL what it is today.

People will support Vick in an attempt to get him reinstated to the league by claiming that it isn’t fair to prevent someone from making a living. This is a completely naïve statement, as there are numerous other professional football leagues in which Vick could compete, such as the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League. Vick’s entering a different professional league would be a satisfying outcome because it would be similar to what a doctor or lawyer would have to face if he or she committed the same crimes as Vick. The doctor or lawyer would surely lose his or her original job, but once facing proper punishment, he or she may be able to find another job in the same profession in a different location. There is no way that any professional would be able to retain his or her original job after participating in a horrible crime like dog fighting. Likewise, Vick should not be given a second chance.

Others feel that Vick should be allowed back so that society can help him back onto his feet.

 “As a society, we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football,” Atlanta NAACP Chapter President R.L. White said.

This statement is not justifiable. We shouldn’t aid in Michael Vick’s “rehabilitation” just because he is a celebrity. If Vick was an unknown in society, no one would feel any mercy towards him. He is a convict, and there is no reason why he should be treated as a “special” convict just because he is a celebrity.

Michael Vick’s being banned from the NFL is more than just a football issue; it is a world issue that is reoccurring and needs to be addressed. Celebrities and sports stars are given too much leeway in the crimes and mistakes they make. Society needs to realize that these people are just that: people. They are not larger than life. Commissioner Roger Goodell and his accompanying staff need to come to a joint decision to ban Vick for good. According to the United States Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal.”  Michael Vick needs to be treated as any other American citizen would, and by banning him from the NFL, this justice would be done.