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Michael Vick: Why the Public Should Give Eagles QB Another Chance

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on October 7, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2012

Amid rampant questions following a suspected cover-up, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has admitted something most had already assumed: He is once again a dog owner.

This development will undoubtedly cause dog lovers to run through the gamut of emotions.

However, a released statement from Vick provides enough insight into his decision that it seems apparent that this is the perfect time for a public redemption. 

Here is the full statement, via PhillyMag.com's Tim McManus

I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.

Though Vick, who spent a year-and-a-half in jail due to charges stemming from a dogfighting ring, is legally allowed to own dogs, this announcement did not come without controversy. 

The admission comes less than a week after the folks at CrossingBroad.com exposed what seemed like an attempted masking of his dog ownership.

Vick had tweeted a photo while studying film in preparation for last week's game, but there was a dog treat in the background. When picked up on, the tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with an identical tweet with the dog treat cropped out of the picture. 

That caused some to speculate that Vick was hiding the fact that he owned a dog to avoid the scorn of the public. 

However, releasing the statement ends all conspiracies and makes Vick somewhat sympathetic. 

Those who have monitored the quarterback's statements since being released from prison know of his desire to own dogs again and to do it right. While that's all well and good, you could completely understand the trepidation had Vick simply been owning a dog as a single man.

That's simply not the case here.

Vick's dog ownership stems not only from his desire to prove himself, but more importantly, from his children's desire to have a pet. Almost all children want dogs, regardless of their father's past heinous acts.

The Eagles' signal-caller spoke of that desire when he appeared on Piers Morgan's show earlier this year. 

"I can't take that dream [of owning dogs] away from them," said Vick (via TMZ). "That's selfish on my behalf."

The fact that Vick is willing to take on the scorn of the public in the name of his family is commendable enough to make even the most strident hater think twice.

Couple that with the fact he's been nothing but a model citizen since his release from prison, and it's difficult to fault the man for taking the second chance the law gave him.

We've forgiven Vick and allowed him to come back into our lives as a football player. It's time that we do the same for him as a person and allow him to be a proud dog owner in peace. 

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