Earlier today, Michael Vick was "conditionally reinstated" in the NFL by Commisioner Roger Goodell.
Vick had this to say about his reinstatement:
As told to AP:
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation
to Commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the
National Football League. I fully understand that playing
football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly
thankful for opportunity I have been given.
“As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to
evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand
the terrible mistakes I made in the past, and what type of life I
must lead moving forward.
“Again, I would like to thank the Commissioner for the chance to
return to the game I love and the opportunity to become an
example of positive change. I would like to also thank Coach
Tony Dungy for all of his support and for serving as a mentor.”
Vick would be eligible to join any team that he signs with in Week 6, given that he transitions well to life beyond bars.
Additionally, if any team signs him, he would be available to participate in practices and meetings with the respective club right away.
But enough with the journalistic approach.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with Vick being back in the game.
He committed a mistake as we all have—and will continue to do. He's been forced to experience the repercussions of such consequent actions. And he has he lost sponsorships, a reputation, and countless Benjamins. Is a five-game suspension on top of all that really necessary?
Fellow NFL'er Terrell Owens, I believe, hit the nail on the head with his comment regarding Vick's suspension:
"It's like kicking a dead horse on the ground."
Excuse my language, but it pisses me off that Goodell feels that he needs to have a hand in every damn player's situation, especially when it's already handled by the law.
Let society take care of the problem; it's healthier that way. Get it out of the fans' systems. They'll feel better when it's all done.
Now I'm not saying that Goodell was wrong to have kicked Vick out of the league. He was supposed to boot Vick's sorry ass out the door. Anyone who has a hand in cruelty to animals deserves to have his privileges stripped, no matter how big or small, and football (in Vick's case) was one such privilege that he lost out on.
But since then, he's served his time behind bars, expressed remorse, and has come out of the situation a more refined individual. He has learned from the mistakes of his past, just as we all should.
He's met with Mr. Goodell and obviously has him convinced that he's a different person, or else he wouldn't have been admitted back into the game in the first place.
So again, why the suspension?
Goodell has blooped-up several players' situations and his inconsistency in doling out punishment is ridiculous.
For killing a man while intoxicated, Donte Stallworth receives an indefinite suspension.
For illegally possesing a firearm, Plaxico Burress received a four-game suspension before becoming a league outcast on the verge of jail time.
I don't even want to start with Pacman Jones.
Why can't Goodell just let the law handle all the problems off the field?
Last time I checked, he was the commissioner of the NFL, not players' lives.