Michael Vick should not be allowed back in the NFL

Kurt LiedtkeContributor IJuly 31, 2009

I don't get why so many people turn a blind eye when it comes to public figures.
Are so many in denial that anyone who is in the spotlight is a genuinely good person and not flawed as we all are?
It seems like no matter what somebody does, no matter how disgusting the crime, that if they are a public figure there will always be apologists for them.

OJ Simpson accused of murder, so let's go hang signs over the freeway passes saying "GO JUICE GO!" when he tries to flee...
Michael Jackson dies, and suddenly no he didn't molest anyone...

And people who are all for Michael Vick returning to the NFL absolutely confuse me.
I don't understand why so many would just immediately be fine with him going back.

I understand he spent his time in jail, and has a right to earn a living, but that doesn't mean he gets to go back to his old job.

I think Paul Tagliabu made a huge mistake when he allowed Leonard Little to return to the NFL after he killed a woman in a car accident while driving drunk. It set a precedent that sets a bad standard for a sports league that has spent millions on marketing itself as a family friendly event despite its violent nature.
Now new commissioner Roger Goodell is tentatively permitting Vick to return, and I've heard from so many in the media and people I've talked with how they are fine with it.


Look at it outside of the context of football, and think about it in terms of a business...
So imagine you are the CEO of a multi-billion dollar fortune 500 company, and your highest paid worker and one of your top spokesmen in the media in 2005 has an embarrassing lawsuit appear in the news that tarnishes the reputation of the person and the company, and shows the individual to really be a jerk.
The employee becomes a punchline to your customers. So you give the employee a second chance but ask that he doesn't embarrass the company any further.
So then a federal investigation begins into the employee with accusations of crimes involving cruel and disgusting punishment of animals in ways so heinous it disgusts all who hear it described. You have a face-to-face sit down with the employee, they completely deny the accusations. Then they go in front of the media and make a statement denying the accusations, and local public figures form a huge rally where thousands from the community come out in support of the employee saying that government has no basis for the accusations claiming racism...
Then two days later once evidence is released showing that the employee absolutely did these disgusting things, only then does he come back and tell you that he lied to your face and lied to the media and that yeah he absolutely did all the things they said he did. He lied to your face, and you publicly supported him. He has embarrassed you, he has insulted your customers by lying to them and convincing them to support him, and he has commit federal crimes. He spends two years in jail and is legally forced to return much of his pay.

...Sure, when he gets out of jail he's able to return to the workplace. But does he get to return to his old job? Do you actually re-hire him?

Or if a politician did this, once out of prison would they be able to return to congress? Think randy "Duke" Cunningham is getting elected back to the house of representatives once he finishes serving his ten years in prison for massive corruption and bribery?

If the NFL marketed itself the way the UFC does I would have no problem with Vick returning to the NFL. But they don't, they have strict conduct policies and as employees of the NFL players are held to a higher standard. And when an employee commits crimes that are so disgusting and insulting and controversial, do you just allow them to return to their old job?

Michael Vick has severe psychological problems, and acts like a child. Being embarrassed about having a STD and so not even bothering to wear a condom because he was embarrassed about it, that's about as selfish and childish of an act you could possibly do. Then on top of that take that same individual and find out that they personally took dogs and hung them, electrocuted them, drowned them, beat them to death.
If you didn't know that it was Michael Vick who did these things, what would you think of the individual? What do you think a psychologist would have to say about it?

The only team I can foresee giving Michael Vick is a shot is the Oakland Raiders, as they are a franchise that seems to openly embrace criminals. But if any other team gives him a chance to play I think it's just a horrible move for the team and NFL offices. Wherever he goes it guarantees massive protests from PETA and other animal rights organizations, and as a moral decent human being the more you hear about what Vick actually did and he is a repulsive person in all facets. I don't care how fast he runs, or how far he throws the ball...you don't do what he did, and get to return to your old job.

Let him go play in the AFL or the UFL or find a real job somewhere to get his life back in order, just don't let him back into the NFL.
As long as the NFL wants to pretend that publicly it is a family-friendly morale institution that it claims to be, then Michael Vick has no business being in the NFL anymore. If it was the UFC I think it would only add to his mystique and fan base, because that's how they choose to portray themselves...but not the NFL, the NFL holds itself to a higher standard, and it shouldn't be doing this.

I appreciated what Roger Goodell had done to this point trying to clean up the league with his no nonsense approach with some of the other scumbags in the league...but he made a poor choice on Vick.