Leave Michael Alone! Vick Can't Run From the Protesters

Josh McMullenCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 27:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball during the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field on August 27, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Even though Michael Vick has apologized profusely for participating in a dogfighting ring and promised he will devote his time to helping animals, there are still some people who believe he’s a heartless maniac.

Before the Eagles’ preseason game against the Jaguars on Thursday, handfuls of protesters showed up outside Lincoln Financial Field. However, supporters of Vick could be found all around the stadium, supporters that included the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP. Some of the anti-Vick contingent were holding up signs that said “Murderers are not role models,” while supporters wore shirts that said “Forgive Vick/Go Eagles.” Still others held on to the notion that 18 months in jail was not long enough and Vick shouldn’t be allowed to play football anymore.

In my opinion, I believe this public flogging of Vick has gone on long enough.

He has shown amazing amounts of remorse after his jail sentence. He’s paid his debt to society and—though his crime was great—there’s no need to make him revisit it every single time he steps on the field. That just puts more pressure on him he doesn’t need. The work of a quarterback isn’t easy, and I can’t imagine it's any better with protesters who don’t think you should be there breathing down your neck.

Some of the protesters believe that Vick is not a good role model, including Philadelphia native Mary Donato, whose daughter is a veterinary technician:

“What kind of role model is he for the children? They [the Eagles] made a very big mistake.”

I hate to burst her bubble, but if he isn’t a good role model for your children, find another one! There are hundreds of players in the NFL who would make good role models. Even if Vick isn’t your particular cup of tea, I’m sure you can find another one. Heck, it doesn't even have to be a football player.

It really isn’t fair to drag anyone’s name through the mud for one crime, no matter how low or depraved. I’m an animal lover myself, but I do believe Vick has paid his debt to society and I’m excited to watch him try to resurrect his career with the Eagles. I’m fed up with hearing about another protest trying to shove Vick back in jail. I’d much rather hear about how he’s trying to make good on his promise to help animals.

If everybody thought like that instead of trying to focus on all the bad things he did, then this Eagle might finally fly.