Why I Will Be Rooting for Michael Vick

Dan KellyContributor IAugust 14, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 27:  Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick speaks to reporters at the Omni Richmond Hotel after agreeing to a guilty plea on charges stemming from his involvement in a dogfighting ring August 27, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Michael Vick deserves a second chance. It's a third chance that would be unacceptable.

I in no way condone what Vick did. It was a series of horrendous acts unimaginable for me to comprehend.

How could someone do such a thing?

This is where I drift off of the sports path for a moment.

It brings to light the age old "nature vs. nurture" debate.

This is not a black and white debate.

It's about the environment you are raised in.

Michael Vick was born in Newport News, VA, a small port town facing hard times.His mother was 16-years old and his father 17.

By the time Michael was five, he had three siblings.

He saw little of his father who was in the Army and worked in the struggling shipyards and his mother worked at a local KMart leaving the children with relatives and friends.

Dare I say it was hard times for a pair of 21-year-olds to raise four children in their economic condition?

It is safe to say that the vast majority of people who cannot fathom Vick's heinous acts are middle to upper class Americans. I certainly fall in to that category.

While my family and I plotted our next vacation or decided what beach house to rent for the summer families such as Vick's struggle to keep the lights on and put food on the table.

That is something I cannot fathom.

The poverty stricken are in a constant hole they cannot dig out of. That lack of progress creates despair and a feeling of insignificance.

When they are stressed out by life's challenges they cannot go play a round of golf or head to the beach for a weekend to relax.

Other means are looked to for solace. Some, incredibly, find their way out through education. Some, like Vick, are blessed with incredible athletic talent. Others resort to crime to acquire cash as well as to feel a sense of power and significance.

Michael Vick falls into two of those categories. He is a freakish athlete and WAS a criminal. He was no longer in his tiny house with three siblings and two teenage parents.He was in his multi-million dollar mansion with a bunch of parasites that called themselves friends.

There is a saying, "You can take a man out of the hood, you can't take the hood out of the man."

Michael was no doubt participating in something he had done throughout his youth. This time in an environment he felt safe and a bankroll that could fund such an operation.Surely he just wanted to show his friends he's the same Michael Vick.

Athletes coming out of poverty stricken areas face tremendous challenges such as dealing with new found fame and fortune. The public spotlight always shining. Friends expecting you to let them ride your coattails. Enemies plotting to harm you.

Michael didn't surround himself with the right people and made poor decisions.We have all been influenced by others to do things we shouldn't have, just to a lesser degree.

Poverty is a serious problem in this country and with the unemployment rate the way it is it surely will continue to get worse.That's another article for another website.

Michael Vick has a chance to become the greatest story of redemption in American sports history. Everyone deserves a second chance. We are all human and make mistakes.I , for one, like a feel good story and would much rather see a person succeed than fail.

Just because you pull for the guy to turn his life around doesn't mean you condone what he did.

Take advantage of this opportunity, Mike. I'll be rooting for you.


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