Michael Vick: Has He Repented Enough To Be Called a Hero Again?

Drake Oz@drakeozbrSenior Writer IINovember 19, 2010

Michael Vick: Has He Repented Enough To Be Called a Hero Again?

0 of 12

    LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles waits for instructions against  the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Michael Vick is getting a ton of praise from the most important man in football.

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he is proud of the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback for turning his life around.

    Of course we all remember that Vick served 18 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring, costing him not only his freedom, but his record contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

    Now, it seems that Vick has gotten back on the right path since being released.

    He seems to have made amends for what he's done and gained back much of the respect he had lost prior to his prison term.

    But is that adequate? Has Vick repented enough to be called a hero again?

    Let's debate whether the controversial NFL quarterback has done enough to overcome his troubled past.

0 of 12

    5. No: His Appearances Were Court-Ordered

    1 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on while waiting for a review to be completed against  the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      Vick has made numerous appearances since his release from prison in which he has spoken out against dogfighting.

      On the surface it looks really good for Vick, and for all we know, he could be truly sorry for his actions.

      But a good portion of Vick's appearances were not by choice. They were court-ordered.

      He has attended and spoken at other meetings since fulfilling his court-ordered requirements, but no one knows for sure what he would have done had he not been required to appear in the first place.

    5. Yes: He's Remained Humble

    2 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on while waiting for a review to be completed against  the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      Honestly, when is the last time you've even heard Michael Vick speak?

      He's remained low-key throughout the entire season, and his humility is something that certainly stands out.

      Vick is probably the NFL MVP front-runner at this point, but he's not tweeting about his recent performances or bragging about his six-touchdown game during interviews.

      I agree that it wouldn't be a smart move to do that anyway, but you never really know what you're going to get with athletes these days.

      And Vick has been a humble guy not only during his amazing 2010 season, but even since he left prison last year.

    4. No: He Violated the Trust of Fans

    3 of 12

      PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 03:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before playing against the Washington Redskins on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
      Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

      Athletes are held to a higher standard than others.

      Like actors or politicians, athletes are public figures, and everything they do will be looked at under the microscope.

      The problem with Michael Vick is that he knew that. He was well aware that he had millions of fans across the country who looked up to him, not only as an athlete, but as a role model.

      So when Vick was sent to prison for his role in a dogfighting ring, he violated the trust of everyone who ever supported him.

      In the sports world, athletes are often easily forgiven for their antics or cocky demeanor on the playing field.

      But when an athlete finds himself in serious trouble off the field, it can destroy the public's perception of that athlete in a split second.

    4. Yes: He's Been a Good Teammate

    4 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      By all accounts, Vick has been a great teammate since joining the Philadelphia Eagles.

      There have been no stories about Vick complaining about playing time or failing to pay attention during team meetings.

      In fact, Vick was the Eagles' recipient of The Ed Block Courage Award earlier this year.

      The award is given to one player on each team who best exemplifies courage and sportsmanship on and off the field.

      Of course, the decision was met with backlash by animal rights group, but being chosen by his entire team has to be saying something.

    3. No: He Was Found Guilty

    5 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      The difference between athletes like Ben Roethlisberger or Kobe Bryant and Michael Vick is that Vick was never cleared of the charges.

      Though there have been numerous athletes convicted of or linked to much more serious crimes than dogfighting, Vick will always be criticized more than other athletes because he was found guilty in a court of law.

      Even if some other athletes are in fact guilty of the crimes they've been accused of, it doesn't matter nearly as much in the public eye until a judge confirms it.

      We have definitive confirmation that Vick broke the law in serious fashion, and some people will never be able to forget that.

    3. Yes: He's Worked Hard To Improve

    6 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with team mate Mike McGlynn #77 after throwing his teams first touchdown against the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo b
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      Remember the biggest knock on Vick's game prior to his prison sentence?

      It was that he relied too much on his feet and would never be an accurate NFL passer.

      Well, Vick has changed that this season

      He's put in his time in the weight room, in the film room and on the practice field to become one of the league's best passing quarterbacks.

      Vick has yet to throw an interception, and is coming off one of the most impressive performances by a quarterback in football history.

    2. No: He'll Never Be Forgiven

    7 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with team mate Mike McGlynn #77 after throwing his teams first touchdown against the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo b
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      For many people, especially dog lovers and animal rights activists, Michael Vick is about as low on the totem pole as someone can get.

      Vick is truly public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of those who despise him for the heinous crimes that he has committed.

      Is it fair to continue to hate Vick? You be the judge of that (I'll do it later).

      But the fact remains that Vick will never be forgiven by a big chunk of American society.

      People just can't overlook his past actions no matter what he does.

    2. Yes: He's Been a Model Citizen

    8 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on while waiting for a review to be completed against  the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      Though it may be hard for some people to overlook Vick's criminal past, he has seemingly been a model citizen since his release from prison in May of 2009.

      Vick has worked closely with the Humane Society, which would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.

      He's also spoken to numerous groups about the cruelty of dogfighting, the effect its had on his life and the serious nature of the underground crime.

      At the very least, Vick is trying to repair his image and make up for his past crimes.

    1. No: It Hasn't Been Long Enough

    9 of 12

      PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 07:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the Indianapolis Colts on November 7, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
      Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

      Vick seems to be a changed man at this point, but we may be a bit ahead of ourselves.

      He was released from prison in May of last year, meaning Vick has only had roughly a year and a half back in the public eye.

      It's hard to judge whether Vick has completely changed in such a short span.

      If this were 2014 or 2015 and Vick had stayed out of trouble, he'd have more people convinced that he is a different person.

    1. Yes: Vick Served 18 Months In Prison

    10 of 12

      PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 07:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts on November 7, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Colts 26-24.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/
      Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

      I don't condone what Michael Vick did, but he has paid his dues to society.

      Vick spent 18 months of his life in prison, and most people reading this have absolutely no idea what prison is like.

      He wasn't on the beach in the Bahamas sipping Coronas, he was locked up behind bars.

      And let's put this into perspective.

      Donte Stallworth served less than a month in prison for killing a human being, but Vick served a year and half on dogfighting charges.

      I'd say that is a pretty lengthy punishment for Vick based on Stallworth's circumstances.

    The Verdict: Has He Repented Enough?

    11 of 12

      LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on while waiting for a review to be completed against  the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images

      Look, given the violent nature of his crimes, I agree with all those who say that Michael Vick should have went to prison.

      But I'm a dog lover, and even I believe that there comes a time when someone has done all he can to make up for his past actions.

      Put yourself in Vick's shoes. Would you want to be judged for the rest of your life based on a past mistake?

      I mean, there are plenty of things in my past that I regret doing, but I don't expect to suffer the rest of my life because of them.

      Sure, it's only been a few years since Vick got caught forcing lovable pit bulls to fight each other (and even killing them himself), but he's done everything the right way since then.

      He's not habitually breaking the law, bashing his teammates or showing no remorse off the football field.

      Vick has actually turned his criminal past into a positive, spreading the word about his wrongdoings and explaining how others can avoid a similar fate.

      Vick has to eventually reach a certain point when he can be trusted again, even forgiven.

      And that time is now.

      Verdict: Vick has repented enough. Not enough to be considered a hero, but enough to be one of sport's biggest success stories.

    🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

    The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


    X