The Road to Redemption

The journey has not been easy for Michael Vick since signing a 10-year, 130 million-dollar deal to start for the Atlanta Falcons at quarterback. Released from jail on July 20th after serving a sentence for dogfighting, Vick has become the new center of attention on all major sports networks. He is one of the latest athletes to go to jail.
During the start of preseason, the Philadelphia Eagles looked past Vick’s track record and gave the ex-con a second chance. But the public has been at the throat of Vick, bringing hateful signs to each preseason game. After Vick was accused of doing awful, irrational things such as hanging and electrocuting dogs, thousands of fans do not want to see him play another game.
Although found guilty of these disturbing acts, Vick has been on the road to recovery by helping People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). He has been taking classes aimed at developing empathy for animals and trying to stop dogfighting. Even former NFL coach, Tony Dungy, has been consoling Vick and helping him to regain his image.
His troubles did not stop at dogfighting. He declared bankruptcy and, it is estimated that he is 20 million dollars in debt. Right now it seems that he needs the forgiveness of the public and some time to restore his life.
Vick is crucified by the public and used as an example of how not to act. An unusual crime that typically does not get much public attention threw Vick into the center of the limelight. Vick actually should be a figure of how to make up for your mistakes. His commitment to regain his image has been beyond normal standards. He recently just booked an event at a high school in Philadelphia where he will talk about resisting peer pressure.
While Vick is regaining his appearance, many NFL players have been convicted or accused of crimes and slipped past them because of their “star” image. Recently, Donte Stallworth, Cleveland Browns wide receiver, was convicted of killing a man while driving drunk. He only was in jail for 24 days and suspended for one full season. That’s for killing a human, not a dog. Let’s also not forget Leonard Little of the St. Louis Rams who killed a woman in a drunk driving accident. He served only 90 days of jail and 4 years probation, but still was a member of the Rams Super Bowl team that overshadowed the whole incident.
Vick’s not the one we should call out. He is turning his life around and making sure others do not make the same mistake he does. In today’s society, violence happens in professional sports every day. Pro athletes, looked on as role models by high school kids, can distort the way young men and women think. As much emphasis is put on sports today, the wrong decisions made by athletes effects everyone. Vick made a wrong decision. Now, it’s all about regaining the image. Soon, we will regain the image of the old, quick Michael Vick who spends his time making NFL defenses look silly. It’s not him we should throw under the bus.