Michael Vick will soon be out of prison. His anticipated release date is June 2009. He will seek to re-enter the NFL. There will be vocal opposition from animal rights groups. Don’t count me among the opposition. When the time comes I believe the NFL should re-instate his eligibility to play and seek NFL employment under probationary conditions. Anyone who knows me is probably shocked as hell to read this. I own a dog and a cat. I love them dearly. I have been active in various animal rights causes and benefits. I screamed loudest for Vick’s head on a doggie platter and a long prison sentence. I was disappointed when his state sentence ran concurrent with his federal sentence although as an attorney I was expecting just that.
I do not like Michael Vick. I think he is a gangster thug. I admit that I have never met him. It does not matter. In my mind it is res ipsa loquitur. If you abuse animals or take pleasure from watching them abused that is all I need to know. You are a bad person and a gangster thug. End of story. I also think Michael Vick will end up in serious trouble with the law again at some point in his life. Why? I believe that anyone who abuses animals or takes pleasure in watching them being abused on a certain level has a sociopath personality and lacks the mental mechanism to understand societal values. That will more often than not lead to trouble. You can’t grow a conscience regardless of any explanation for not having one. With all that being said how could I possibly support Michael Vick?
I support Micheal Vick being allowed to seek employment in the NFL because I respect our justice system and the equality of judgment it is supposed to represent even if it often does not always work out that way. Michel Vick was judged. He is paying his debt born out of that judgment. Once that happens, our Constitution and justice system mandates that while we can hold opinions and express them and judge him as a person, we can no longer legally judge his act. Having a felony conviction legally excludes a person from certain professions. Professional sports is not among them. That does not mean we have to like Michael Vick. That does not mean an NFL team has to hire him. I am comfortable enough in my convictions in this area to know that I would never hire someone who did what he did to work for me in any capacity. You have the right to ask me for a job. I have the right to say no. I have the right to bring my moral compass into play in saying no. You have the right to find someone else to hire you in the same type of job who may view things differently than I do. Michael Vick is paying his dues to society. He should not have to pay them again in being denied the right to seek employment. I know there will be an NFL owner or two who does not view Michael Vick the same way I do. There will be exhaustive pre-employment psyhological evaluations and othe precautions taken. They will undoubtedly give him a chance to merit employment with their team. I won’t like it. I however am not societie’s legal or moral gatekeeper. Neither is anyone reading this. The NFL and individual team owners will decide which way their own compass points. I will say that whoever hires Michael Vick had better hope that somewhere deep inside himself he has found the guilt ridden emotions that help shape our conscience. If he does not, it is a given that he will be judged again.