Yesterday, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid announced Michael Vick would be the team’s starting quarterback. Vick will take the snaps this Sunday instead of Kevin Kolb, who suffered a concussion in the opening week but has since recovered.
In Kolb’s absence, Vick played well enough to lead the Eagles to a victory in week two. Against the Detroit Lions last Sunday, Vick completed 61.7 percent of his passes and threw for 284 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also added 37 rushing yards on eight attempts.
Now that Michael Vick is a starting quarterback in the National Football League, people from all over are openly protesting his promotion. Their reasons for protest are obvious – and somewhat justified – but Vick deserves this opportunity in Philadelphia.
People don’t have to be radical, crazy, or members of PETA to be angry at Michael Vick. A lot of lingering resentment comes from dog owners and average people, still upset at Vick for his participation in the dog fighting case.
Michael Vick, however, deserves a second chance. What he did was wrong, illegal, and probably immoral on some levels, but he still should be given a new opportunity.
As a society, we’re fond of giving second chances. We like to see people recover from mistakes. We’re willing to forgive and forget, in most cases.
For whatever reason, Vick’s situation seems a bit different.
Vick was given an opportunity in Philadelphia and he made the most of it. As a backup, he led the Eagles to victory and impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a promotion. Like second chances, our society generally believes hard work should be rewarded; Vick has worked his tail off to get to where he is now.
Vick was punished for his crimes. He lost all of his previous endorsement deals, eventually filed for bankruptcy, endured public backlash, and served a federal prison sentence. He has already paid his dues and deserves a shot at redemption.
He may not deserve everyone’s forgiveness, but we cannot prevent him from playing in the National Football League. As one of the more gifted athletes of our generation, Vick belongs on the field every Sunday.
We should hope he has changed through his ordeal; Vick needs to show he has matured and become a better individual. His post-suspension accomplishments have been hard-earned and well-deserved.
Give him a break. Leonard Little and several other athletes also committed heartless crimes, and Vick deserves a chance to redeem himself like they did.