Mike Vick played in his first football game since being released from prison tonight. Some people think the man should never be allowed to play in the NFL again, and though I think dog fighting is among the most despicable things you can participate in, he has served his time for his crime and it had nothing at all to do with the NFL.
I love animals, but I don’t think his crime warrants a life time ban from football. Had he been betting on football games, especially ones he participated in, then by all means a lifetime ban from the NFL is warranted. What he did was outside the game and his punishment should likewise stay outside the game.
I think a lot of people look at this situation with too much emotion. Some people get absolutely stark raving mad about their pets, but their perspective is skewed. Now I loved my Rottweiler more than anything else in my life, but I never forgot that he was a dog and not a human being. His value was apparent to me, but I never expected other people to treat him as well as I treated him.
While some people think that what he did is akin to murder, I don’t see it that way. I think of it as an ignorant person misunderstanding his position in life. He thought he was above the law and flaunted his crime until he realized people actually gave a crap about dogfighting, then he was contrite, almost apologetic. He was convicted and served his time quietly and without fanfare. Anything else done to him wouldn’t drive the point home that he is a fuck up any better than losing a multimillion dollar contract, losing 3 years of his life locked up in a cage, and losing the respect of the fans and his peers.
His crime really wasn’t dog fighting in my opinion. His crime was not realizing a LOT of people wanted to see an idol fall from grace. That is an American pasttime.