Suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick was released from federal custody today and is free to seek reinstatement to the league. Vick is expected to meet soon with commissioner Roger Goodell, who will then decide whether to reinstate Vick or punish him further.
Sports Illustrated writers Jim Trotter and George Dohrmann shared opposing views on Vick on Monday on SI.com. Here's a sample of what each had to say:
If Vick knocks on the office door of each of the league's 32 owners and, one by one, is turned away, so be it. He has no one to blame but himself. But to unilaterally prevent the former star quarterback from playing because of fears about how fans or sponsors might react would be hypocritical at best, shameful at worst.
If the NFL can give second chances to gamblers (Art Schlichter), drug traffickers (Tamarick Vanover and Bam Morris) and murderers (Leonard Little) -- yes, I consider killing someone while driving drunk to be murder, even if the law doesn't -- it should give Vick the opportunity to resume his career. It's true that none of the aforementioned transgressions took place on Goodell's watch, but it's also accurate that none of those players, prior to reinstatement, was punished as severely as Vick.
Vick didn't commit one heinous act; he financed and participated in an illegal operation for years. He is a repeat offender just by the nature of his crimes. In addition to the harm Vick brought upon animals, gambling also occurred at the fights run by Bad Newz Kennels. Vick also lied to Goodell and Falcons owners Arthur Blank when first questioned about his involvement. Violence + gambling + deception = three compelling reasons to banish Vick forever.
Which side do you take on the Vick debate? Should the NFL let him back in or suspend him for life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.