Michael Vick Reinstated
Old 07-27-2009, 05:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NEW YORK -- Michael Vick is back in the NFL. Now all he needs is a team to play for.

Vick, free after serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday. He could participate in regular-season games as early as October.

Vick can immediately take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games -- if he can find a team that will sign him. A number of teams have already said they would not.

Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19) at the latest.

According to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, a source close to Vick expressed "shock" over the severity of Vick's punishment and said Vick will reapply for full reinstatement as early as Week 1.

Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation on his property in Virginia. At the time, Goodell said Vick must show remorse before he would consider reinstating him.

"I accept that you are sincere when you say that you want to, and will, turn your life around, and that you intend to be a positive role model for others," Goodell said in his letter to Vick. "I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands."

"Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited," the letter said. "I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you."

Vick, once the highest-paid player in the league, said he was grateful for a second chance.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League," Vick said in a statement released by his agent, Joel Segal. "I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given.

"As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to revaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward."

The announcement came after a busy first week of freedom for Vick, who met with union leaders and Goodell on consecutive days last week. His 23-month federal sentence ended when an electronic monitor was removed from his ankle early on July 20 at his home in Hampton, Va.

He met with DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, last Tuesday and, on Wednesday, he sat down with Goodell at a security firm in Allendale, N.J.

Goodell suggested that preventing Vick from playing at the start of the regular season wasn't a punishment but an opportunity for the quarterback to gradually make a transition back into the league.

"I have thought about every alternative, but I think this gives him the best chance for success," Goodell said. "We are not looking for failure here. We are looking to see a young man succeed."

But Vick's issues are far from over and he needs a team to call his own. Already, the owners of the New York Giants and New York Jets said they have no interest in the 29-year-old quarterback, who was officially released by the Falcons last month.

Vick filed for bankruptcy protection last July, listing assets of about $16 million and debts of more than $20 million, and has a hearing about his plan to repay his creditors on Friday in Newport News, Va. That plan is built around his ability to make NFL-type money again.

He's unlikely to command anything close to the 10-year, $130 million contract he once had with the Falcons, or to get endorsement deals after the grisly details of his involvement in the dogfighting ring.

Vick finally pleaded guilty after his three co-defendants had already done so. They told of how Vick participated in the killing of dogs that didn't perform well in test fights by shooting, hanging, drowning or slamming them to the ground.

Vick's appearances at federal court in Richmond, Va., all came with large groups of protesters outside. Many were with PETA and held signs depicting photographs of Pit Bulls ravaged in dogfights and decrying the brutality in the gruesome details that emerged in the case.

A smaller group came to show support for Vick wearing jerseys with his No. 7.

Vick has already taken some steps to begin rebuilding his image and showing remorse.

He met with the president of the Humane Society of the United States while serving the first 18 months of his federal sentence in the prison at Leavenworth, Kan. He plans to work with HSUS in a program designed to steer inner city youth away from dogfighting. He was not permitted to work with the program while in custody.

"I know that he's thrilled, and I'm happy to have the process moving in the right direction," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said.

"It's been a long process," Segal added. "He's thrilled for the opportunity to resume his playing career. He understands he has a lot to prove."
Source: ESPN.com

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it had been a white quarterback in Vick's place, this issue would have been half as serious.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If it had been a white quarterback in Vick's place, this issue would have been half as serious.
He was convicted, sentenced and served time. He's lucky he didn't get it worse by the league in terms of suspension. You're calling the league racist? I didn't see the player's association kicking up a stink about this. That should tell you something.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He was convicted, sentenced and served time. He's lucky he didn't get it worse by the league in terms of suspension. You're calling the league racist? I didn't see the player's association kicking up a stink about this. That should tell you something.
I was talking more about the media than anything else. He got what was coming, the whole process was very fair in my opinion, and now he deserves another shot.

The media labeled him as a monster and a savage. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume the Brett Favres and Tom Bradys of the world would have received the same treatment from the media.

I'm just playing Devil's advocate, that's all.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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frankly, i don't see tom brady or brett favre slaughtering dogs for their own amusement, and that has nothing to do with race.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was talking more about the media than anything else. He got what was coming, the whole process was very fair in my opinion, and now he deserves another shot.

The media labeled him as a monster and a savage. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume the Brett Favres and Tom Bradys of the world would have received the same treatment from the media.

I'm just playing Devil's advocate, that's all.
No, it had more to do so that North Americans love their pets, specifically dogs. He would've been better off actually killing an individual than a pet. (e.g., Lewis, Ray)
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Vick might be in the best shape in his life after doing nothing but pushups and working out in the prison. You never know.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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might be, but he's still probably a shitty quarterback.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No, it had more to do so that North Americans love their pets, specifically dogs. He would've been better off actually killing an individual than a pet. (e.g., Lewis, Ray)
Yeah, that could also be the case.

Now what I find even more strange is that he didn't even think anything of it. It was part of the culture where Vick came from, it was something everyone did, and he grew up doing it. He wasn't aware of the extreme social stigma associated with what he was doing, and I find that very disturbing.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, that could also be the case.

Now what I find even more strange is that he didn't even think anything of it. It was part of the culture where Vick came from, it was something everyone did, and he grew up doing it. He wasn't aware of the extreme social stigma associated with what he was doing, and I find that very disturbing.
Oh, it troubles me too, but if he uses that argument he's on an extremely slippery slope and those who defend him and use that argument are on the slame slope (not saying you at all).
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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might be, but he's still probably a shitty quarterback.
come on now....everyone seems to say this...but he really isnt that bad of a quarterback....and if goes to a team like miami, he's really gonna shine....but i doubt he goes to miami because of Bill Parcells....
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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dude, i'm a falcons fan. he's exciting (to watch run around making the line look stupid and the receivers look useless) but he's useless as an actual quarterback. he can't stay in the pocket, let alone throw out of it, and he doesn't have the IQ to see plays developing down the field. he's a running back with a strong arm and very little accuracy. i wanted him gone long before the dog saga. i'm just glad the organization has cut all ties with him.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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miami - he'd be great for the wildcat offence. i have a hard time seeing him anywhere aside from oakland, maybe. al davis is mental like that.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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dude, i'm a falcons fan. he's exciting (to watch run around making the line look stupid and the receivers look useless) but he's useless as an actual quarterback. he can't stay in the pocket, let alone throw out of it, and he doesn't have the IQ to see plays developing down the field. he's a running back with a strong arm and very little accuracy. i wanted him gone long before the dog saga. i'm just glad the organization has cut all ties with him.
i see where your coming from....but he did lead you guys to a conference finals.....he was fairly inconsistent quarterback with below average accuracy...but he could throw those those big bombs.....and he took a shitty franchise to a much higher level and made them important again....but he has a problem handling public criticism and he lets that get to him, which is bad because he plays the most difficult position in the team will all eyes on him.....and i would still take a chance at him....
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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frankly, i don't see tom brady or brett favre slaughtering dogs for their own amusement, and that has nothing to do with race.
Exactly. The media didn't make anything up and they didn't blow it out of proportion.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree wholeheartedly with this article from espn.com.

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Michael Vick, in his prepared statement about his partial reinstatement Monday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, landed the right balance of contrition, remorse and, most importantly, deference. Vick said he was grateful for being given the opportunity to resume his football career, thanking Goodell, in particular, for allowing him to play the game he loves.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League," Vick said through agent Joel Segal. "I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given.

[+] Enlarge
AP Photo/David Duprey
If nothing else, Roger Goodell's ruling on Michael Vick showed the league who's boss.
"As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward.
"Again, I want to thank the commissioner for the chance to return to the game I love and the opportunity to become an example of positive change."

For anyone interested in morality theater, Vick played his role. He had no choice.

But on this day, Goodell certainly deserves no thanks from Vick, as the commissioner did nothing compassionate or lenient or even proper. A man just spent two years in a federal penitentiary, but for Goodell -- the commissioner of a sport in which a grown man runs around with a ball until someone else tackles him to the ground -- doing real, hard time wasn't enough.

Goodell had to show how tough he is by piling on, to remind everyone who wears the pads and makes the game what it is just who the real boss is.

He accomplished much with his ruling, and let's be clear what that ruling is: It is hardly a "partial reinstatement." It is, in all likelihood, a five-game suspension. Goodell very possibly won't consider Vick for full reinstatement until well into October.

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Vick already was going to have trouble finding a team. It'll be even harder now.
But it is also more than that, for any team already hesitant about signing Vick will be even more reluctant now. It is unknown what kind of playing shape Vick is in or how much his physical skills might have eroded. As a player, he has always been an acquired taste for a team because of his nontraditional skill set, and now a team must decide whether signing a player who won't be available for at least 25 percent of the season is even worth a roster spot.
Moreover, when Goodell's "evaluation" period ends Oct. 6, the commissioner actually could extend the suspension, exacting his power upon Vick even further. There is something childish and vindictive and personal about this, and that is the secondary, more sinister element in the ruling. For all the headlines of Vick's being "reinstated," even partially, Goodell still has not said just when Vick will be eligible to appear in an NFL game, which is how players are paid. And already, Vick has been suspended from the NFL since Aug. 24, 2007.

Vick is not owed the right to play football in the National Football League, but this is hardly the issue. The first issue is power -- how much Goodell has and how he is using it.

The second is about penitence, and whether a person can ever truly pay a debt to society.

Goodell has demonstrated that he is hawkish about "personal conduct," the platform on which his commissionership has had the highest visibility through his first three years in the office. He clearly showed that he has not forgotten whatever personal breach took place when he met with Vick in 2007 after the earliest news of the illegal dogfighting operation surfaced. Goodell has never spoken about the contents of that meeting, but it has been implied for two years that Vick lied to him about the level of Vick's involvement in the scandal.

Goodell revealed something else in the Vick decision Monday: He is not the friend of the players, despite his odd statement that a ruling prohibiting Vick from playing at the start of the season somehow "gives him the best chance for success." (Who is Goodell to decide -- rather than Vick himself or the coach of one of Goodell's teams -- what the best path to success is? If he wants Vick to succeed, why prevent him from participating in 25-plus percent of the season?) If you happen to be DeMaurice Smith, the brand-new head of the NFL Players Association, the Vick suspension is an insult you should not forget, especially when it is time to negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement. If Smith didn't regard Goodell as an adversary previously, he should now.

As in every professional league, the commissioner's responsibilities lie toward one constituency: the owners. The players do not have a say in who is hired to be commissioner; nor do they have input into how long he serves. It is a popular fiction that the commissioner stands impartially to protect the integrity of the game.

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The NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith should save this ruling for a rainy collective bargaining negotiation day.
It's unclear whom or what Goodell thinks he is protecting by keeping Vick out of the game until October, but the suspension obviously benefits the owners. As long as the commissioner is empowered in the area of player conduct without some form of independent third-party appeal process, Goodell will have a cudgel that keeps the players down. And anything that reduces player power inherently strengthens the owners' position. Smith knows this.

This is not about sympathy for Vick. He does not deserve sympathy. He was not treated unfairly by the justice system. He not only bankrolled a dogfighting ring that tortured and killed animals, but was intimately involved with its daily operation. He struck at the nerve of common decency.

But unlike so many of the rich and famous and powerful who can use their advantages to escape accountability, Vick went to prison. He lost his money. It is unclear whether he even has the skills to play football after more than two years away from the game. He is already humiliated, disgraced. Of what value is Goodell's additional sanction?

So, what, in the end, is this all about? In his letter to Vick, Goodell sounded haughty and uncharitable, and perhaps his paternalistic words signaled his precise level of animus toward Vick -- that Vick wounded him, broke his trust. Vick hasn't played in a game since the 2006 season finale for Atlanta, and so has thus far served a suspension of 32 games. Defensive end Leonard Little took a woman's life -- actually killed a human being -- when he drove drunk, and he was suspended eight games. Running back Jamal Lewis was involved in selling drugs, and he served a two-game suspension.

Goodell's failure in the Vick ruling comes from trying to associate a harsh punishment with toughness. Suspending Vick further is nothing more than the latest example of false muscle, his actions suggesting that even a federal conviction and prison sentence aren't sanction enough. And now the commissioner has opened himself up to hypocrisy sure to come, for clearly the Vick suspension will serve as precedent in perpetuity for every future player infraction. Otherwise, Goodell will look small and vindictive, very much as he does today.

Goodell had an opportunity to be the bigger person Monday, but he chose to kick a fallen man one last time, for extra measure
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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frankly, i don't see tom brady or brett favre slaughtering dogs for their own amusement, and that has nothing to do with race.
doesnt Brett Favre own a ranch?
i'm guessing the cattle he slaughters doesnt really matter.
apples and oranges. whatever.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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i doubt very much he slaughters cattle for entertainment. but maybe i'm wrong...
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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i doubt very much he slaughters cattle for entertainment. but maybe i'm wrong...
he slaughters them for money.... i'm sure he gets entertainment from that, whats the difference?
100 dogs... a few thousand Cows.

its a north american thing.
if brett favre is in india he's probably executed. if Vick is in China, he opens up a food store.
everyone paints him as the bad guy, but who's really bad?
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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you know what, fuck Michael Vick.

due process, served his time, so fucking what???

As if he's a victim.

He made his bed, and he can sleep in it. I hope he gets snubbed by every team in the NBA. Should he have to go play someplace else on the planet where maybe Killing and torturing animals is ok, then fine, I'm sure there's a barbaric society somewhere.

We live in a bad world in many ways. Trust, Vick ain't coming outta prison a changed man, if anything he's got a few tattoo's he can use to show his "cred". Dude embraced and lived in his world, it is who he was and is.

This Political BS blanket people suckle on makes me wanna puke.... "oooh he paid his debts" so what. And guess what, we let his ass out of jail, EARLY. He did his political time, his moral time is not something you can measure, and I am far from alone on this one.

I don't wish ill on Vick, but he sure as fuck is not getting any sympathy on this.
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