T.O. and I agree: Vick shouldn’t be re-suspended

Michael Vick was suspended by the NFL on Aug. 24, 2007 and remains suspended to this day. That’s 23 months (plus three days) of a suspension that ran almost concurrent to a 20-month jail sentence (reduced from 23 months for good behavior). That is, in a word, enough.

So far as we know, Michael Vick has broken no law since he reported to Leavenworth. So far as we know, he hasn’t further violated the NFL’s code of conduct. Currently speculation holds that commissioner Roger Goodell wants to clear Vick to sign with a team and participate in training camp — but then suspend him for the first four games of the regular season. I’m not a lawyer (though I was accepted to law school 32 years ago), but that seems, to use a legalistic term …

Stupid.

It’s essentially saying, “We know you’ve paid your debt to society, but we’re afraid certain parts of society [read: PETA] will look ill upon us if we let you play on Opening Day. So we’ll tack on another month. Doesn’t matter if you’re as pure as Pat Boone from here on out. We’re docking you four games just to cover our own, er, assets.”

This isn’t to suggest Vick should be given carte blanche the rest of his NFL days. He has heaped dishonor on the league, and if he messes up again he should be treated as a repeat offender. But the league cannot assume such a mess-up will be forthcoming, nor should it rescind, then extend, his suspension just for cosmetic purposes.

Should the NFL suspend Michael Vick further?

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If Goodell wants to bar him from training camp and not clear him to play until, say, Sept. 15, that course would at least have continuity working for it. But to say, “You can play in the exhibitions but not in the first four games that count” … well, that’s not a penalty based on logic. That’s whim. That’s caprice. That’s folly.

Michael Vick did some bad things, yes. He also admitted his crimes and served his sentence. For the one and only time in my life, I agree with Terrell Owens. The overstated receiver told reporters at Bills camp Vick deserves immediate reinstatement.

Being Terrell Owens, he also overplayed his hand, telling George Smith of ESPN “the commissioner needs to go sit in jail for 23 months.” (At last check, Goodell has pleaded guilty to nothing except being NFL commish.) And in that conversation with reporters, Owens loosed an unfortunate comparison: Suspending Vick further, he said, was “almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground.”

Note to T.O.: Regarding Michael Vick, hold all animal analogies … well, forever.

162 comments Add your comment

George

July 27th, 2009
6:36 am

Mark Bradley, Attorney at Law. That does have a certain ring to it, I must admit. And I also have to admit that you and T.O. are correct on Vick – from a purely legal perspective. But this is not one of those “let bygones be bygones” situations. I suspect that absent further sanctioned punishment, Vick will nonetheless suffer the wrath of fans and the media for years to come. Finally, since everyone seems to be in a forgiving mood, put the great Pete Rose in the baseball Hall of Fame.

Mitch

July 27th, 2009
6:49 am

I agree. I think Vick needs to be allowed to resume as normal a life and NFL effort as possible. The man did the time for the crime AND has paid a huge penalty in the court of PC not to mention financial ruin. If Jamal Lewis and Ray Lewis can play in the NFL so can Vick. From what I can tell Vick did not traffic drugs or get involved in anything in which human beings were killed. He fought dogs and gambled on it. Bad stuff, but not stuff that deserves a further suspension past his already served suspension and jail time. It’s over, leave the man alone and let him rebuild his life.

dawes

July 27th, 2009
7:11 am

i think he should be ban for life

T.O.

July 27th, 2009
7:13 am

MightyQuinn

July 27th, 2009
7:16 am

Hmmmm. Wasn’t the initial suspension by the NFL “indefinite”? So wouldn’t this, in a sense, be the defining of the NFL sentence, unrelated to his jail term (which was the Fed’s and not the NFL’s) and not “piling on” to use a football metaphor? That said, if I’m the commisioner, I agree that its time to let it go, but keep Mr. Vick on a very short, uh, leash. (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

oldbird

July 27th, 2009
7:38 am

Regardless of what you may think about Vick the man, he’s served his time and should be allowed to compete for an NFL job. While I like what Goodell is doing to police the game, I think he’s starting to look small and petty for not letting this situation go. The NFL market will determine Vick’s worth and ability to find employment.

A think a large part of Vick’s problem stems from the fact that he’s not a great communicator. I suspect that’s why he never set the world afire with endorsement deals. If he can keep his stuff together and secure a back up role (Jacksonville?), then maybe we’ll get to see a few more years of the athleticism that set him apart from all others.

Come on Roger…lighten up…you’ve gotten your pound of flesh..no more suspension!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 27th, 2009
7:50 am

I can’t believe I agree with you Mark and TO. I’m scared that a cold front is moving in down south. Anyway, Vick has paid his debt and if he screws up again, he will pay again. Roger needs to not worry about PETA at this point. This is the only national issue they can hang their hats on so they are clinging to it but this case has lost all its steam with the rest of the public and a few picketters isn’t going to keep fans or sponsors away. If a protest had that much impact, then the Braves would be called the Fire or something lame by now.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 27th, 2009
7:53 am

When is the NRA going to protest on behalf of Plaxico Burress

T-Town Dawg

July 27th, 2009
7:57 am

I agree that it is time to let Vick play again, but really, who gives a rats a$$ what TO thinks? Does he really think the commish values his opinion? He has proven time and time again what an idiot he is. His opinion won’t weigh into Goodells decision on Vick.

MiltonDawg

July 27th, 2009
7:59 am

TO has his own issues to deal with…please shut up moron. I agree to give Vick another shot..but Goodell makes the decision, not some overhyped athelte. I also think PETA should keep its mouth shut as well.

NCFalconFan

July 27th, 2009
8:05 am

I am glad someone is questioning Roger Goodell. Why is everyone, players, coaches and even the media, so afraid to question him? Kudos to T.O.

Larry

July 27th, 2009
8:17 am

Had Vick been a lawyer or a stock broker, he would never again be practicing his chosen profession. He is damn lucky to be where he is. He is a psychopath whose “second chance” should consist of his being freed from restraints and find a new profession in which to ply his twisted way. His mere presence dirties an already dirty league.

Rob

July 27th, 2009
8:20 am

Put factually, he’s a poor communicator. And that will hurt him as he tries to rehabilitate his image. That said, he’s a football player, so let him play. If he messes up again, don’t let him.

old dog

July 27th, 2009
8:20 am

Terrell Owens needs to take his ear rings and use them to pin his lips together. He would still probably talk out his A–

Paddy

July 27th, 2009
8:21 am

The Commish gets to do what he wants when he wants. He has all the facts and will make a fair decision on MV. The NFLPA has done what it should do. Show support but from behind the line of battle. Smart move on their part, stay in reserve. What TO and other players say means nothing. This is not the NBA where the players run the league. You saw what happened here in ATL when players spoke out/showed out before they had all the facts, they are no longer here. When the Commish makes his move I will support his decision and will watch MV play on tv in some other uniform in some other town. The man with all the gold gets to make the rules and Goodell has all the gold.

KC

July 27th, 2009
8:24 am

If Vick was a high-ranking church official having sex with little boys, he never would have gotten to work again…. OOPS

If Vick was a President who committed war crimes, he never would have …? OOPS

If Vick admitted to sex outside his marriage, … OOPS

A crime or moral issue doesn’t always block one from returning to their previous profession. Many of capitalism types should want him reinstated and let the owners decide if they want to deal with Vick.

Mike

July 27th, 2009
8:25 am

Always interesting what TO saids. He has the talent and the onfield history to say whatever he wants. You may not like it but TO produces and that’s why he is playing and you all are not. Goodell appears to take on the role of god when it comes to MV. What else do you want the man to do, take 100 lashes like back in slavery time. Will that make you clowns happy? Whats sad is people in this country care more about some nasty dog than soldiers coming home from Iraq. Personnally I dont want an animal that licks his private parts and then tries to lick me.

Bubba

July 27th, 2009
8:32 am

Michael fulfilled his obligations as dictated by a court of law. Last time I checked, that court’s opinion takes precedence over the opinion of Roger Goodell.

Having said that, Goodell is charged with a responsibility broader in scope than what the court adjudicated. Goodell has to further the success of the NFL, while the courts don’t (rightfully) care. Yes, Michael did his time and fulfilled his obligations to the court. Yes, he has the opportunity to seek gainful employment as other law-abiding citizens do.

The right to explore opportunities, however, is not the same as the right to have every opportunity available to him. A lawyer who commits fraud, for example, and serves time does have the right to resume his legal career. He has the right to work, just not as a lawyer.

The question Goodell has to ask, then, is: Will letting Michael Vick play in the NFL negatively impact its earnings? Michael Vick doesn’t have to answer that question; Roger Goodell does. Goodell has to worry more about the NFL than he does about Michael Vick. It’s in his contract. Barrister Bradley doesn’t have to worry about that.

So, Mark, let’s see an opinion about what Goodell’s risks/rewards are when viewed from that perspective.

FalconForLife

July 27th, 2009
8:33 am

There’s alot of people in the league that’s afraid to speak their minds. T.O not one of them. Vick deserves another chance with no conditional stipulation. There’s only about 5 QB jobs that’s secure. So why couldn’t he come back as a starter?

real fan

July 27th, 2009
8:33 am

What I want to know is did he ever pay the falcons back for the bonus money he owes them ? If not Goodell should be worrying about garnishing his wages . And front load it . This man owes alot more than jail time to amend his wrongs in Atlanta . He punished the falcon franchise with his cap debt. And unfortunatly we are still paying for his actions .What does big mouth T.O.think about that I wonder ?

Fed Up

July 27th, 2009
8:33 am

As NFL athletes are already overpaid, they need to realize that participating in this sport and “earning” millions of dollars is a PRIVILEGE, not a right. As with all careers that puts one in the public eye, and pays exuberant amounts of money, there is a code of ethics to follow, and he failed miserably in that area. To gamble in a few dog fights is one thing, but to finance (on a high level) an entire ring of the dog fighting industry is another… people say he didn’t do anything harmful to humans, but the dog fighting business is linked to drugs, and the mafia and we all know people are slain in the name of all of this in the end. I think he should move on with his life, by working in an animal shelter until he can earn a social security check. I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for anyone who chooses to committ crimes when he could have had many other better things to do.. this dude tortured dogs for RECREATION he didn’t even need the money… how sick is that? Why should he go back to his “normal life” of driving bentleys, wearing enough bling to blind ray charles, and sipping on cristal all day?

Fed Up

July 27th, 2009
8:34 am

Enter your comments here

Enough

July 27th, 2009
8:34 am

Take the next buyout. For the love of God, take the next buyout.

STL Falcon

July 27th, 2009
8:38 am

I have always been a supporter of letting Vick play, but I read an article on cnnsi that to me really made a great point.

Why should Vick be allowed to play? Simply because he’s talented? There are thousands of auto-workers who are really good at thier jobs – and have done nothing wrong – who aren’t allowed to work and support their families for reasons that are 100% out of their control. Why should Vick, who lead an unrealistic life of privilege be allowed to plug back into that simply because he is good at what he does?

I realize that the above comparison is flawed, but I use it to make a point – Working is not a right. Vick isn’t entitled to play football – no one is. In fact, an exceptional minority of people ever get that opportunity – and he threw it away. Would you honestly take a roster spot from a rookie who has done nothing wrong and caressed their dream with dedication and hard work to give it to someone who had that opportunity and wasted it? What are you celebrating if you do that? What are you valuing if you do that? Redemption? – even if that redemption is at the cost of someone else’s opportunity?

Vick had his opportunity and he had more important things to do. I will be the first to say that he was a once in a generation talent, and it is a severe crime that his opportunity was wasted. That crime would be compounded though if it also took the opportunity away from someone else.

Laywer

July 27th, 2009
8:40 am

This is a Sad day, when someone loses a job for going to jail and then loses all he has for his crimes. I wish that Roger Goodell wake-up and listen, he’s an Attorney also. Michael Vick a Very high price for a simple misdeamnor,this case was about trampling one’s spirit, not for Dog fighting. Many people committ horrible craimes with much less penalties. The NFLPA is pitiful, they should be up and arms about Michael Vicks treatment. MV brought more money to the NFL than any other single player, this is why he wants his job back. If any of you get caught passing a red light or hitting you spouse, or writing a bad check do you deserve to lose your house, cars, job and unable to get another. Think before you write. MV has every Legal right to PLAY all games. He shoulf go to Europe and play and tell the NFL to kiss hiss $ss.

Laywer

July 27th, 2009
8:42 am

Enter your comments here

dawg fan

July 27th, 2009
8:45 am

Give him the same chance he gave the puppies he fed his dogs!

dawg fan

July 27th, 2009
8:46 am

Give him the same second chance he gave the puppies he fed his dogs!

MCS

July 27th, 2009
8:50 am

Mark

I agree with you and TO. Finally someone has a right to their opinion and eveyone has one, but the commis has way too much power for one person. More players need to come out and speak out on Vick behalf. NFLPA should adopt a board when making such decisions that affect another person career. Enough for one person may not be enough for another, it depends on the condition of enough. This is not about PETA either, and the commis needs to recognize, identify and inform them.

kcob95

July 27th, 2009
8:52 am

Mark,
How many times has the argument been made that football is just a game and that athletes get paid millions to play a childs game? Millions! For those hurling insults at T.O, consider this. At best, the NFLPA should be weighing in on the mere principal that the Commish can suspend a player twice for the same violation in succession without due process or violation of a leauge rule or policy. If the commish was really smart, he should have held off of the Mike Vick suspension in 2007 until now. Now he risks the wrath of the NFLPA for piling on. People fail to consider that the commish had suspended Vick for 23 months. The rules don’t state that your time begins when you get out or that the clock stops and restarts. This is why you should have more checks and balances in the process and I’m sure that the NFLPA will seek this in the next bargaining agreement.

Redemption

July 27th, 2009
8:54 am

I agree with you Mark Bradley. I believe he has served his time and should get a second chance.

A Realist

July 27th, 2009
8:58 am

It really doesn’t matter what you, T.O, or anyone else things at this point in time because there hasn’t been an NFL Team willing to take on the media circus that would surround having Vick on their team. Moot point!!!!

kcob95

July 27th, 2009
8:59 am

For those of you stating that Goodell is under no obligation and that football is a privilege-your wrong. Football is a business, with a union. Goodell has a responsibility to the NFLPA and the rights afforded under the bargaining agreement. Vick is a member of that union and has certain rights that must be abided by the commish. I’m no union member, but I recognize how bargaining agreements work. Despite the illusion that Goodell is all powerful, he must also answer to the player’s union regarding these types of matters or he will find himself and the league in court with a violation of the Labor work rules and NLRB due process charge.

What would Jesus do?

July 27th, 2009
9:00 am

Jesus said “He who is without sin cast the first stone”
Jesus also FED THE HUNGRY and HEALED THE SICK ( healthcare for all )

VICKS A RULER

July 27th, 2009
9:01 am

“Give him the same second chance he gave the puppies he fed his dogs!”

..errrrr.. no wait… THATS STUPID!

Give him the same second chance due any HUMAN BEING!

EVOLONE

July 27th, 2009
9:03 am

I think the people at PETA need a psychological evaluation. Oh yeah PETA there is an article in the AJC today about some fool $#%^&*% a dog, and the dog is now dead…………get on it PETA.

Pago Flyer

July 27th, 2009
9:03 am

Do you really think a black player would EVER say anything against a brother!?

spellcheck

July 27th, 2009
9:04 am

Hey Sid,

It’s spelled “role” model, NOT “roll” model. “Roll” is what you have with dinner or what I am sure is around your lard@ss waist. he he he

Wendy

July 27th, 2009
9:05 am

I am so fed up with how MV is being treated. His has paid for the crime. Let it go!! Him playing football has nothing to do with the dog fighting. He shouln’t have to suffer for his football carrer.

For those of you that are hating you will be the first to tune or tailgate to see him play. So don’t act like he’s not an awesome football player.

MV fan til I die.

jconservative

July 27th, 2009
9:05 am

The facts of the case are: Vick is suspended until Goodell lifts the suspension. The question before the court is: should the Commissioner lift the suspension?

Vick was not suspended for breaking the law; he was suspended for bringing “disgrace” to the NFL. And, as part of that offense, he looked both the Falcon owner & the NFL Comissioner in the eye and told them bald faced lies.

Lifting the suspension 4 games into the season really sounds like a very generous resolution. Remember, that for most the 23/24 month suspension Vick was in prison & the suspension was pointless. The jail time was for breaking Federal law. Now he has to be punished by the NFL for his actions that were detrimental to the league.

Edd

July 27th, 2009
9:09 am

He’s done his time. I hope we don’t bow down to PETA. Let him play, he is fun to watch and will put people in the stands, it’s proven !

GOD

July 27th, 2009
9:10 am

For your soul’s sake, you had better pray I am more forgiving than you.

WBK

July 27th, 2009
9:10 am

This whole controversy is based on the screaming of special interests. If peta and the other wacho organizations would be forgiving as they want the world to be as loving as they, this whole thing would be “no news”.

Vick broke the law and paid for his crime. He is not a child molester asking to own a daycare center nor is he a bank robber applying for a finance loan officer position. However, the whining special interest is trying to stop a man from earning a living at what he has trained all his life to do. Why are people listening to these perverted minds?
Vick should play and start playing the first game.

cwb

July 27th, 2009
9:14 am

Mark, you have entirely too much time on your hands if you comment on, much less read, anything T.O. says.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
9:14 am

I think you’ll be surprised how much interest there is in Vick among NFL teams. I think maybe a half-dozen teams would be willing to hire him once Goodell says, “Go ahead.”

Mister Earl

July 27th, 2009
9:16 am

Larry – are you talking about the stockbrokers who stole money on Wall Street?

Vick has done two years. What is the point of further punishment other than bitterness, resentment and jealousy?

Benjamin

July 27th, 2009
9:17 am

I always giggle when I see someone type “First!” about five comments down the line, but that’s because I’m immature like that.

Vick shouldn’t be suspended and has paid his debt to society, but Goodell does have a lot of things to consider. I’m not sure he could get away with framing a non-suspension to the groups you mentioned and still come out looking good in the eyes of a lot of special interest groups. Needless to say, I don’t envy Roger’s position on this one.

midnite

July 27th, 2009
9:17 am

No team has even requested a tryout. He is too fat and out of shape. Besides he is not going to quit smoking Marijuana. Now on to the strip clubs Ookie they need you to make it “rain”. He is a parole violation waiting to happen…just wait and see.

cgm

July 27th, 2009
9:19 am

TO made the comment, “Michael Vick is a guy that really hasn’t any character issues besides what he got a prison sentence for, so why not?”
That right there shows he does not know what he is talking about.

obamaizasocialistliar

July 27th, 2009
9:20 am

kc,you left off…IF he was a sleazy,selfcentered,unconcerning,bribe taking,scew the will of the people,vote bought politician…?OOPS!!!