Michael Vick

March 10, 2010 | Paul Hoke

Let me start this by saying that I don’t like Michael Vick. I didn’t like him before the dog fighting scandal broke, and I don’t like him now. I thought he was a thug, I don’t think he’s a good guy, and he’s not a guy that I want my 9-year old to cheer for. The dog fighting thing just convinced me that my instincts about him were correct. And I’m so tired of hearing “he’s a product of his environment.” Give me a break. Many of us grew up in bad environments and we didn’t turn into turds. I’m an East Baltimore kid who is a product of the Baltimore City Public School System….I’m not impressed with Vick. I don’t like the fact that he was allowed back in the NFL, and if I had my way, he would be banned for life. I’m a dog lover, and my 8 year old German Sheppard may just be the best dog I’ve ever had, and that’s including the dog my parents got us when I was 5. She died right after I turned 22. So there’s a lot of things for me to dislike about Vick. But there’s something that I realize, that most people can’t get past….my opinion doesn’t matter. Whether I think Vick is a creep or not has no bearing on anything that happens to him. We’ve become a society that is obsessed with our opinions mattering in everything. A self-centered, self-absorbed world that figuratively stands on a chair and shouts, much like a 5 year old would, “you’re going to listen to me!”

It’s just not the case, life isn’t like that. And there is one more thing that I, as a capable thinking human adult, have to do. If I’m going to condemn and chastise Michael Vick for his past transgressions, then I have to acknowledge that ever since he paid his debt, and continues to pay his debt, to society, the man has been a model citizen. And as much as I don’t like the guy, I have to give him credit for that.

For all the people who say that, “it’s too soon”, or “his sentence wasn’t long enough”, I say this…Michael Vick had nothing to do with all that. Not only that, as Drew has stated, what is an appropriate amount of time? I think 23 months in prison is a considerable amount of time. Anyone who has ever spent any time in a detention facility or prison can tell you that it’s as close to a Hell on Earth as we get. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced for his crimes in accordance with the laws that are in place. Period. At every turn, Vick has done everything that has been asked of him, and in some cases, more. And I give him all the credit in the world for that. I still don’t like him, but the man has paid his debt, and we all need to leave him alone, and move on.