|Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick (#7) in September 2009.|
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon/WikiCommons
I understand the contempt many people, especially dog lovers, still hold for Michael Vick. I, too, am a dog lover and was shocked and dismayed by Vick’s crime. Vick was convicted, served time, has come out of prison and done volunteer work- beyond what the court ordered- to educate young people about his mistakes so they could avoid them. In my book, he has– and is– paying his debt.
In a recent interview with NBC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo, Vick-- when asked-- admitted that he would like to one day own a dog again. He told Schiavocampo that he felt it would be good for his rehabilitation. (Watch the interview.)
His response appeared spontaneous and sincere. Despite that, many people--including popular commentator Roland Martin-- feel Vick should keep those thoughts to himself. "This is NOT the time for @MikeVick to talk about wanting a dog," Martin wrote to me on Twitter. "When you're walking a fine line, don't open a door for your critics. Keep it moving forward."
Judging redemption and having the ability to forgive can be difficult for many people. As much as I detest what Vick did to the dogs he previously owned, I am willing to allow him to continue proving his redemption. Often, actions speak louder than words. It’s one thing to get up in front of an audience of people and talk about his transgressions, how much he regrets them, and hope nobody else will do what he did. It’s another thing– more powerful in my mind– if he can show his rehabilitation and redemption.
I say let him adopt a dog and– under supervision of the court and the Humane Society– be allowed to show the world that he is truly a changed man. The only restriction I would place on this is that the dog cannot be from the list of breeds historically developed for fighting.
What do you think? Chime-In!