Time Served: Does Vick Deserve Forgiveness

Jerry Gallagher

Some people say whether an individual deserves a second chance depends on what that individual has done in life.

People who have been abused or done wrong deserve a chance at a new life, but whether the individuals who do the abusing deserve the same opportunities to change their lives for the better is a question with different answers.

After serving 23 months in jail for charges relating to dogfighting and animal cruelty, Michael Vick was reinstated in the NFL by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, and the Eagles recently extended his contract by six years.

His new contract allows Vick to earn up to $100 million over the next six years. This turnaround has been criticized by many because of the nature of his crimes.

“It is hard to talk about second chances for a guy who hung dogs from trees and saw to their execution in all sorts of violent ways, including shooting and electrocution,” Nicole Dao, a representative of PETA, said. “Those dogs never got a second chance … As long as he’s not hanging dogs from trees anymore, we won’t protest a move like this.”

Vick’s success with the Eagles this past year has been hard to watch for those who fought against him.

On the other hand, some forgives him for what he did.

“The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) believes in second chances and understands that Michael Vick did his time,” Rebecca McNeill, manager of Media & Communications for the ASPCA, said.

McNeill went on to say that she believes Vick should donate a large amount of his salary to animal welfare organizations to further show his remorse.

Michael Vick has served the debt, which the judicial system decided was acceptable, to pay for his crimes. He has asked for forgiveness in countless statements in court and in press conferences regarding the matter.

Mohandas Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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