My Turn, Your Turn: Michael Vick's return to the NFL

By Gary McNair - bio|email

I've never much cared for Michael Vick.  My feelings go back to his college days when he played at Virginia Tech. I am West Virginia fan - so that made it easy to dislike any Hokie - especially the quarterback.    But Vick made it even easier.  He was arrogant, a cocky "in-your-face" kind of guy.  He acted like a thug.

So I wasn't at all shocked, when several years later, as an NFL player, he was arrested for dog fighting.

By now everyone knows that Michael Vick is out of prison and has signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, and I am okay with that.  He has served his time.  Why shouldn't he be allowed to go back to work?  After all, playing football is his job.

I don't know whether this experience has caused him to change his attitude.  It really doesn't matter.  Most of us have been given second chances at one time or another, and that's the thing.  If you believe in second chances, you have to support them - even when they're given to someone you can't stand.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed response from viewers:

You raised an interesting point in your commentary--that everyone should be given a second chance.

Why has NO one suggested (demanded, rightfully) that Vick give a part of his BIG salary to such concerns as ASPCA, the Humane Society or PETA?


We as a society have reached an all time low in allowing the Michael Vicks of the world to be allowed not only a second chance but a large paycheck too. Forgiveness has its limits. 66 innocent dogs suffered and died at the hands of someone who is a "good ball player". Surely "good ball players"can be found that are an example of kindness, not cruelty. All I can picture with all the tv coverage of Michael Vick's football training is not a "good ball player", but a wanna-be athlete shooting, electrocuting, and torturing innocent dogs. Michael Vick is making a fool out of people and laughting all the way to the bank. How low have we sunk, and how much more will we  tolerate?


To date I have always respected your opinion even if I didn't agree (most of the time I am in agreement).

I would like to share my thoughts on Michael Vick's "second chance". First and foremost, what is our children to think when a sports idol is allowed to return to his former job

after committing these hideous crimes.

I am not a football fan, however I recognize many of our youth idolize these players. I sure wish that we could give the players worthy of our childrens admiration the same air tme.

I am so sorry that Vicks dogs didn't have a chance at all.


Pete Rose was not given a second chance.


As co-chair of the Coastal Carolina Hokies, a dog lover, and a football fan I've paid pretty close attention to this story.  It was horrible to hear about Michael Vick's dogfighting crimes.  After his brother, Marcus, had been in so much trouble over the years with women, drinking, drugs, and poor sportsmanship, most of us at VT came to expect that from him...but not from Michael.

I supported his incarceration when he admitted to his crimes and I was not surprised when the NFL imposed their own punitive actions.  But as disappointed as I was with Michael for his awful treatment of those animals, I was forced to accept and respect his behavior after light was shed on the operation.  His repentance never lapsed and his apologies always seemed genuine.  He blamed no one and nothing else for his actions and accepted full responsibility -- as he well should have.

I guess that you could say that after doing so much wrong, he did everything else right.  For that, I say, he deserves the chance to earn back the trust of Hokies, animal lovers, football fans, and all those who once respected the number 7.


You sincerely believe a man who electrocuted and then bashed the head in of a living creature would deserve another chance if they worked for Raycom Media? They grabbed up neighborhood dogs and threw them in against vicious attack dogs to 'sharpen their claws', and laughed about it as they killed them. If Vick and crew did that to MY dog, well, what I did in response certainly wouldn't be acceptable at Raycom, or any other business...


He can't do enough time to amend for what he did to those dogs.


I agree, he should be given a second chance, as he has served his time. If he messes up again, that will definitely be the end of any football career for him. I am a VT grad, but I did not care for Vick since he let the University and his teammates down when he went Pro too early. It was all about the money to him. He is a great talent, and let's hope he has learned his lesson in life.


I dont think he should be allowed to just walk right back into his career after what he did everyone else has to pay for what they did I have a friend that did drugs he cant go back now into his job like he did cause of his crimes so ...I think he should have to pay just like everyone else.


Michael Vick doesn't "deserve" a second chance, he EARNED a second chance by first doing what the law of the land said he had to do to fulfill his obligation to the court system.  He then did everything his employer said he had to do in order to gain reinstatement.  By the logic of the detractors, nobody who has committed a crime that, when judged within the detractors' own moral framework and not the laws of the U.S., doesn't ever get to work again?  Why bother putting them in jail then?  No sense in rehabilitating them, they're gonna be unemployed immediately and forever after their release anyway.  Unemployment would cost taxpayers about ¼ of what prison costs us per capita of inmates.  Stick 'em on unemployment, not in jail, and save taxpayers billions of dollars.  Apply those billions to the ASPCA/Humane Society or any other localized morality bank deemed worthy by these holier-than-thous.  The opinion of no second chance across the board is an uninformed and ignorant separatists view....


I believe people who make mistakes and repent, and/or serve out their sentences should have a second chance, also.  However, what about the case of Pete Rose? Who determines what crime is worse and who should be banned for life?

Also, if Michael Vick had not been caught, do you think he would have voluntarily given up his horrific dog fighting venues?

He may have changed, but in my opinion, Commissioners and upper management in every sports area need to take a good hard look at the infractions occurring, seemingly on a regular basis - weapons charges, DWI's, illegal substances and abuse of those substances, etc. More stringent penalties are needed to fit the crimes, in the sports arena.  After all, these sports figures (and this is not to say all sports figures are bad - there are many who do very good things) are supposed role models for our upcoming youth.


I think you might have your Vick brothers miked up.  Michael never was in trouble while at VT and was, by all reports, a model citizen.  His brother, Marcus, was a punk!  Arrogant and all of the things you described.  I understand being a WVU fan, it's hard to accept a Hokie!  As a Hokie fan, Mountaineers are questionable, too!  Despite that, I think that Michael (MV1) deserves a second chance, but only 1.  Tony Dungee is one of the most standup guys in football, and he feels he has changed.  Hope he's right.


Just a thought.  If we can forgive Michael Vick for what he did why can't we forgive

Pete Rose and put him in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Who did worse????

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