What Will Happen To Michael Vick?
Michael Vick is an amazing athlete with remarkable talents. Unfortunately,
his involvement in the dog fighting world will probably cause him to serve some
time in prison. He will also probably be out of the National Football League for
a year or two.
I am a dog lover, and like a lot of pet enthusiasts, and I was quite disturbed by the
charges included in the lengthy indictment. Some the behaviors that were mentioned
were quite barbaric.
To his credit, Michael Vick seems to be accepting responsibility for his actions.
Prison is not a pleasant place and it won’t be fun or easy for him. He will have to
spend time, money and energy to repair his image. I suspect he will donate
money to charities and organizations that look after animals.
However, if we look down the road a bit, it is likely that Michael Vick will return
to professional football and that he will be given a second chance by the sport,
by the media and by the general public after he “pays his debt to society.”
antics. Convicted murderers are paroled all the time and given the opportunity to
start their lives over.
Many athletes who have had trouble with the law and been involved in
scandals including sex, violence and substance abuse have been reinstated in
their respective thoughts. While some become repeat offenders; others seem to
learn their lesson after one mishap.
There was a time when some people thought Marv Albert would never broadcast
another sporting event due to his sexual indiscretions. Now those behaviors are
Now, some people don’t like the idea of forgiveness. They view it as being too soft
or as being weak and they feel that people in the limelight get special treatment by the
criminal justice system.
While there is probably some truth to this idea, since wealthy people can afford
top legal representation when they get into trouble with the law. Consequently, they
may get a lighter sentence than a poorer person is apt to receive when convicted of the
Nevertheless, I think forgiveness is a useful and admirable value for a
democratic society. All of us, if we are honest, have made some mistakes in our
lives. This is part of being human.
In my view, Michael Vick will be deserving of forgiveness when he emerges from
prison and he should be given an opportunity to reclaim his life.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist in River Edge, NJ. He frequently writes on
sports and sport psychology and he has counseled many athletes. He is the founder of
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