The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

One Last Chance


The NFL should give Michael Vick another chance to play football, but with the non-negotiable condition that if he violates the league's personal conduct policy he'll be banned for life. After all, the league has granted other players with checkered pasts and multiple offenses the right to play.

St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little, for example, killed a motorist in 1998 while driving under the influence of alcohol. Leonard pleaded guilty for involuntary manslaughter and was suspended for the first eight games of the 1999 season.

In 2004, Little was stopped for going 78 in a 55 mph zone in a St. Louis suburb. Police filed a probable cause statement saying Little had bloodshot and watery eyes, smelled of alcohol and failed three roadside sobriety tests. Little was acquitted of the DUI charge but convicted of misdemeanor speeding.

In 2000, Baltimore Ravens future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault after a fight in which two men were stabbed to death outside a night club. The charges later were dropped after Lewis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice and testified against the two others charged in the killings.

One year later, Lewis was the most valuable player in Super Bowl XXXV after the Ravens beat the New York Giants, 34-7.

Vick's transgressions were despicable, and no one is going to argue otherwise. But he's served his time in prison, thus making him eligible to make a living again.

Maybe Vick can contribute to society in a meaningful way if he makes it back to the NFL. He could, for instance, speak to impressionable youth about his mistakes and how he has learned from them. He's already reportedly told the Humane Society he wants to work with the organization to help eradicate dog fighting among urban teenagers. If that keeps one person who had thoughts about fighting dogs from participating in the bloodsport, then at least some good will have come from this sordid episode.

By Gene Wang  |  May 19, 2009; 3:55 PM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Gene Wang , Michael Vick Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Ban Vick for Life? | Next: Who Even Wants Him?


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If I was an owner, I'd offer him a one year contract at the league minimum and no signing bonus, firm, no negiotations. After the fist year, another one contract with options, still no signing bonus. If he could keep his nose clean during the two years, then maybe a longer term contract with a signing bonus.

Posted by: ahashburn | May 20, 2009 9:10 AM


You are right, thats probably what he will be offered and I bet he will be more than happy to take it.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 20, 2009 1:58 PM

People who started off by comparing Vick's actions to crimes committed by other pro athletes just don't get it. They're just not capable of realizing (probably never will) the nature of the atrocities committed by Vick against lives that could not fight back.

The author stated: "He could, for instance, speak to impressionable youth about his mistakes and how he has learned from them." What a terrible, naive idea. Vick has so far not shown a tinge of remorse for what he'd done, simply because, like those people mentioned earlier, he just doesn't get it. He still thinks that "they're just a bunch of dogs that I own."

Don't underestimate the power of people's love of other lives in addition to human lives.

Posted by: KT11 | May 20, 2009 3:10 PM

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