The Washington Times-Herald

March 14, 2013

Vick still seeking forgiveness

Glade's Games

By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Animal lovers, specifically dog lover still hate Michael Vick, and that shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone. Earlier this week Vick's book tour was cancelled in lieu of threats against the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback for his felony conviction in 2007 for bankrolling a dogfighting ring.

Vick was scheduled to sign copies of his new autobiography, "Finally Free" at Barnes & Noble locations in Atlanta, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Violent threats against Vick halted these signings, a sign that the public at large is still not ready to forgive Vick and probably will never forgive him.

The sports world and a majority of society have forgiven Vick for all of his crimes as he excelled on the football field with the Eagles in 2010, which earned him his second $100 million contract of his career.

Forgiveness for those in the public eye is not difficult to attain.

Vick and his handlers didn't do themselves any favors while choosing the title of his book. Now he's free? Was he not free when he was paid a combined $32.5 million while leading Philadelphia to two consecutive disappointing seasons?

Vick served his time (18 months in federal prison) and now he should be allowed to move on with his life in society's eyes. Not so fast.

Forgiveness, in my humble opinion, is something that should be attained through years of good behavior, not half a decade of just following the rules of your parole. Vick is just like any other paroled felon, except for the fact that he seems to get a pass for his crimes, because he can run 40 yards in less than 4.5 seconds, and he can throw a football 60 yards flat footed.

He helped perpetuate a myth that pitbulls are dangerous animals, something he hasn't addressed. The community service has been a nice step in educating the youth of this country about dogfighting, but there is so much more he needs to do to atone for his mistakes.

The cities of Denver and Miami still have a breed ban on pitbulls, due to misguided information. Not many people have more information about the personalities of these innocent animals than Vick himself. If he's truly contrite he should be motivated to not only end dogfighting across the country, but also end the prejudice against pitbulls.

What Vick and his supporters don't seem to understand is that some acts are just unforgivable. There isn't any form of rehabilitation to his image that he can perform that will completely erase the memory of the numerous dog corpses removed from his property in Virginia or the reprehensible details of how Vick and his associates went about murdering these innocent animals.

Vick will never change the minds of people like me, but if he's truly dedicated to putting an end to dogfighting, his work has just begun.