Yes, I know Skepchick isn’t a super sporty place, and I know Michael Vick is the Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback. Bear with me.
If you didn’t know Vick plays for the Eagles, you very likely only know that in 2007 he plead guilty to crimes relating to funding a dog fighting operation he called the Bad Newz Kennels. He plead guilty, and served 21 months in prison. He paid fines, lost his job, and was deservedly torched in the court of public opinion.
His actions were reprehensible, no question. So what’s my conundrum?
He admitted his wrong-doing, accepted his punishments both fiscal and societal, and served his time. He does seem to have learned over the years how bad this behavior was. He is, I believe, finally coming around to remorse. He is, with certainty, working to prevent the same behavior again. Logically, he has done everything “the system” has asked of him during his rehabilitation, and yet more on his own. He has served his debt.
And yet I know people who curse and cringe and are disgusted each time he runs on-field for the Eagles, and say he should never work again. They are gleeful at the news that most of his thirty million dollar fortune has been used up in service of this debt. I understand their revulsion, but am confused by the logic of “he should never be allowed to work again.” And then again, I kind of get it. Because who does what he did? And if one does what he did, how do you ever trust that he’s somehow changed?
But we have a way to do that, built into our legal system. Don’t we?
Can Michael Vick be redeemed? Is time served and public rehabilitation enough? Can emotional damnation ever be absolved?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.