My blood has been boiling for the past two weeks because the NFL chose to honor Michael Vick as a legend captain of the Pro Bowl. Some say that time heals all wounds and people can learn from their mistakes. However, I do not believe that those sentiments mean that we should forgive Michael Vick.
I believe in the power of second (and occasionally third and fourth) chances. I believe that everyone has the power to change into better people. But Michael Vick participated in animal cruelty. Therefore, I agree with all of the animal activists who signed an online petition to remove Michael Vick from the Pro Bowl honor.
Michael didn’t just run a dogfighting ring. He also brutally tortured, disfigured, and killed many dogs—some with his bare hands. Worse still, he killed his family dog in front of his own children to teach them a lesson. If you want to know the full extent of Vick’s heinous behavior, Google him. You’ll not only read about his terrible actions, but also to see photos that will haunt your dreams.
As an animal lover, I can’t forgive Michael for killing innocent dogs. When accidentally trip over my dog, I cook him a steak as an apology. The thought that people are actually defending Vick baffles me.
To those who say that Michael Vick “served his time” or claims that the animals he harmed are “just dogs,” think of your own pets. Michael didn’t spend a single day in jail for slamming a dog into the ground several times. He didn’t receive any punishment for breaking the dog’s neck or for executing helpless dogs who didn’t perform well. To put his crimes in perspective, in 2009, he did spend seventeen months in jail for racketeering. However, that misdeed killed no one.
A soul is a soul. A crime is a crime. Blood is blood. If Vick were your average, everyday person, everyone would say that he should person should rot in jail or worse. So why is a football player who did such heinous things an exception?
But the real problem here is that the NFL still put him on a pedestal for the Pro Bowl, even though his actions are horrific. The NFL needs to choose a far more deserving player to captain the Pro Bowl.
Children look up to the NFL’s athletes. Therefore, the players’ actions off the field are just as important as how each player plays. So many NFL athletes deserve to captain the Pro Bowl far more than Michael Vicks does. Why not give them the opportunity instead?
Cam Heyward is the gift that keeps on giving to the city of Pittsburgh because he does so much charity work and has been nominated for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award every year for several years running. Drew Brees literally brought the city of New Orleans back to life after Hurricane Katrina, and he does lots of charity work with children. And even though a tragic accident ended Ryan Shazier’s career, he’s a resilient role model who deserves our respect.
In the NFL, there are currently 32 teams with 53 players each. That’s 1,696 current players, not to mention all of the NFL alums who’ve shown great sportsmanship and benefited the world as a whole. There are countless other players who don’t have a single bad mark on their records, so why pick Michael Vick, a known animal abuser?
I believe in second chances. I believe that people can change. And I believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion. But when the NFL picked Michael Vick to serve as a legends captain at the Pro Bowl, they chose to honor a disgusting human being whose vile actions took so many innocent lives. The NFL needs to choose a different captain. The NFL needs to do better.
Feature Image via Instagram