don’t hate, participate. the michael vick saga
unless you are the world’s #1 sports hater (and you have the uncanny skill of dodging any sports news that comes your way), you have heard the name Michael Vick and know that this NFL quarterback spent the past 2 years in jail because of his involvement in a dog-fighting ring and the subsequent inhumane treatment of the animals. in a country like Korea, this is fine–especially since dogs are eaten with a side of kimchi and rice (i never tried this and i never will). in this mighty country of the United States however, this is completely unacceptable, despicable and reprehensible. jail time deserved.
Michael Vick was recently released from prison and announced that he would be attempting a comeback to the NFL with the conditional blessing of NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. after much controversy and mixed feelings around the country about this reinstatement, Vick recently inked a new contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and thus the comeback trail begins.
many people at this present time are protesting the return of Michael Vick. the animal rights people feel that Vick should pretty much be shipped off to the moon, the hardcore Eagles fans are furious that their beloved team would make such a “stupid” move, and NFL people are hating the surge of press and distractions Vick is creating on the eve of the new season.
i’ve been watching Sports Center the past couple days and even in the midst of so much controversy, what I’m seeing is actually quite beautiful and inspiring. let me outline some of the themes I’m seeing out of the events of this past week:
- Humility, confidence, and a team-first mentality has been demonstrated by Donovan McNabb, the Eagle’s current quarterback. The reports are saying that McNabb had been lobbying hard to bring Michael Vick to his team, which could be viewed honorable at best in a normal situation. However, Vick plays the same EXACT position that McNabb plays and one would wonder, isn’t McNabb concerned about losing his job some day? The threat is there but it seems like McNabb has put the needs of his team first before his own job security. He recognizes that a man of Vick’s talents could be a valuable (however risky) asset to a championship contending team. It takes a special kind of leader to do what McNabb has done and it shows great humility and selflessness.
- Who can deny a broken heart and a contrite spirit? Michael Vick has publicly apologized and acknowledged his wrong-doing. He has paid his debt to society and longs for redemption. Why in the world are the haters insisting on denying Michael Vick the chance to rebuild his life? Not only is Michael grateful for the opportunity but he has stated that he is looking forward to learning from Donovan McNabb and coach Andy Reid. Not only is Vick sorry, he is also submitting himself to the authority and tutelage of those ahead of him, knowing fully well that he is not entitled to anything.
- Grace is a beautiful thing and if you don’t agree, you haven’t experienced it in its fullness. The Philadelphia Eagles don’t NEED Michael Vick. It makes no sense to forgive and bring a controversial figure into an otherwise peaceful locker room. At this point, the risk is greater than the potential return. The animal rights people and haters will protest all they want, but after Vick signed that contract, for better or for worse he became the Eagle’s guy. I find this part of the saga inspiring and oddly familiar…
UNDESERVED GRACE. overlooked plotline of this Michael Vick chapter and it happens to be the story of my life. Michael Vick will continue to make mistakes and fail those who choose to believe in a new and better man. So will I.
I continue to learn that it’s never about my shortcomings and never about becoming “mistake-free”. I didn’t kill dogs but I have yelled at my wife. I didn’t lie to a federal judge, but I have been untruthful in “lesser” matters to those closest to me. I never engaged in torture or cruelty but I have contemplated murder upon the jerk on the freeway…
we are all messed up. many of us have experienced undeserved grace. it’s time we let Michael Vick have his chance. don’t hate, participate… and show a little grace.