28 July 2009

Michael Vick, Roger Goodell and the NFL

Michael Vick, former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, unlawfully participated in, and organized, savage fights between dogs, torturing and killing those dogs who performed less than victoriously. His unconscionable and unforgivable behavior should not be rewarded with resuming his career and making millions. I am boycotting the NFL and all related money makers for the entire season and I'm certain I'm not alone in feeling this way.

What Roger Goodell would like you to think is that Vick is returning with no delay. Vick is going to be allowed to practice, workout and attend team meetings. If someone picks him up, and some team probably will, he could play in his new team's final two preseason games. Goodell apparently wants all the folks that line the NFL's pockets to feel that Vick has been punished enough and the NFL isn't going to punish him more.

Vick will be "mentored" by Tony Dungy while Goodell oversees Vick's progress. Some of the parameters include no drug or alcohol use, no possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon and no owning dogs.

Hey, here's a thought, in addition to not condoning dog fighting and other blood sports, let's see the NFL add things things to take a hard line on: abusing women, drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter while drunk driving, weapons possession. There are so many more, but perhaps they can start with these.

How does the slow reentry into the NFL really look? To me, I see the public relations and spin doctors hard at work here. The new season is beginning and the NFL probably doesn't want their fan base thinking about the overpaid hoodlums, led into the arena by a convicted felon that kills his dogs. How does the NFL solve that? Keep Vick away until the fans get to see the new players and start getting that warm, fuzzy feeling from their weekly addiction.

The NFL has given the league permission to hire Vick. The question now is which team will take him? How does a football team make adding Vick to their roster look like a positive thing for the community?

If you would like to share your thoughts with Roger Goodell, here is his contact information.

Roger Goodell
Commissioner, National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017

It should be interesting to watch this story unfold. If you have thoughts about Michael Vick's return to professional sports, please share them here.

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