Michael Vick appeared last night on the CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes, three days after signing a two-year contract with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles to resume his football career.
It was Vick’s first interview since he spent a year-and-a-half behind bars for unlawfully running a Virginia-based dog fighting operation, “Bad Newz Kennels,” from which authorities in 2007 rescued some 66 dogs and unearthed the remains of eight more.
“It was wrong,” said Vick, acknowledging the inhumane treatment the canines suffered at his kennel. “I could’ve put a stop to it. I could’ve walked away. I could’ve shut the whole operation down.”
Because he didn’t, Vick feels he got the punishment he deserved. Not only his prison sentence. But also the loss of the $135 million contract the quarterback inked with his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, just prior to his conviction.
I came away from the 60 Minutes interview with the impression that Vick is genuinely repentant of his crimes. And I, for one, believe the 29-year-old deserves a chance to redeem himself. For I am reminded of the biblical scripture that promises the truly repentant, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
Of course, many others are not nearly so forgiving.
Like the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed,” the group stated, “that the Philadelphia Eagles have chosen to sign a man who hanged dogs from trees, electrocuted them with jumper cables, held them underwater until they drowned in his swimming pool, and even threw his own family dogs into the fighting pit to be torn to shreds while he laughed.”
I agree wholeheartedly with PETA that Vick’s actions were absolutely reprehensible. But I also think they should be put in perspective.
We live in a nation where as many as 1.8 million unborn babies are put to the slaughter every year. Yet, the hospitals and clinics in which those inhumane abortions take place continue to operate with impunity. And the doctors that are guilty of infanticide never face criminal charges.
If the American people can overlook the slaughter of the unborn at the hands of unrepentant abortion doctors, they hardly should begrudge the repentant Michael Vick the post-conviction resumption of his NFL career.