Michael Vick's reemergence as an NFL star is cause for excitement among many football fans, including, apparently, President Obama. The President reportedly called Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to commend the team’s acceptance of Vick shortly after his release from prison on brutal dog fighting charges, thanking him for giving the once-shunned quarterback a second chance to redeem himself.
Since word got out about Obama’s praise for Vick and the Eagles, bloggers have been both seconding and condemning the President’s emotion.
- Does Michael Vick Deserve Admiration? Blogger Ann Althouse questions the significance of Michael Vick’s comeback and whether praising the convicted animal abuser of a successful return to football is necessary. "How inspiring is the return of Michael Vick," she wonders. "Will it hearten those who are attempting to return to society after serving time and make the rest of us more likely to welcome them back? Or will it make us more likely to think cynically that the the rich and famous get special exceptions from the rules? Does Michael Vick make the field look more level or less level?"
- Would An Untalented Person Be Forgiven? Allahpundit at Hotair is not impressed by Vick’s redemption and regards it as another instance of a misguided talent being forgiven because of their ability to make money. He sarcastically writes:
Hey, every man deserves a second chance. Especially, I guess, if that man happens to be an MVP-caliber quarterback capable of generating untold millions in revenue for his franchise. On that note, my congratulations to America’s professional boxing associations for giving Mike Tyson a second chance after that rape conviction, and to every record company ever for retaining multiplatinum bands whose members have been busted for drugs. Truly, behavior this selfless deserves a personal phone call from the president of the United States.
- How Did Vick Become the Victim? Commentary Magazine’s Jonathan S. Toobin notes that some Vick supporters see the quarterback as "a victim of prejudice against African-Americans who have served time in prison," and suggests that by endorsing Vick, the President is, in fact, endorsing is argument.
It's hard to fathom how an understandable revulsion against a person who personally tortured and killed dogs can be twisted into being a form of racism. But in a liberal media culture where even the most villainous behavior can be rationalized by turning it into an issue of race, I suppose it was inevitable that Vick, rather than the dogs he murdered, would become the victim of the story.
- Vick is Not The First Convicted Athlete Jack Stuef at Wonkette responds to a reader’s link to an article calling Vick a "serial dog murderer" by questioning the public's strong interest in the football player's cruelty toward animals as opposed to the typical indifference shown for other athlete's crimes. "President Obama is right. People who have paid their debt to society should get a level playing field," writes Stuef. "And that field is a pro football field, where ex-cons get paid millions of dollars to play a children's game 16 days a year."
- Not a Wise Move for Obama Although, blogger Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit supports Michael Vick’s return to the NFL, he points out that by taking a definitive position on the issue, the President has now opened himself up to criticism if Vick falls back into his old ways. "Obama better hope that Vick keeps his nose out of trouble. ... At least for another two years," Hoft suggests. "For the record, I like watching Vick play football. But was it a good idea for the president to insert himself into this controversy?...No."
- Positive Reinforcement Writing for the NBC Sports blog Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio agrees with Obama's support for Vick and hopes he will be motivated to stay on track and live up to the President’s expectations. "In our view, Obama's gesture also provides Vick with the kind of positive reinforcement that will help keep him out of any trouble during the 2011 offseason, once he is left to his own devices."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.