By Gregory Moore
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote Michael Vick a letter and in that letter was an opportunity to come back to the NFL.
But the letter also had a lot of caveats in it that let Vick know that this is his last chance and that Goodell is watching to see whether the former NFL star can get his life back on track.
In the letter Goodell said, “My decision at that time will be based on reports from outside professionals, your probation officer, and others charged with supervising your activities, the quality of your work outside football, the absence of any further adverse involvement in law enforcement, and other concrete actions that you take that are consistent with your representations to me.”
In other words a full reinstatement back into the league is based off of the actions Vick shows from this point out.
Now many may not like Goodell’s ruling and I am sure that many are thinking this is just piling on a man who served time for dog fighting.
What still perturbs me is that there is this segment in society who thinks that is all Vick did and it doesn’t dawn on them that Michael Vick did some real “gangsta” stuff; you know, Mafioso type stuff in bank rolling an illegal enterprise. That’s what his 23 month sentence was about (for the umpteenth time folks, the Commonwealth of Virginia suspended their EIGHT YEAR sentence on cruelty to animals charge; that’s the dog fighting charges you screaming about).
See my problem with this society perception that Michael Vick deserves a second chance thing is that there are people who think he is entitled to that second chance; that he has a right to play in the NFL.
No. He doesn’t have a right to play professional sports.
He doesn’t have a right to a job.
There is not a single law on anybody’s state or federal statute that says everybody in this county is guaranteed a job.
You have a right to happiness, to equal protection under the law, but a right to work?
Sorry that’s not in the Constitution.
But Goodell is giving Vick an opportunity to come back to an occupation that he is good at but he has to abide by the laws that are governed by the league.
Ironically these are the same laws that Vick broke in the first place.
Which brings us to this episode in sports annals should be seen as a life lesson to everyone who cares about this issue.
What Goodell has done was given a young man one last chance to live a dream.
How Vick responds to the opportunity is the key to whether he can put his past behind him or whether it will continue to be a part of his life.
Vick’s dream was always in his control; just like the other 3,500 players’ dreams are their own.
He is an employee of the NFL and it is the NFL that gives him his paycheck.
Fans of Vick need to understand that reality and quit thinking that teams hire and fire and have final say.
They are franchises (and not to be mean but if you don’t know what that word means, look it up) and they are beholden to the guidelines of the franchisor; the NFL.
The commissioner is the CEO of the league if you will and the owners are the board of directors.
Ultimately his decisions become law.
That may not seem fair but in the business world and the real world that’s how life is played out and that is the way it needs to be.
And so Vick now must go through the pain of being picked last like in some pick up game on a school yard.
Remember three years ago he had his dream in his hand and he pissed it away.
He was the master of his destiny and his future.
Today somebody else is calling the shots.
But that is what happens when you squander an opportunity like Vick had.
That is why this should be a life lesson and not looked at as somebody holding somebody else back.
Working and enjoying your work is a privilege that very few people get in the world.
When you are enjoying your successes, you should not be squandering those chances to increase wealth or status.
You shouldn’t be trying to still kick it with the homies if the homies aren’t doing the same thing you’re doing.
In real talk folks that means if your home boys are still sitting on the corner stoop and bumming rides while you’re passing them by in your Bentley, you need to cut them loose and quick.
They won’t change and you can’t help them.
That was Vick’s downfall to his financial ruination.
But that happened to MC Hammer too and Hammer bounced back.
That means that if Vick really wants this second chance, he’s going to do everything that Goodell and others ask and he is going to bounce back.
Personally that is what I want him to do; bounce back in life.
Playing football is one thing but Vick can not only learn from his mistakes, he could become the teacher and show others why it is not the right way to go when you get in the league.
He could parlay this ‘loss’ into a huge gain.
In life, when you are able to do just that, that is when you have learned the lesson in front of you.
Let’s all learn from this lesson and see why it is important to cherish the opportunities given and not squander the chances that are put before us.
Good luck Mike. I really am rooting for you to succeed in life; not just in football.