Obama Condemns Michael Vick’s Crimes, But Supports ‘Fair Second Chance’
December 28, 2010
(ChattahBox US News)—The once disgraced former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is now wowing Philadelphia Eagles’ fans with his record-breaking rushing and passing. Tapped as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week this season after throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns, as well as rushing for 80 yards and two more touchdowns, Vick has come a long way since he served 18-months in federal prison for running a vile dogfighting operation. As a poster boy for second chances, even the President of the United States supports the willingness of the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles to give Vick a second lease on his life and career. While speaking with team owner Jeff Lurie on another matter, President Obama praised Lurie for taking a chance on Vick and giving him a “fair second chance” to contribute to society again.
Obama’s comments on Michael Vick received frenzied media attention after his call to Laurie was reported by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. But White House spokesman Bill Burton explained the purpose of the President’s call to Laurie was to commend him for using alternative energy sources in the team stadium. Obama’s remarks regarding Vick were made during the course of the conversation.
“The President did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues. He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again, said Burton.”
According to the report of SI’s Peter King, the President spoke passionately on the subject of giving prisoners a second chance after paying their debt to society.
“The president wanted to talk about two things, but the first was Michael,” Lurie told me. “He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was … passionate about it. He said it’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”
Lurie said Obama and he talked football. “He’s a real football fan,” Lurie said. “He loves his Bears. He really follows it. He knew how Michael was doing. It was really interesting to hear.”
Vick will be using his second chance again tonight in a much-anticipated rescheduled matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
Photo Source: Wikimedia/SRA Moses Ross/Public Domain.