Let’s assume that, after today’s events, Michael Vick is released from a prison this winter as is now expected. If he is, then the hope here is that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would reinstate Vick.
And if Goodell reinstates Vick, the hope then is that would-be protesters would leave the fallen quarterback alone and go after someone who hasn’t already been sufficiently punished.
Already there are signs this could happen. At Tuesday’s hearing in Sussex, Va., there were only eight PETA protesters spotted in the crowd. Compared to the hundreds on hand at Vick’s previous public court dates, the spotlight and scrutiny has shifted. As it should.
Vick lost his job, his contract, his money, his standing, his reputation. He lost everything, and with good reason. Nobody ever should engage in the egregious acts Vick did. He embarrassed himself, his family, the Falcons, the league — too many to count. But Vick has served his time. He paid for his crime.
If and when the courts decide that Vick has been punished enough, it should be enough for everyone -– Goodell, PETA, other protesters and NFL teams.
Our country has been all about second chances. Vick deserves his.