In the latest New York Times article by William Rhoden, Jesse Jackson has expressed his opinion on the Michael Vick saga. Apparently he wants to know why lesser qualified QBs are being signed by teams and allowed to go to training camp while Vick is not being picked up. He then goes on about how democracy guarantees an opportunity for Vick to play or at least have a shot at playing. Then he really ruins his credibility by comparing Michael Vick’s situation to Jackie Robinson trying to play in the MLB.
After I stopped being appalled at the article I was reading I began to think yes Michael Vick, unlike others, has actually served time for what he did and lost everything in the process. I also have no issue with him being reinstated in the NFL when you have far unsavory characters being allowed to play despite their transgressions like Leonard Little who killed someone driving drunk. That being said he’s already being given an opportunity to return to an NFL team by being reinstated. However, just because he’s reinstated does not mean an NFL team is obligated to try him out of they don’t want to. The truth is Michael Vick made a great weapon for an offense but was never much of a QB. Even before he was brought down by the dogfighting, Vick was not exactly lighting it up the Falcons lost a lot of winnable games and all Vick ever did was just run from side to side and Atlanta was on the verge of missing the playoffs again. Now Atlanta has moved on from the Michael Vick experiment and drafted a QB who appears to have a future with the franchise and they managed to get into the playoffs.
If Michael Vick is to return to a team its not as a QB but more of a weapon like a kickoff returner or a wildcat option, assuming being in prison for the past two years hasn’t already eroded his skills.
This also is not a race issue because Matt Jones, the troubled former Jaguars receiver who was busted for coke isn’t also getting any work either. Why? because no team wants him he has too many issues and doesn’t produce enough for a team to look at him much like Vick. If Vick could produce to the point where teams need him to win they’d sign him. The NFL is a bottom-line business if Vick was the best option they’d sign him but he’s been removed from the NFL in two years and honestly at this point he’s radioactive.
Most importantly this is NOTHING I repeat NOTHING like Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson lived in a different era where black men couldn’t play professional sports and if they did they were treated like complete lepers. Sure there’s still racism in our society but Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and had done nothing to garner the hatred directed at him. Michael Vick’s situation is self-inflicted he CHOSE to run an interstate dogfighting ring for years, he CHOSE to lie to Arthur Blank and Roger Goodell, the bottom line is what Vick is dealing with now is the consequences of the bad CHOICES he’s made.
I have no issue with Michael Vick playing in the NFL again but lets not make this a civil rights issue because it is not and its a complete insult to Jackie Robinson and others of that movement to even say it is.