Michael Vick: A True Role Model?


Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

We are coming to the end of another era in Philadelphia,  a very mediocre one at that. New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 upon being released from jail hoping to start a new and escape what was less than joyful experience  in Atlanta. With such a surplus of great things he did for the Falcons it would eventually start a downfall that would consume his life on and off the field. From being known as the greatest running yet strong armed Quarterback in NFL history to being acknowledged as a criminal who would never be forgiven (in most eyes), it can easily be said that Vick has been through it all.

It is now 2014 and he has done nothing negative nor close to controversial, and the talks of what happened seven years ago are being brought up again. This can branch from an abundance of things; with him being in the news, have people once again found the lust to ruin his image? Or maybe people just love finding reasons to make fun of the Jets (Which is arguably one of the most humorous things to all football fans), but I’m finding it hard to listen to all this negativity being spewed towards Vick’s way. Does he have a questionable past? Yes, but I’ll use the oldest trick in the book ‘Put yourself in his shoes.’

Michael Vick is from Newport News a fairly small town in Virginia where nearly every major crime category is higher than the National average. His family is no secret, with his brother throwing his career away, Michael is in a sense the only one to make it out of his town and start a wealthy life for himself, and how could you not with his talent? You could say “So why would he ruin such a great life by carrying out on all the things he got away from?” Well the same could be said for a majority of athletes who have gotten themselves in trouble, a good recent example being former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Through all of the murders, rapes, and just crimes overall that have been carried out in the NFL, I personally am revolted at the fact that people can forgive players for all those things, but not forgive what Vick did. By being forgiven you obviously must earn it and ever since the Eagles gave Vick another chance at life he has done nothing less than that. In no way am I saying there is an excuse for what he did, but if it happened to you wouldn’t you want another chance at everything you worked for to that point?

I’m writing this to reach out to everyone and ask that you see this in a different perspective and think, forget about your initial thoughts on Vick as a person for just a moment. In a country where so many kids and also adults find themselves getting in trouble, shouldn’t they have someone like Michael Vick to look up to? You must realize not everyone is a saint. In the MLB with the likes of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, the NFL with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, or the NBA with Miami Heat point guard Dwayne Wade. Not everyone can be those perfect characters for our society to look up to, and especially not with those who have aspirations to be a professional athlete. So for the ones that lets say didn’t get out to a favorable start in life, Michael Vick shows them that they can rebound from anything and better themselves and their lives. Your thoughts on this will be influenced mainly by if you’re the type to give people a 2nd chance. In my opinion everyone should, and Michael has made the most of his whether you dislike his past or not.

Showing people and most importantly ourselves that we can in fact have such resilience after a distressing event is an achievement that makes all of us happy when accomplished. It may not be as sizable as the likes of Michael Vick, but its in the same perspective. Everyone will have their own opinion on this article, but its something to think about. Everyone views Michael in a different way, and as far as I know I’m the only one to see it like this. I see Vick as the perfect Role Model. Life throws so many obstacles your way, how you take them is up to you and how you come back from your action is up to you as well. If he can make it out of his rut and be a new revitalized person why cant we?