Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Should Michael Vick be reinstated into the NFL?

Should Michael Vick be reinstated into the NFL? On the one hand, having the
opportunity to learn from one's mistakes is an essential component of what it
means to be a human being. Sports are a wonderful arena to make mistakes and
grow from them. If Vick demonstrates that he can learn from his mistakes and
turn his life around, isn't that a positive message for youth? On the other
hand, was his behavior unforgivable? What kind of message does it send to youth
sport athletes that he is allowed to play after committing such despicable acts?
Where do we draw the line? Does this mean that Pete Rose should now be
reinstated into MLB? Is gambling a less egregious crime? Personally, I wonder
about how many mistakes Vick made along the way before he crashed. Was he ever
confronted? Was he ever benched or challenged as a youth sport athlete by
previous coaches and teachers? Or, did his talent simply prevent others from
setting limits with him? Perhaps being confronted for his less offensive
mistakes may have prevented future indiscretions. Or, is Vick a reflection of
what happens to athletes when they rise quickly to fame and wealth without the
proper support and guidance? I am curious to hear what coaches and parents think
about this question. What do we want our players and kids to understand from
this?

Richard D. Ginsburg, Ph.D.

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