Michael Vick, society's debt, and the "right" to work in the NFL

Check and mate.

There’s a bit of a stigma associated, quite deservedly, with an ex-con when looking for a job. It's not directly an intended consequence, but necessary to be somewhat of a deterrent to entrepreneurs out there contemplating starting up an interstate crime syndicate, which is something I strongly believe Mr. Vick would still be Godfather of today had he not been caught with his hand in the biscuit jar.

Under the same umbrella of the pro-Vick whine-fest are equally annoying terms like “paid his debt” and “second chances."

“He paid his debt so leave him alone.”

I’m sorry, are we talking about a parking ticket?  Is there a dot-gov website where I can peruse crimes vs. price to decide if one meshes with my budget and then proceed with chosen shenanigans?

He paid his debt perhaps according to you, and the judge. I disagree. That’s my right. This isn’t a transaction.

Second chances? That’s easy. He got out of prison. That’s his second chance. The privilege (not the right) of making gobs of gazillions to play a game should have been on the chopping block.

Organizations with an image to protect have the right, if not the obligation according to some, to exercise the option of keeping a company as felon-free as possible, and that decision should be respected and not admonished.

The NFL and the Eagles saw it differently; it’s their right.

Me?  I’m just looking forward to the circus. No doubt, dog-lovers and dog-murderers alike will crowd the city of brotherly shove in full force to voice their opinions on TV and online in a cataclysmic distraction that will keep Phily out of the playoffs this year. Bank on it! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer town.

Michael Vick (perhaps you've heard of him) has been officially reinstated by the NFL and is now currently a proud member of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Reactions from the sporting community have ranged from “Congratulations!” to “Throw him in a cage full of pit bulls with Steakum-scented Underoos." Ah, freedom of expression. As a half-assed journalist I consider it one of my favorite rights. Over time, unfortunately, the term rights has devolved into a virtually unrecognizable four-letter word uttered by way too many ignorant nincompoops who use it where it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, exist.

A quote-collage as I would call it of sports analysts, bloggers and various know-it-alls compelled to comment on any and all online articles has boiled down to essentially this: He has a ‘right’ to an opportunity to play again in the NFL.

He does?  Who says?  You?  The Constitution?  Barack?  Buddha? Where is this coming from?

I’ll meet you half-way.  Vick has a right to ask for his job back.  Just like the decision-makers of this privately owned company had the right to say, “Yeah, no.”

Let’s thrust out of the hundred-million-dollar orbit of the NFL universe a second and break it down into real-world terms everyday schleps like you and I can identify with.  How many of us feel that it would be perfectly okey-dokie to demand that our boss keep a spot open for when we get released from federal prison, hmmm? 

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