Michael Vick: Let the man live

I was confused when I read that according to Neilsen and E-Poll Market Reseach that 60 percent of random Americans admit that they dislike Michael Vick, the most of all NFL players. Spots below him with a less than majority number at 49 percent, there he was, Ben Roethlisberger, I was fully perplexed. It’s a shame that people have such disdain for a man like Vick, who’s already taken accountability, and accepted the penalty for his transgressions; yet, Roethlisberger is not subjected to such a high level of criticism. It’s pathetic that fans belief Michael Vick’s previous wrongdoings’ make him undeserving his 100 million dollar contract, or even a second chance at playing football. I can’t excuse Vick for bank rolling and participating in the harm against animals, but I don’t see why his current status still riles people up.
We have an individual, who made a return to his profession, after repaying his debt to the public, however, people still want to cast stones at his past, and take issues with his opportunities to make a living? Clearly it was not enough for him to be punished, and serve his time like a man. The hate is irrational when you compare Vick’s situation to the arrogant actions of Mr. Roethlisberger.

At number three on the list, he’s known for making plays with sense recklessness, very similar to the life he lives. Headline after headline, he’s beaten the odds, using same the “free pass” that Brett Favre was afforded by the media throughout his career, because they’re “having fun out there on Sundays.” Roethlisberger has been in a fixture in the news for a slew of obnoxious actions. First, there was the dangerous motorcycle accident in 2006 that nearly injured others and where he was lucky to only suffer facial injuries. Ben’s ignorance of the law was clear, as he did not have a valid Pennsylvania motorcycle license, or wearing a helmet. Then there are the sexual assault allegations.

The first coming in 2009, he was accused of raping 31 year old, Andrea McNulty, inside his hotel room at a golf tournament. Ben slipped away as there was no investigation. You would think the man would want to keep his nose clean, but no. In 2010, another sexual assault claim. This time, a 20 year old female accused him of raping her inside a nightclub bathroom. Fearful of the media’s raid of her private life, the accuser no longer wanted to file criminal charges, but she did not take back her accusation, another lucky result for Ben.

Roethlisberger’s actions were not punished by law, but let’s not kid ourselves, sexual assault allegations in today’s society are a very sensitive issue. They are damaging for the accused to face, but even more damaging for the victim to endure. As seen in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn this past year. It is very dangerous for somebody to accuse a person of great power and finance, without having their own private life magnified, probed and destroyed.

Roger Goodell’s decision to suspend Roethlisberger 6 games without pay for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, in other words for continually carrying himself like an idiot, seemed like the due punishment he finally had coming. But Roethlisberger’s luck doesn’t run out, he had those 6 games reduced to 4, due to “good behaviour”. Goodell’s adjustment for him is ironic,, because he was being a “good boy”, but Vick had to sit out the full length of his 4 game ban, after already serving two years. It was like Goodell had to levy his own kicking to Vick while he was down, then pick him up.

Ben Roethlisberger’s freedom, finances, media image and football status remain intact, after all he was accused for. Vick has had to rebuild those things from the ground up, how he can be hated, after having it all taken from him is ridiculous. The man, served his sentence, accepted a full four game suspension, without shortening, he earned his due, and he did not take his privilege for granted, like Roethlisberger on multiple occasions. Vick is in a current situation where his contract extension still isn’t the full means of restoring his life.

The contrast in ranking of the two quarterbacks shows complete hypocrisy. Roethlisberger’s punishments were mere slaps on the wrists, and he weaseled out of serious accusations. He is like Favre in many ways. Both are overrated, both wild, both lucky and both have abused their celebrity to impose themselves on females. Yet, the media find ways to spin things in both of their favour. The wonderful world of sports is afflicted by double standards and biases, harshly reflecting mainstream society.



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