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NFL offers Vick a second chance

Michael Vick, after serving 18 months for operating a dogfighting ring, was conditionally reinstated to the NFL today.

Vick can immediately take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games — if he can find a team that will sign him.

A number of teams have already said they would not.

Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 of the season, at the latest, according to ESPN.

Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation on his property in Virginia. At the time, Goodell said Vick must show remorse before he would consider reinstating him.

“I accept that you are sincere when you say that you want to, and will, turn your life around, and that you intend to be a positive role model for others,” Goodell said in his letter to Vick. “I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands.”

“Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited,” the letter said. “I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you.”

“I do recognize that some will never forgive him for what he did,” Goodell said.

Vick, once the highest-paid player in the league, said he was grateful for a second chance.

Vick pleaded guilty after his three co-defendants had already done so. They told of how Vick participated in the killing of dogs that didn’t perform well in test fights by shooting, hanging, drowning or slamming them to the ground.

Vick’s appearances at federal court in Richmond, Va., prompted large groups of protesters to gather outside. Many were with PETA and held signs depicting photographs of pit bulls ravaged in dogfights. Some supporters showed up as well, some wearing his No. 7 jersey.

Comments

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time July 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I am quite surprised by the lack of any comments to this blog. I have just one stunned opinion, I guess: absolutely UNBELIEVABLE.

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time July 28, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Eighteenpaws, I suspect everyone is stunned into silence as I was. I’m never watching another NFL game. This is an organization that has winked at all kinds of violence, crime, and thuggery, including the murder of a human being. I don’t know why we expected better on behalf of the dogs. In ancient Rome, the society pitted enslaved persons and prisoners against each other in bloody spectacles, and the citizens watched and enjoyed. In the 21st Century, the NFL provides entertainment by pitting criminals and scoundrels against each other and calling it a sport. Not much progress has been made in two thousand years. I suspect that all any of us can do is to try to make things better within our own small spheres and to assertively turn our backs on the “bread and circuses” offered by the NFL.

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