It's good on principle to give people a second chance, especially if they've demonstrated genuine remorse and a willingness to learn and grow. Still, there's something off-putting about President Obama's championing of Michael Vick:
The president wanted to talk about two things, but the first was Michael," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie told SI's Peter King about his recent phone conversation with the commander in chief about alternative energy use at the team's stadium.
"He said, 'So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was ... passionate about it. He said it's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall."
Well, of course there isn't a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. They created an uneven field when they broke the rules, and people who deal with them have legitimate concerns about whether thety might break them again. Your run-of-the-mill rulebreaking ex con doesn't have the benefit of rehabilitating himself in the public spotlight while making millions of dollars. When Vick even says he'd like to buy a dog, it sets off a national debate -- relapsing into a repeat of his crime would be close to impossible.
Hot Air expresses perfect-pitch cyncism at the second chance given to a man who "happens to be an MVP-caliber quarterback capable of generating untold millions in revenue for his franchise" and wonders if there really were no celebrity "with a more sympathetic offense for Obama to make an example of. How many athletes and entertainers have cleaned up after victimless crimes involving drugs?"
My sister, though preferring cats, is an animal lover in general, and the issue is pretty simple for her: "He's a dog killer." She'll never see him in any other way, no matter how sincere he seems in regretting his actions. The dog killer is also a hell of a quarterback, which is the only reason anybody cares about this one way or the other.