For those of you living on the top of Mount Everest without your blackberry for the past four years, let me bring you up to speed. Michael Vick is a professional football player, in fact a pretty good one, it seems. He has been paid millions of dollars for his craft. He was playing for the Atlanta Falcons when it was discovered he was running a dog fighting ring. It was pretty bad, with Vick admitting to killing dogs and all the rest. He was tried, convicted of the felony and spent a year and a half in jail. He has done community service and “found Jesus.” He was hired this year as a quarterback by the Philadelphia Eagles and has done an outstanding job as such. So what, you say. Well the President called the owner of the Eagles and congratulated him on giving Vick a “second chance.” Why do I care? I’ll tell you why.
As for the President’s comments, I could care less. I am much more concerned about the fact that basically a convicted felon has gotten away Scott free. Wait, you say, he went to jail, he paid his debt to society. Yeah Right.
If he was a doctor, lawyer, teacher, truck driver (on a drug offense), commodities trader, judge, insurance salesman, or just about anyone else regulated by the state, he would have lost his license and have had to find other gainful employment. If he is an engineer and looking for a job working for any company who had defense contracts, no matter how good an engineer, he would be forced to change careers. But because he happens to be a professional football player, he gets a pass. And I think it stinks.
Sports Professionals are among the elite of our society. Kids particularly, look up to them as role models. Central city kids dream of following in Vick’s or Kobe’s footsteps. What they have been taught by this incident is that they can do whatever they want, and if they are caught, they will be able to pay a fine, or perhaps spend a bit of time in jail, and then be able to pick up where they left off. No harm, no foul.
Is that what our society has become? There is no shame anymore. You can do basically anything and it’s simply shrugged off. He’s a good player and can help a team win, so he gets to continue to play. Why? Why shouldn’t a doctor or lawyer convicted of a felony be able to continue to practice? Why shouldn’t a teacher who has proven he isn’t on drugs be allowed to teach? Why? Because they have earned a responsible position and they have besmirched that profession.
If there is nothing we can teach our children, it’s that actions have consequences. Some are greater than others, but they all must have consequences. However if you take the consequences away, then society begins to lose its soul.
When I was a kid in high school, and acted up. I went to the principal’s office, my parents were called, and I learned immediately that actions have consequences. When Pete Rose was caught gambling, his ability to get into the hall of fame vanished. Actions have consequences. But when we teach our young that actions don’t have consequences, the fabric that binds society together begins to loosen. Vick shouldn’t be playing football. There has to be more to a profession, be it law, medicine, or football than just being good at it.