Jewish Journal

Maybe it’s time to forgive Michael Vick

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 19, 2010 | 11:09 pm

I’ve been stingy in offering forgiveness to Michael Vick. I was skeptical when the former Atlanta Falcons star said he’d found Jesus. And the dog lover in me just hasn’t wanted to appreciate the possibility that prison really did set Vick straight. In the above video, Vick does some of the campaigning against animal cruelty that, ethically but not legally, he is more than obliged to do.

Today the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks the league has ever seen—28 points in 7 minutes and 30 seconds—and he’s not only a lock for the NFL’s comeback player of the year but also a frontrunner for MVP. I’m still pulling for Philip Rivers, but I can’t claim Vick isn’t as worthy a candidate.

Eighteen months ago I mentioned an On Faith column from The Washington Post suggesting that Vick deserves redemption. Maybe now it’s truly time to forgive Michael Vick.

My wife, who is better with the grace and mercy than I, told me as much. Not forget the wicked acts he did, but give Vick the fresh start he likely has earned. ESPN’s Rick Reilly agrees:

The man is contrite. He is humbled. He is chastened. He has already given 24 speeches for the Humane Society. He has dismissed his old friends, has even run from them when they show up. What else is he supposed to do? Move into a dog kennel himself?

Wednesday, the L.A. Times ran yet another front-page story about how some of the 47 rescued pit bulls from the Vick kennels are doing. You know the answer because you saw the story the first 100 times: not well. Some of them still shake, cower and won’t bark.

I love dogs, too, but how long does Vick have to star in “The Unforgiven”? He has faced it. Admitted it. Apologized deeply for it. Went to federal prison for it. Got cut for it. Suspended for it. And now campaigns against it. How long must he carry this cross?

You can read the rest here. The reality, of course, is that Vick doesn’t need our forgiveness. But he may well have earned it anyway.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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