I don’t particularly like Michael Vick, and certainly can’t stomach what he did some time ago, but I think that, at this point, besides the occasional joke and pun, we really need to move on from flogging him for actions for which he’s paid.
But nope. Not in the New York Times. Juliet Macur with an absolutely brutal, uncalled for, piece on Vick, the Eagles and sports in general. An excerpt:
Teams evaluating Vick should think about those horrors before offering him a chance to wear their jersey. They should say, “Can’t we give our fans someone better to cheer for?” Fans should demand someone better.
The Eagles didn’t. Instead of passing on Vick when he was released from prison and perhaps forcing him to play in the Canadian league or having him work his way back up, the Eagles immediately chose to reward him with a two-year contract, paying him $1.6 million the first year, then $5.2 million. By 2011, he had a six-year, $100 million contract.
The cast of characters in Saturday’s game was a reminder of just how generous the league is with its ridiculous offers of second chances, like Vick’s.
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper made racist remarks about African-Americans — on a team filled with African-Americans — and still ended up starting in the playoffs, the recipient of roaring cheers.
Saints Coach Sean Payton was suspended last year for a bounty program in which players were paid to inflict serious injuries on their opponents, and still he was hailed for ushering the Saints to their first ever road playoff win.
I can say, almost unequivocally, that this person hates sports and, possibly, men. None of these actions – not Vick’s, not Cooper’s, not Payton’s – should be celebrated. But, there was almost no reason, no trigger, to bring them up. Macur simply used Vick’s free agency to rail on him and people and things barely related to him. She also went into great detail on the unspeakable crimes he admitted to. It’s hard to read, and made me, someone who doesn’t squirm at much, a little bit queasy.
Vick told me on Saturday that he had grown up since serving time in prison and had done a lot to redeem himself in the eyes of the public.
“I’ve changed in so many ways, so many — why don’t you write that?” he told me as he walked off from his locker, leaving behind a few shirts, cocoa butter lotion, a bottle of baby oil and green shower shoes.
I’m still searching for the reason why this was written, now.