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Michael Vick: Life At A Crossroads
By Clayton Ruley

The Michael Vick situation is unfortunate for all involved. For the NFL it brings attention to the subject of off the field activity when the fans should be excited to thing about players on the field. The fans don't get to see one of the game's best athletes if not quarterbacks and the individual team, the Atlanta Falcons, doesn't have their offense's best weapon. For Vick, his career is in jeopardy and he will spend time in a federal prison. His millions of dollars gone and the respect of many people down the drain.


Now don't get it confused Michael Vick has acted in stupid ways. He put himself in a position to fail with no good reason besides trying to be down with a culture that he needs to( at the least) view from a very far. It's disappointing when you see athletes that aren't able escape the pressure to remain down or see no reason to say no to the same activities their friends who has less to lose than them.


We have seen it in the past with athletes like Allen "The Answer" Iverson, and more recently with athletes like Adam "Pacman" Jones, "Tank" Johnson and Vick. It probably has to do with the unreal privileges these most of these and many athletes receive growing up in their communities and of course when they land as a professional in their particular cities. Most of these athletes have received breaks to supplement their play on the court/field for their school, city or program but there is always an opportunity to someone(s) to bring them down when they do something people would look at skeptically and they are usually not ready for the limelight shining on them in the negative way.


Vick is someone who was already in the limelight after his alleged "drug" water in the airport incident (that was unfound) and his inconsistent passing game now has to wonder if he will ever play again. While I don't expect the NFL to give more than a two-year suspension the question is: Will a team take a chance on him? Will a team want to deal with the public outcry his signing might bring? I don't question he will have a strong desire to comeback and regain his livelihood and status as a elite player in the league but now he's not going to get millions to do that because the teams will say they are doing him a favor or taking a chance on him. He made his bed very muddy and now has to lay in it but I'm disappointed it's happening because it's something becoming too common especially with black athletes: blowing opportunities under the spotlight. The black athletes failure to stay away from the ridiculous crime seems to show that mentors and real friends are lacking and need to be found. These friends and mentors need to be more critical of that athlete (really of any friend) and look out for their friend's best interest and not their own. If Vick had someone   (and maybe he did and if so multiple people) who said "Mike what are you risking you career for?" maybe he wouldn't be in this position.  


I do find it interesting that Vick's case gets this much media and people attention because of people's standards and what they've grown up thinking is ok. I say this meaning while Vick's actions are deplorable they need to get less attention and legal action than say a Vice President Dick Cheney shooting a person in a "hunting accident". Cheney's "mistake" was a laugh for most but what action against him did it bring? He didn't even get charged for the incident! Also what makes killing and torturing dogs more demonized than killing cows for beef, hunting deer, shooting pigeons, slaying pigs or killing birds for Thanksgiving? Are their lives less valuable than the dogs or is it because we have been told it's ok for so long that only when someone tells us it's illegal is it wrong. Think about it.


Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at

Michael Vick, Suspended NFL quarterback


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