After last month’s shooting incident at a Virginia Beach nightclub, Michael Vick has been on a short leash. He wasn’t permitted to leave Pennsylvania while the NFL investigated his involvement in the incident, which led to him missing a number of out-of-state scheduled appearances.
Well, the leash has been relaxed. Today Vick was cleared to return to the NFL and join his Eagles’ teammates at training camp.
Last year, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall reinstated Vick into the NFL (National Football League), he told Vick: “Needless to say your margin of error is very limited.”
What measuring stick is Goodall using?
Still on probation, Vick is not allowed to associate with convicted felons. Yet he put himself in a situation where he knowingly did not have control over the people he was going to come into contact with. How? Because he was charging admission to his birthday bash. It was not just for family and friends. All that was needed to get into the party was a $50 cover fee.
Quanis Phillips, his cousin and co-defendant in his dog fighting case, was shot in the leg shortly after he had a confrontation with Vick at the June 25th party. Vick didn’t do the shooting, but that is not the problem here.
The Philadelphia Daily News reports that NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email, “there is no change in his playing status.” Vick will likely report to training camp, which begins today in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. At camp, it is anticipated that Vick will — for the first time — answer questions from reporters about the shooting incident.
USA Today quotes former NFL coach Tony Dungy: “He’s made some mistakes that probably he won’t make again, hopefully,” Dungy said. “Just really not very good judgment and putting himself in a position where you’re inviting the public to pay money and come to a birthday party. The unknown people, alcohol and potential for weapons at such a party are a “recipe for failure.”
We all make mistakes from time to time and exercise poor judgment. The question to ask is if Vick is actually being held to that higher standard Goodall spoke of. And how many more chances is he going to get?
Bella the dog takes a bite out of Vick. Photo from Flickr: Jason Bacon