Sunday, January 2, 2011
MVP: Most Valuable Prisoner
President Obama reportedly said that "it's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail." He, therefore, wanted to praise the Eagles for giving Vick the second chance that many ex-cons don't get. I wonder why so many former criminals don't get the same kind of second chance that Michael Vick got? Could it possibly be that they aren't skilled quarterbacks who could potentially rake in millions of dollars for a team and its owner? Could it be that they don't have the name recognition, be it good or bad, that Michael Vick has that will draw fans to his games? Could it be that people are much more likely to give someone a second (or even a third or fourth) chance when he or she has money than when the person is poor?
If President Obama really wanted to single out someone as an example of rehabilitation, could he not have chosen someone who perhaps went back to school or learned a trade and can now make a decent but honest living? Could he not have highlighted a typical employer who took a chance on hiring an ex-convict and found himself with a dependable and skilled new employee? Why did he have to fall into the celebrity and pro-sports figure worship trap that blinds so many people to the real lives of the real people all around them?
Michael Vick's crimes were despicable. He got another chance because he's famous. I hope for his sake, for the sake of everyone who now is holding him up as the shining example of prison rehabilitation, but especially for the sake of all the ex-cons who now will be judged by his behavior, that he lives up to the hype.