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Obama Praises Eagles Owner for Giving Michael Vick a Second Chance

4 years ago
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We all know President Obama supports his beloved Chicago sports teams, including da Bears. But the president spread some love Philadelphia's way recently when he thanked Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for giving Michael Vick a second chance following the star quarterback's release from jail last year on an animal cruelty conviction.

On his Sports Illustrated blog, writer Peter King said Lurie told him the president said, " 'So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance.' [Obama] was . . . passionate about it. He said it's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall."

Michael VickLurie also told King that the president was proud of the football team's plans to install alternative-energy measures at Lincoln Financial Field, including solar panels and wind turbines.

The team's website also made note of the call from the First Fan:
Obama also conveyed his pleasure with the Eagles' plans for the first fully self-generated alternative-energy stadium in the country.

"It's good business for us, which is the point,'' Lurie told King. "We talked about policy and what he hopes can happen with alternative energy, and he raved about us being the first to put a plan like this in place."
King related the same story about the president's call Sunday night on NBC, which had been scheduled to broadcast the Eagles' game against the Minnesota Vikings. Because of a major snowstorm that hit the area, the game was postponed until Tuesday.

Michael Vick, a celebrated talent since his college days at Virginia Tech, quarterbacked the Atlanta Falcons until he was charged with, and eventually convicted of, running and participating in a dogfighting ring. After serving 19 months in federal prison, his career and his reputation were in tatters. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles last season and played sparingly -- and unspectacularly. This season he has returned to old form, guiding his team to the NFC East championship and hearing his name mentioned often as a candidate for league MVP.

After initial protests from animal-rights groups about Vick's return to the lucrative world of pro football, the hubbub has largely died down. Commenting on the conversation with Lurie, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the president "of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of, but, as he's said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again."
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Archaeoone

That anyone could defend Vick in any capacity is appalling. I am not an Obama supporter, but I am completely shocked at his dismissive attitude toward dogfighting and those who enable it, promote it, profit by it, and are entertained by it. There are some crimes and some criminals who do not deserve "second chances." Those who maim, those who kill, those who abuse, those whose victims are children and animals are blights on society and we must be protected from them. They are always dangerous, they are never cured, they are never rehabilitated, and they generally continue this same behavior even after serving jail time. I am curious as to why Obama feels differently...perhaps it is because of his liberal thought processes. The Liberal always defends the criminal, never the victim. Obama, I would assume out of ignorance, as is usually the Liberal way, defends the indefensible. He needs to familiarize himself with the reality of dogfighting and perhaps needs to personalize it by imagining his dog Bo used as a training object for the fighting dogs. Then let him see himself telling his daughters that Bo was killed by the vermin engaged in these barbaric, inhuman, deranged, perverse acts. As the owner of four dogs, I would like to see severe penalties (capital punishment works for me) dealt to those who exploit and harm animals (or children) for money, entertainment, and sick enjoyment. Our society would be well served by removing these predators, purveyors, and seekers of sick thrills.

December 28 2010 at 11:15 AM
Pat

I was very surprised when the Eagles hired Vick. I thought no organization would want him after the evil he had shown to innocent animals. I guess the big bucks or football rule. I would never watch an Eagles game and every time I see that monster I cringe. I do not believe for a minute the Vick has learned any compassion regarding animal abuse. What he has is a character flaw that is innate. I do not believe that you can teach somebody compassion. He has a black heart. He is only sorry because he was caught. And I am dissapointed that Obama would praise the man who hired him to the team. Obama should pick another person who has done well after being in jail to use as an example.

December 28 2010 at 10:48 AM
truckinman932

Probably was something that the President of the United States of America need not make a comment about. At least not when it could be made public. Whether it's a feel good story or not, the supposed most powerful man in the world, probably doesn't need to be spreading good cheer towards an ex felon. Particularly, considering the controversial nature of the ex felons crime.

December 28 2010 at 10:43 AM
Kathy

WHAT? Obama says, "people who serve time never get a fair second chance." This was Michael Vick he was talking about. Of course some NFL team was going to pick him up. His time served was in a federal prison, it's not like he went to a Sing-Sing, or Rykers. Geez. He wasn't a murderer who was given a second chance, he went for dog fighting. Good grief, this article makes him sound so stupid.

December 28 2010 at 10:41 AM
Sheelera

Get over it. This is America. The man served his debt to humanity. If you want to live somewhere where they punish you for the rest of your life, move to Iran.

December 28 2010 at 10:29 AM
Shari

I am appalled that the President actually condones what Michael Vick did. Animal cruelty is not a forgivable act in any shape or form. Any person that believes that animals should not be tortured or abuse, should be up in arms. I cannot believe that the President could do this, I have now lost the last bit of respect for Obama, he is not who I and many people thought he was when he ran for President. I am ashamed of the President.

December 28 2010 at 10:27 AM
vobox3343

It appears all of you law abiding citizens don't know the law. After you've done your time, you're not to be discriminated against. But alas, those who have erred will continue to be repeat offenders as long as we keep discriminating against them.

December 28 2010 at 10:18 AM
cmn117

I am very disappointed in President Obama praising the Eagles owner for giving Michael Vick a "second chance". Vick would still be involved in dog fighting if he didn't get caught. Anyone who can watch these innocent dogs tear each other apart is a monster. Here's someone who commits an inhumane act and horrible crime and now goes on to get rich and famous. Only in America.

How soon we forget.

December 28 2010 at 10:11 AM +1
Orlando

Not so fast Prez! Sure it's great Michael Vick was given a second chance but do not forget that he went fron BMOC (big man on campus) to BMIC (big man in country)
to BMIC (to big man in cell)! And what a come down that is! It is enough to make one suck it up and become a model citizen to aid the return to the loftiness one had been accustomed to! This is not the same because cell life being somewhat better than being a jobless starving ex-con in the streets! An un-horsed "Duke" has a great incentive to get back in the saddle! Roland C. (Orlando) Woodaka

December 28 2010 at 10:10 AM
ayntfair

I am all for Michael Vick geting a second chance... I even root for him when he plays "My TEAM".... BUT... Pres. Obama should reallly re-assess his personal imput. Really there is so much going on in the US alone that if he wanted to take a few moments out to call and express any sentimient maybe he could have reached out to the family of murdered Deputy in Orlando or the two killed in Texas or any number of persons....This was just another publicity thing and in poor taste... Happy Holidays

December 28 2010 at 10:01 AM +2

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