Don Banks writes a very interesting note about the good that could come from Vick re-entering the NFL, and why maybe there's a reason for us to root for him to succeed...
Some members of my own family seethe at the thought of seeing Michael Vick return to some level of prominence in the NFL after serving his dog-fighting conviction, and I completely understand their indignation. But let's be clear: Michael Vick is the best thing that ever happened to combat dog-fighting in this country. Without his high-profile face attached to that sick and largely secretive world, the spotlight would not have found the story in the same way, and I say that as someone who dug into the Vick dog-fighting saga from some of its earliest days in May 2007.
As sad and grisly as the story was, Vick's deep involvement wound up being a godsend to anti-dog-fighting efforts. It assured nationwide attention, and that attention ultimately saved the lives of many of Vick's dogs plus countless others around the country who would not have cracked the public radar otherwise.
Vick's fall from grace could well serve as the tipping point that eventually eradicates dog-fighting in the United States, and that's a pretty big silver lining in a very disturbing and painful story. Vick's continued prominence will do more to end dog-fighting than any other steps could by keeping the issue alive in our woefully short national attention span.
Blocking Vick's return to the NFL and forcing him to disappear might make his many critics feel better, but it won't necessarily save more dogs. Let him resume his career and become the foremost advocate of anti-dog fighting efforts, whether or not he's sincere. Most great movements boast an identifiable public face, and for better or worse, Vick's will forever be linked to this hot-button issue.
I of course can't find the stomach to actually root for Vick. What he did was disgusting, and if I were an owner of an NFL team, I would never consider bringing him onto my team.
But this is a really interesting way of looking at the issue, and makes it less black and white than many are making it out to be.