We all love a good comeback story. Triumph over adversity. However, in August of 2009 controversy ensued regarding a second chance. This case seemed like an exception to the rule, where the majority would rather have seen the result be failure than triumph.
Does everyone deserve a second chance or is there ever a time when someone does not deserve a second chance?
Slowly, very slowly, opinions have changed, though nobody seems to be acknowledging it yet. I too was among the conflicted; a huge proponent of those who jump over life’s hurdles yet appalled by this particular second chance.
After a conviction in 2007 and 23 months in jail, Michael Vick was given a second chance when he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to back up then starting quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Prior to his conviction, he was the first overall draft pick in 2001 by the Atlanta Falcons and was at one time the highest-paid player in the National Football League.
I live in Eagles country. Though I am a lifelong Giants fan, my husband, kids and friends are all devoted Eagles fans. (Fourteen weeks a season I root for the Eagles as well, all except for the two against the Giants.) As a parent, I was not at all comfortable with my children rooting for Michael Vick. I was angry with the Eagles for thinking more about business than ethics. I did not believe him when he spoke about being sorry, about understanding the consequences of his actions. It seemed too rehearsed. Maybe it was, or maybe I was just too skeptical.
Does everyone deserve a second chance?
Whether or not you can put aside the actions that got him convicted, for the past three years Michael Vick has been a role model. This past week, his Team Vick Foundation made a $200,000 donation to help revitalize a section of a downtrodden park in Philadelphia into a football field. According to Philly.com, the entire $1 million project will create a level field with a drainage system, bleachers, goalposts, a scoreboard and a track. You can see more about the field here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIQQKj6roRI&feature=colike.
What I love most about the Team Vick Foundation is that it fully acknowledges Michael’s poor choices in the past and his new focus on doing the right thing and a commitment to family, football and the community. In other words, triumph over adversity.
“Many of us will lose our way and make mistakes at some point in our life. Sometimes because of unforeseen circumstances we may find ourselves in need of assistance or on a “road” we never expected. Our decisions, mistakes and lessons learned impact not just us – but our children, parents and communities. Team Vick Foundation helps strengthen our communities by working to collectively become better global citizens willing to SHARE, INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE one another to DIG DEEPER.”
I, for one, am so glad that Michael Vick has become a role model, someone whom I can talk to my kids about as having truly made the most of his second chance.
For more information about the Team Vick Foundation, go to: http://www.teamvickfoundation.org.
Photo courtesy of the Team Vick Foundation