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Richmond SPCA

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Richmond, VA 23220

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Richmond SPCA ResponDS to Vick Reinstatement 

Official Richmond SPCA Response
to Goodell Press Conference
Monday, July 27, 2009

The action of the NFL commissioner to reinstate Michael Vick is both premature and unwise. Vick has not yet demonstrated that his remorse is sincere or that his irresponsible, cruel and criminal behaviors are likely to change. The NFL and its leadership apparently lack the integrity to require civilized behavior from their players. This would reflect poorly on any team that adds Vick to its roster. - Robin Starr, Chief Executive Officer, Richmond SPCA

Expanded Commentary

The Richmond SPCA believes that the reinstatement of Michael Vick by the National Football League is premature on their part. Vick has completed a sentence for federal felonies related to his brutalization of dogs over many years and his engaging in gambling crimes. He also lied to the Commissioner of the NFL about his involvement in these crimes. It is our hope that Vick will have the maturity to recognize the dreadful nature of his crimes and change his life for the better.  He has said that he will work to dissuade children and adults from engaging in dogfighting and to help dogs and that he will conduct a responsible life in the future. We hope that this is true and that it is reflected in his actions rather than just words. Time will tell.

People in positions of influence over others, especially children, are always required to meet a higher standard to return to such roles than simply completing a criminal sentence. Playing for an NFL team will return Vick to a lucrative career and a life of adulation by both adults and children. Before that happens, he should be given the time to demonstrate that his remorse is sincere and that he will actually do the laudable things that he has promised. Football players are treated as role models and making a role model of Michael Vick should be undertaken with great caution. If he proves himself to be a truly changed person who follows through on his commitments and engages in responsible conduct, then his reinstatement would be appropriate. If not, any team that accepts him will regret the decision.

More about the reinstatement.