Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

Professional sports and I do not go together like peanut butter and jelly – my eyes take on a lovely shade of “glazed” when my male friends start down the road of player stats, fantasy leagues and rankings.  But Michael Vick? Well, he’s an interesting subject.

On Monday, Vick was conditionally reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after spending 18 months in jail for dogfighting.

In the interests of justice, I do believe that Vick has paid the dues allotted him and should now be allowed to venture into society and attempt become a productive member (who does not murder animals).

Does that mean, however, that he should be welcomed back into professional football with open arms? Nope, says I (indeed, we have yet to see if he will be welcomed back at all).

This issue has generated countless questions of a varied nature that I am not prepared to answer – questions about race, cruelty, justice, brutality and a few about football. But I think it comes down to sportsmanship.

This will perhaps sound a bit too “girly” for die-hard lovers of professional sports, but I want to see professional sports leagues rise above profit and greed and trading players. I want to see athletes who are, if not actual heroes, capable of fulfilling the fantasy of being a hero. And this means not killing dogs, beating women or owning a brothel.

In the end, it comes down to the NFL, NBA, MLB,  and so on. Who are their players? Who do they want their players to be? They are the only ones who can set and maintain a higher standard and so they should.

Perhaps they could even take the Olympics creed and tweak it a bit: Faster, Higher, Stronger, and Morally Sound.

What do you think? Should Michael Vick be welcomed back? Are all sins forgiven when it comes to sports?

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