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July 28th, 2009
06:25 AM ET

NFL reinstates Michael Vick on conditional basis

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Michael Vick will be considered for full reinstatement based on his progress by the sixth week."]

(CNN) - Nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia, Michael Vick was reinstated to the National Football League on a conditional basis, according to an NFL statement Monday.

Vick "will be considered for full reinstatement and to play in regular-season games by Week 6 based on the progress he makes in his transition plan," the statement said. Week 6 of the NFL season is in October.

Vick may participate in practices, workouts and meetings and may play in his club's final two preseason games under the conditions of his reinstatement, the league said.

Vick, in a statement, thanked the league's commissioner and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, who has served as his mentor.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Commissioner [Roger] Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League," Vick said in a statement. "I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given."

Vick, 29, was freed from federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 20 and returned to his home to serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement.

Vick also said in his statement that he is re-evaluating his life after the "terrible mistakes" he made.

Keep reading this story »

Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Mike Munro

    It's appauling Michael Vick has been accepted back into the NFL, even if under certain limited conditions. HE IS A FELON!! Not exactly my idea of a role model for the youth of this nation. The idea he can sever his ties from former felons and even the ones that were not indicted is ludicrous.
    Obviously I must now lower my standards of what to expect from our professional football players . Yes, his reputation will indeed reflect on all players. Are we this desparate for talent?

    July 31, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  2. Marilyn Camp

    Does anyone remember the kind of man Michael Vick was BEFORE he was sent to prison? No respect for his team, fans, animal or man then. Think he has any now?

    July 29, 2009 at 5:27 am |
  3. Gay R

    (1) "Michael Vick is no different than Martha Stewart." Are you serious??? The only thing they have in common is that we all paid for their incarceration. Martha may have cheated, herself mostly as it turns out, but did not cause hundreds of people to lose their savings nor did she torture, abuse and kill animals.

    (2) "Football is a violent sport. The players are conditioned to be violent. He’s risking his life to entertain us as a NFL quarterback." So this is an excuse? And, poor him, he’s risking his life just to entertain us? Was that his choice or did someone make him do it?? I’m sure the millions of dollars he made has nothing to do with it!! And what does this say about the men and women in our military that are trained to fight for our freedom?? How dare their sacrifices be belittled by these types of statements! They certainly aren’t making the kind of money that men and women playing games for your entertainment are making.

    (3) "Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At a hearing he told the judge that he earned 12 cents an hour as an overnight janitor while in prison." Sounds like good training for the 2nd chance he wants. Perhaps a lesser paying job other than football will instill some character and humility into Mr. Vick. Both things he desperately needs.

    (4) "In testimony before the bankruptcy judge, he acknowledged committing a “heinous” act and said he should have acted more maturely." Ya think???? More maturely? How about more humanely? Or more compassionate? Or more civilized? Or more caring? Or more charitable? Take your pick.

    (5) “We take this as a very serious matter,” Goodell said. “We’re dealing with a young man’s life.” This calls for “tough love”. DON’T allow Mr. Vick to return to the cheers and adulation (obviously from other comments on this site) of football fans. DON’T allow Mr. Vick to make millions of dollars while resuming his career as if nothing happened. DO allow Mr. Vick his 2nd chance by treating him like any other “regular” person would be by not being rehired by his old “company”. DO allow Mr. Vick the opportunity to learn compassion and humility towards his fellow man, woman, child and animal. DO allow Mr. Vick the opportunity to grow up and act like a responsible human being. Tough love, that’s exactly what he needs.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  4. mike

    vick embodies nothing of a redeeming nature, and represents exactly what any censoring medium should bar. he is notorious, should not capitalize on it, and we owe our children a duty to protect against any future stardom. he should not be allowed to become any sort of icon.

    July 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  5. DNEL

    Yes, he should be allowed back. It's no diffrence than Martha Stewart going to Federal Prison, they both served their time. If you think that Mike would be a role model to your child that's sad, because your role model comes with in your everyday life. So to all the haters out there from making minimal wages to making millions its a JOB. Mike would be one less civilian that the Federal, State, or Local government would have to pay for.

    July 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  6. Gay R

    ****All criminal defense lawyers take note*****

    To assure your next client accused of a heinous crime is acquitted, check out some of these previous commentors as possible jury selection contenders.

    July 28, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  7. Shelly

    What has American sports come to? We care more about some mentally sick person rejoining our American sports team for our viewing pleasure?? This guy is a monster!!! He is NOT a role model and he should not be allowed back to the NFL. Yeah, yeah, he did his time, however for the rest of his life he needs constant supervision to be even allowed back into society much less get paid millions of dollars to play for the NFL. I can come up with a dozen more things for him to do besides this. Maybe he would be a good mad man to send overseas. He doesn't seem to have a problem with killing. Maybe he should fight for all the right reasons instead of all the wrong. One more thing – DON'T tell me this is a cultural thing! I live in the South....don't be so ignorant! P.S. I'm officially boycotting the NFL!!!

    July 28, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  8. Chrissy

    I live in Virginia and recall the criminal actions of Michael Vick with great clarity. While I do think Mr. Vick has paid his penance for this crime by serving his allotted jail time, however, I do not think he should be accepted back into the NFL. This is poor judgment on the NFL's part. Sports has always played a vital role in giving fans someone to look up to and serve as an example of accomplishments through good behavior and hard work. Michael Vick is a good player, but there are many who can take his place in the sports arena who carry good reputations and set good example for our youths. I just hope whoever signs him on will weigh in on the moral issues involved and not the money or the player.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  9. Ray Mapp




    July 28, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  10. Ray Mapp /

    First of all ... I am a major dog lover by nature ... I raised dogs throughout my and I was raised to respect all life forms.

    I also had to pay my way through college on a football scholarship.
    I remember feeling like a well trained fighting dog while participating in a sport (football) that for success requires a person to overpower an opponent in a manner that could result in serious physical injury or even death is possible ... where brain jarring is common. When brain jarring threatens to cause some level of brain concussion injuryies that could lead to mental illness over time.

    I was always cheered on by my fans to run over and hit heads hard with my head and at best injure my opponents. I remember feeling satisfaction for accomplishing those aspects of victory while participating in the game of football. The football team that over powers and in effect injures the most on the opposing team is most likely to win the game.

    I think it is sad that Michael Vick's attorney never suggested that the court consider the type of mental conditioning required for his life career in tge violent game of football. The violent element of particularly PRO football could have affected Michael Vick as an individual in a way that lead him to treat dogs somewhat like he has been conditioned to treat himself as a prime target football quarterback to be injured. With these psycological considerations and analysis ... there is no doubt the most Michael Vick should have been subjected to as a result of his involvement with the dog fighting abuse is serious psychological counseling ... NEVER PRISON.

    That opinion being expressed ... Michael Vick should be allowed to participate in the NFL and encouraged to be a spokesman for the humane treatment of humans, dogs and all life forms.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  11. Luke Gentle

    With regard to Michael Vick,
    There, once upon a time, was a notion where sport figures were reveared.
    In todays word, this doesnt seem to matter any more. Is this reflective by the drop out of school rate by todays youth, as well as the increasing amount of violent crimes committed by the young? Everyone should want to be a hero.
    No. Michael Vick and the like, need to be held accountable as role models. Throw the bum out. Think about it, Bin Laden is reveared a hero among the youth in his world.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  12. Marisa Carter

    Okay, so first let me start of by saying I love your show. But during your show this morning I was shocked by the term that I heard more than once. What is this term 'cultural thing'? Where did it come from? I feel it is a cop-out. Instead of identifying a specific race, you use a safe word. Let me say that as an African-American woman, I do not think dog fighting is a cultural thing. It is a human thing that is wrong, no matter who does it. According to CNN, by way of the Humane Society, there are 40,000 PROFESSIONAL dog fighters in the U.S. Really, so that makes it a cultural thing? No, it makes it an inhumane thing. 65% of dogs brought into a dog shelter in Jersey City were victims of dog fighting. I'm pretty sure the average family in Jersey City is not a minority. I'm pretty sure, dog fighting goes on in a household of every race, creed, and CULTURE but it doesn't get publicized like Michael Vick's case. So before you use a term like 'cultural thing', do some research. I mean CNN put the data out that I found...

    July 28, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  13. karen from illinois

    Should Michael Vick be allowed to play football again? NO. Remember what he did. All kinds of animal fighting will continue as long as the persons involved or those who get arrested get a light fine or a slap on the hand. Dog owners unite. Keep him off the field.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  14. Dee

    Vick should get the same seconnd chance the rest of the felons in this country get; minimum wage manual labor. Wasn't there a CNN news story on post prison employment problems a few days ago? Sports figures in this country are usually held as role models. Does anyone really want their child emulating Mr. Vick?

    July 28, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  15. Jeff Bisdee

    In all of the discussions regarding Michael Vick, I have yet to hear the psychological side.
    Michael Vick did prison time for horrendous criminal and moral acts. He served his criminal time.
    Leavenworth Prison did nothing for the moral and psychological aspects of what he did.
    What he did was abnormal, and he should be told by the NFL Commissioner to return to the NFL he needs to undergo a psychiatric
    assessment in addition to ongoing psychotherapy treatment. I am shocked that has not been initiated. The sports world is harder on someone
    like Pete Rose because of his gambling addiction than they are on someone who commits gruesome,
    in-humane, and despicable acts.

    ~ Jeff B.
    from Pittsburgh, PA

    July 28, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  16. Carrie

    Vick should nevr be allowed to play football again. In fact he should have been dealt the same fate those poor dogs got. The ONLY reason he is saying he is sorry is so he will be allowed to get back to making mega bucks again for playing a game.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  17. Jordan

    I think this whole deal is crazy its not like he kill somebody he did his time from the crime so now they need to let him live his life.Its just like him goin to Mc.Donalds and they tell him he cant work there because he have been in jail..

    July 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  18. Catherine

    Michael Vick should not be allowed to play, as some other people have stated, there are thousands of good football players in the country, is it so hard to go to a college campus and make one of their dreams come true? Plus, just because he served his time, doesn't make in a changed man. He is a despicable human being for thinking that he could do that to animals and then get away with it with at 18 month sentence. Can't we remember the cover on Sport Illustrated and the touching cover story that spoke about all of the dogs that needed to be rehabilitated or they were killed?

    Vick needs hours and hours of counseling to truly be a changed person. Finally, is this really the type of role model people want for their sons who aspire to be a pro football player? If I had kids, this would be the man that I would make an example out of. I would not tell my kids that this is a role model. Most boys who play football have some player that they look up to or some coach that they dream to play with. The NFL should get rid of Vick and get another acceptable human being so that people have good role models for their children.

    And for anyone out there that says that they were just dogs, and pets aren't a part of the family, I got news for you: I live with my lab mix and he constantly scared the football players on my college campus and I thank God everyday that I have him. Should something awful happen to me, I know that my dog would do everything in his power to protect me. Family protects each other and your family should extend out to your pets. Take care of them and they will take care of you.


    July 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  19. JEZEBEL58

    I do believe that Michael Vick should be given a second chance,there are parents who abuse their children and the children is taken away briefly and put back in their care after the parents are sent for counselling and muderers do their time and are given chances. And no it's not a cultural thing,I grew up having pigs,rabbits,guinea pigs,birds,chickens,a parrot and two dogs and we loved them all they were like members of the family.The parrot and the dogs were very special to us,so if people believe that I guess because he grew up in a different environment and I don't think he did it for the money.PETA had a problem when the prez killed a fly that was a nuisance and yes they are going to be front and center once he is playing

    July 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  20. Gay R

    Something else I forgot to mention in my previous comment –

    Giving someone who made "terrible mistakes" a second chance DOES NOT MEAN THAT LIFE GOES ON AS BEFORE. Gee wouldn't that be great?! We could all benefit from that reasoning. Poor old Bernie Madoff wouldn't have to go to prison for terrorizing all those people who trusted them with their money and now have nothing left to live on. Poor old Ken Lay, et all at Enron, who did the same. Poor old Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Etc, etc, etc. . . . . . .

    July 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  21. Don Straub

    It is a sad commentary that animals(dogs) are exploited for combat and violently done away with when their usefulness is complete. I agree with Kiran that people should know you don't soak a dog in water and then electrocute the poor thing. But there are those who haven't learned. I hope that Vick can reach these people and rectify some of his wrongs. Vick can contribute positively to society. I hope he does so.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  22. Laurie

    Yes, Vick deserves a second chance. It is said that when you serve your time and paid your fines you have paid for the crime. It seems that many people forget this. It amazes me that people who claim to be christian will not give felons a second chance. This is really against the teaching. I would like to see that Vick not only support groups against the abuse of animals, but also groups in support of second chances for felons. We as a society cannot support all those felons who are either homeless, on welfare, or again committing crimes. Stop and think about it they will stand up to say something about abuse of animals, but not support their fellow man.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  23. Heber

    This is why people are so messed up in this country, too much hate, jealousy. People you need to forgive and forget. Isn't that what you do with your children everyday. A sin is a sin, a crime is a crime; he paid you need to move on, this is looking more as a persecution, a lynching.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  24. Virginia & Cass Vanini

    We are completely against M. Vicks being reinstated to the NFL under any circumstances.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  25. J.Burton

    Vick should never be allowed to play NFL football again. His crimes against animals were depraved and disturbing. He should held as an example to other professional athletes that a criminal felony conviction will end your career.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  26. Troy

    How is it fair that Pete Rose is Banned for life , He isnt even allowed into the hall of fame. But Vic a convicted fellon Who did prison time is getting his job back. Either we have rules and live with them or we dont. Pete Rose has had to live with this alot longer than Mr. Vic

    July 28, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  27. Rico

    If Vick was an average player, would any team take a chance on him? I don't think so. To risky for a potential mediocre return. Bad business decision.

    It's because Vick is a good player and an exciting player who increases the chances of a team to win games. A better
    business decision.

    If a manager working for IBM commits a felony, goes to jail, pays his debts to society, gets out of jail – does he get his job back? No. It doesn't work that way. He's lost all his status. He has no moral credibility.

    In the entertainment industry i.e. actor, singer, etc. there are numerous examples of entertainers going to jail
    serving their time, and welcomed back into their profession i.e. Robert Doney Jr. No problem.

    Mike Tyson was convicted of rape and spent 4 yrs. in prison. He got out of jail and went right back to boxing. Sports is in that "entertainment" category.

    On the other hand, if I were a NFL owner, I'd have multiple issues to rconsider if I was considering Vick as a member of my team.

    How will the fans react and how much grief would that reaction bring to the other players? What would the mood be like in the locker room? What would it do for my team's image locally and nationally? What would it do for my personal image/legacy? If I own a NFL team and I have a major sponsor's name on my stadium or multiple advertisers who have selected my team to associate their product/brand with, would I need to call that sponsor(s) and ask how they would feel if Vick were a member of the team? Would I want to risk the financial support from advertisers if I brought Vick on the team?

    Vick is good, but he's not a great player. Passing record is about 53%. It's his pizazz style of play that gets him attention.

    If it were your business, what would you do?

    July 28, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  28. tanya

    it is amazing to me that a person can go to jail, almost lose his entire career for dog fighting when unborn HUMANS are killed daily without any consequence.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  29. anonymous

    I think that there is something completely wrong with society when someone can kill someone and serve 28 days, when a convicted child molester is sentenced to about 60 days, and Michael Vick is sentenced to 18 months for dog fighting! It just tells me that the American society values animals more than human life. Yes, I believe Michael Vick should be reinstated, without condition!

    July 28, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  30. Vee

    A professional boxer was allowed to continue boxing after BITING OFF AN OPPONENT'S EAR, for cryin' out loud. This Vick business doesn't surprise me at all! Neither one of those bozos should be allowed back into polite society, never mind professional sports.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  31. Bert, SC

    Only if a portion of his future salary goes toward animal charities.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  32. Gay R

    OH please!! Sure give him a second chance – but not with the NFL. Let him get a job with the city pound cleaning the cages, etc., taking care of animals others have abandoned and/or have not responsibly taken care of. Let him see daily what this type of irresponsibility leads to.

    Why should he be able to return to his former position when other employers would not hire back a person who committed this type of crime? Football is a game that pays exceedingly well. Just because he was a talented QB doesn't mean he is above everything. Sure he went to jail for a short time. However, this does not dismiss the fact that he KNOWINGLY committed a crime by training dogs to fight and destroying them in various HORRIBLE, DESPICABLE ways. NOTHING makes that OK. NOTHING. It's called a conscience. Most people have one. Apparently not all people do.

    Shame on the NFL even thinking of allowing him to return.

    My God is a forgiving God too but that doesn't mean that there are not lasting consequences when a person commits horendous deeds.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  33. Jenna

    I just think that the Professor is a disrespectful person, this officer was there to help him… The professor has a chip on his shoulder and friends in high places…

    So because of his class, and the fact that the Mayor and the police chief of Cambridge spoke, who are both Black Americans, the professor was given special privileges unlike anyone else would receive…

    Oh, did I mention he knows the president too, it would not have mattered what he did….

    I did not like my president speaking regarding this matter, somehow it just did not seem appropriate, I am disappointed in this whole matter…

    The professor chose the wrong police officer to accuse of race discrimination the police officers credentials defy that very premise… The professor needs to be a better leader, and the president needs to realize how he has hurt people because of this incident…


    July 28, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  34. WittWicky

    Carol Costello,

    "I apologize Jnette…I meant rural Virginia where Vick grew up"

    Excuse me, Michael Vick was born and raised in Newport News, VA.

    "As of the census of 2000, there were 180,150 people, 69,686 households, and 46,341 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,637.9 people per square mile (1,018.5/km²)." Wikipedia

    Hardly "rural culture".

    One of the problems with the "news" today is reporters no longer report the facts. How can viewers properly understand issues if reporters continue to spew erroneous information?

    July 28, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  35. Salome

    I would like to hear Mr. Gates side of this incident. Parts of the officer
    story is not convincing. The officer states that Mr. Gates was a little uncooperative. Why? I do not believe the "mama" comments at all.
    I still believe the officer did not have grounds to arrest Mr. Gates, because based on what I've heard I don't believe Mr. Gates was out of
    control. I do believe that once Mr. Gates stepped out on the porch the
    officer usurped his authority without justification.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  36. E Denise

    I think it is crazy we are in a society that has a judical system for people to pay for breaking the law and then when they have done their time we continue to punish them for our own personal feelings. His time is over...he has done it. Give it up!! Let the man live the rest of his life. The law has already decided how much time his crime was worth. No where in his judgment did it say and then you will be punished for the rest of your life by your peers. Soledad was speaking from personal feelings this am...and it showed. This is our problem...we are not letting him have his chance to show he has learned from the mistake. He needs to make a is it. Let him live...spend some energy on something else.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  37. Crystal

    For once, a Black man whose done his time might be able to get a job and all of these haters out here still aren't satisfied with the fact he's already paid the price for what he did many times over. We're talking about crimes against dogs. We've got people walking the streets and living their lives that have killed/harmed "people" and done less time than Michael Vick. Are you guys willing to go to their jobs and protest them making a living after they've done the time? Give it a break/rest already. The sooner people in this country stop playing judge and jury, the better off we'll be.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  38. tiffany - u.s. virgin islands

    I am glad someone made a comment that address what Ms. Costello said about dog fighting being a cultural thing. I was never taught to fight dogs or kill dogs as a kid. Its offensive to suggest that culturally, black people are taught to train dogs to kill. I have rescued one dog and two cats in my life time. It might surprise you that none of them are dead, but its true. I am so offended. Think before you speak. You can correct what you said and I would suggest that you do so.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  39. janice lister

    let our justice system work. the man has done his time now live and let live.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  40. karrie

    there are just some crimes that should not be "wiped away" by time served & public service spots........& saying "i'm sorry..."

    abuse of animals is one of them, in my book.

    this man was responsible for the torture & murder of many innocent dogs.

    the nfl commissioner should be ashamed of himself for even proposing a possible re-instatement.

    and for any team foolish enough to pick up this idiot, the fans should hit them where it boycotting ticket sales.

    doesn't ANYBODY have a conscience anymore???????

    July 28, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  41. Elaine

    One of your anchors made a comment at appox. 7:30am corncerning the Michael Vick story. Let me be very clear I do not advocate any form of animal cruelty. I have a dog name porkchop who has some pit in his dna and he is very well taken cared for by his family. I don't recall the anchor women's name but she stated that Michael had been involved with dog fighting since the age of eight and that it was cultural. I was born and raised in Boston, Mass. and I have never been involved in dog fighting in my life. I am a 47 year old african american women. Her statement was very sterotypical and very offensive. For those individuals who are watching the cnn news and don't always rightly divide what is said that could leave a lasting image in the mind of watcher that the assumptions are that all african americans are in involved in dog fighting. I am educated and hard working and that is not one of my hobbies.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  42. Carol Costello

    I apologize Jnette...I meant rural Virginia where Vick grew up.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  43. J Johnson (VA)

    Thanks to Roger Goodell for Michael Vick's reinstatement, the NFL, Tony Dungy and others for mentoring Vick and, last but not least, the NFL Coach(team) who feels deep down in his soul the compassion and heart to pick up Vick. For those individuals who do not know and not trying to find out how cultural differences fit in, my heart goes out to you. Michael, keep the faith!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  44. Deba Obazee

    The hipocracy exhibited by lot of people who comment on this issue is way beyond my imagination. When a man or woman abuses a child, we justify the action by asking the offender be reinstated back into the society by registring as sex offenders. They are given second chances in life and not condemned. You have just shown why the American society has decayed so much so that we spend more time, energy, resources on dogs, cats than we spend on our children.
    He deserves more than a second chance. Who amongst us hasn't been given a second chance in life. As for PETA, the need their heads re-examined. Period!!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  45. Michelle

    Unbelievable! Does the NFL really think that Vick has been rehabilitated in such a short period of time and especially in prison. He has been involved in dog fighting since he was a kid. Who needs training camp this summer? Vick still has the taste of blood from killing all those innocent animals. As usual, its all about money, winning, and Vick's right to pursue a job, give me a break!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  46. Barry

    I just love how the press, yes you guys who sit and judge everyday what others have done, yet NEVER report on your own short comings! It's sickening to see you be so pious and perfect. You pre-judge everything and really you all enjoy being the story. You say when is the press going to stop reporting on the Gates issue and more but continue to report as if you can't stop. Just say no. Michael Vick did a horrible thing. But in America we should send ALL people who do bad things to live on some other planet. I wonder would that satisfy you. The woman who was reporting on Michael Vick's last comment was she was putting her hopes in Stafford as the Detroit Lions quarterback...until he does something bad. Then what? People who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones. Stafford could very easily break your heart too and then you will judge him and kick him too the curb too. I've seen how this movie you control ends! And my last comment is as I watched you press people talk so glowing about Walter Cronkite's integrity and class I find it amazing that none of you hacks don't really believe what you said and even attempt to emulate him by just reporting and keeping your perfectionist attitudes to yourselves. I hope your life just one day would be as imperfect as those of us on this side of the lense. As Barbra Streisand said, they build you up to tear you down!!!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  47. Daniel

    I feel Mr. Vick should not be punished by the NFL. Mr. Vick served his sentence , he should allowed to rebuild his life. In which he is attempting to do by gaining employment as a professional football player. I find it ironic that the media keep's talking about his conviction for dog fighting. But yet they're are player's in the NFL that have taken another person's life. They spent 120 days in jail and went back to playing football. Why can't the media report on that. Doesn't a human life carry more merit than man's best friend.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  48. Richard Moses

    I believe Michael Vick should have been reinstated to play professional football. We've all made mistakes and we've all been given opportunities to make amends; opportunities to get back on track. We must remember he was not prosecuted for the dod fighting; he was sent to federal prison for not telling the truth to investigators about his role in dog fighting activities. I found offense in what Ms. Costello indicated. She stated this was a cultural thing almost implying to me it was an African American thing. I am of that culture and I've never encountered any type of dog fighting or systemic animal abuse and cruelty. Could it have been a socioeconomic thing reaching across many ethnicities?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  49. Shemika

    Before someone start to judge other people they need to take a good look at themselves. Yes I do believe that Mike Vick should be given a second chance. There r a lot of people doing criminal things but just haven't gotten caught yet. By no means do I like the fact that he killed dogs but he's trying to turn his life back around. It doesn't really matter how the public thought about Vick being reinstated or not it was basically the sole decison of Roger Goodell. Goodell has made his decision and deceided that Vick should have a second chance now the public need to give him a second chance.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  50. WittWicky

    One of this morning's reporters said "it's a cultural thing". I've heard this excuse from others. Is the reporter saying black families teach their children to torture and kill animals? Where is the black communities outrage that their culture is being accused of fostering mistreatment of animals? The reality is this is another case of people not accepting responsibility for their actions. Wake up America! Wrong is wrong. Vick may have served his time, but that is no reason to reward him with the privilege of playing professional sports. How about getting a real job Vick?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  51. Mike

    Enough with clap trap excuses. Michael Vick is not a victim of his culture as Carol Costello implied. He intentionally abused animals for his own pleasure and profit. What's wrong is wrong – period!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  52. c.french

    I am very upset with cnn right now, especially kiran. YES, vick made a mistake. YES, he served his time. YES, he will need to do more than just apologize to help protect the righs of animals. BUT MY GOD IS A FORGIVING GOD! LEAVE VICK ALONE!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  53. Jnette

    Ms. Costello,

    Please understand that dog fighting IS NOT a "cultural thing". I was never introduced to dog fighting as a child. And if you refer to it as such, refer to it as American cultural and not black cultural. Dog fighting has been eveident in many cultures, including the dirt roads of Texas(white offenders) just recently, with it's origins particularly dating back to the Colosseum in Rome during the Roman Empire, not to mention other cultures around the globe.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  54. Cherry

    What he did was wrong and his time he served wasn't long enough for me. Basically all this is saying is that its ok to commit a crime and go back to your cushy job. First helpless animals. What's next?? Women and children.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  55. Henry

    Too much emphasis on this singular person, as though dog fighting is now at an end! All of the "Southern Big Dogs" who maintained dog fighting before and after Mike Vick are laughing at this pathetic media coverage. Where is the investigative reporting into the "continual" dog fighting and its related money making? Where are the "devoted dog lovers" who want to save the unfortunate animals still living in violent bondage? Why haven't you shed light on the "Southern" practice of fighting animals for profit? Where is the outrage? Fact is, you got to exploit one man, just like others have exploited fighting dogs. Now you'll watch Mike, and you'll ignor the suffering that existed in fighting animals before and will continue to occur after Mike Vick's experience. Pathetic!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  56. Jose

    I disagree greatly with the actions of Mr. Vick but we as people are always in a rush to judge others. People around the world have committed horrible things and get second chances. Mr. Vick served the time he was sentenced, lost his fortune, his fame his is marked for life, Isn't that enough? What is most surprising for me is dogs have more right than unborn babies, isn't abortion worse than what Mr. Vick Did?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  57. Lea James

    I am a resident of South Louisiana. On any given weekend you can find a dog fight taking place. LOTS of money is lost and won in these events. As the cops are aware little is done to put an end to it because it is just too hard to detect and cease. This is a long time unfortunate cultural event. If Micheal Vick can do what police and the government cant ,why not welcome his position back on the field. PETA should support him and assist with changing the millions of Michael Vick's that will never see an NFL career but will be forever apart of unspeakable acts and terrible treatment to dogs. We should stop being a society that forever points the finger and never fix the problem.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  58. della mast

    We all make mistakes. Michael Vick payed his debt to society.
    Why should he be denied the right to make a living in the nfl?
    Michael was raised in a community that approved of dog fighting.
    Lets move on and give Michael the opportunity to show he has become a better human being. He who is without sin, go ahead and throw the first stone. God Bless y ou Michael.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  59. Shemika

    Yes, I personal do think that Mike Vick should get another chance in the NFL. I know that what he did with the dog fighting thing was a horrible thing but everybody makes mistakes. He has done his time but in some of the public's eyes he will never be done with doing his time. A lot of people are so judgemental. By no means what he done was right in no way and yes it was cruel but he has done his prison time, now the public need to let him put this chapter in his life behind him and let him live his life.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  60. Chris

    I believe there's much more behind Vick's crimes that has not been addressed. There have been countless studies proving that the vast majority of child abusers, murders, and mass murders started by abusing animals. Anyone who can do or even participate in the violent cruelty that Michael Vick did has serious psychological problems. Not only should he not be a role model to America's children, he should have been required to undergo more than two years of punishment that INCLUDED treatment and not released until he was considered to have been rehabilitated (if that is possible). I don't think we've heard the end of Vick's story, and it won't be a pretty one.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  61. Mike

    I do not buy, the fact that Michael Vick has been fighting dogs since he was 8 years old, that he did not realize it was wrong. If it is true, why was he doing all of this in secret? Why did he not plead guilty immediately? He knew what he was doing was wrong. Any child understands that cruelty (and Michael Vick's form of cruelty had no gray area) to animals is wrong.

    I would boycott any game that he plays in.

    – Mike

    July 28, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  62. Steph

    In this world, we all make mistakes in our lives. And there are punishments we go through from the mistakes. I admit I was angry at Vick for the poor choices he made. 23 months (close to 2 years) in prison is a long time for a man. To punish him more for the rest of his life is even worse. I believe people should learn how to forgive and forget. Hard it may sound, but having a grudge over something horrible won't make anything better. The man did his time, and give him a second chance to prove he has learned his lesson.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  63. pattya

    It is known that people who torture animal and so easily kill animals can turn out to easily hurt and/or kill humans. Think jeffrey Dahmer. His sentence was a slap on the wrist for his crime. The NFL should NOT give someone who basically inhumanely killed animals that were no longer making money for him and his cohorts a 2nd chance. His only remorse was getting caught. He would still be doing this if he had not. I hope he at minimum does stand behind his word to speak up against this heinous practice of dog fighting...but he needs to give up on the NFL and spend his time speaking across the country to neighborhoods where this is a problem to get this torture to stop. Then I would really believe he has remorse and would help the cause other than some community service to show he MAY have remorse.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  64. Brandon R

    Vick still bears the latent memories of dogs who lost their lives partly due to his participation in a dogfighting ring. The public should not have the constant reminder of the existence of those who cause harm to innocent creatures of the Earth. I can only hope now that NFL leaders share similar sentiments and do not allow him to play a game, ever again.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  65. david parent

    i would take him in a second , he is a great qb , i wish the giants would pick him up . let him just run with the ball when he wants to , he is the best ,

    July 28, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  66. Ron

    Carol Costello is right to put her hopes on the Lions. The 50 year Bobby Layne curse is over as of last year. The Lions will win the Superbowl this year. So the rest of you anchors be quiet about the Lions and Carol's tem of choice!!! Yes, I'm mad! Ok, only a little mad.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  67. Erin Smith

    This man has paid his debt to society- give him a break!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  68. Milo

    He commited a horrible crime and he served the time, it would be a bigger waste of life and talent for Vick NOT to play in the NFL anymore.

    People preach forgiveness but when it comes to animals people go crazy. Vick's crimes were serious but people who hate him so much should take on bigger issues.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  69. Keith

    Kiran, you commented that if either of you or anyone else had done that to dogs, you would not get your job back. Well neither is Michael Vick, his job was the QB of the Atlanta Falcons. However, every American would get the right to pursue a job in their given profession and I can assure you, PETA would not be sitting at every job site waiting for the animal abuser and protesting that person's existence, like they will when and if Michael Vick makes another NFL roster. He made a big mistake, leave him alone.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  70. Sharon Lee

    I am very disappointed with the Commissioner for reinstating Vick to the NFL. Playing there is a privilege not a right and he lost that opportunity when he tortured and murdered those poor dogs. He has not shown remorse – he just talks the talk so he can make lots of money playing football. He is only sorry he got caught. I will boycott any team, it's sponsors and encourage my friends and family to do the same if anyone hires Vick.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:58 am |
  71. Paul

    This happens time and again with our "sports heroes". Kiran you are right when you asked the rhetorical question: Would we get the same chance given the crimes committed? Hell, no! Remember Bob Probert (played with the Red Wings and Blackhawks)? Caught once with cocaine, and then after a motorcycle accident found with cocaine in his system and yet he was allowed back into the NHL. For the heinous crimes Vick committed he should never be allowed to play again. Is this really the type of role model and message we want to send to our children? Bernie Madoff didn't get off that easy! Once again, I guess it's just a sports thing.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:54 am |
  72. Steve

    I do not feel like Vick should be allowed back in the NFL. I believe that the chance to play in any professional sports and be one of the super rich players is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if you do something evil and wrong that you have given up that opportunity and should not be allowed to be in that elite group again. Just like I feel that Leonard Little should not have been given the chance to play again after he killed someone while driving drunk.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:53 am |
  73. Bruce Buch

    Vick may have served his time, but that doesn't change the fact that he is one of that sick breed of persons who sees entertainment value in subjecting innocent animals to unspeakable cruelty. It's a sad commentary on the state of mankind that so many are willing to look past this for the sake of our own entertainment.
    Advertisers, take notice... if Vick goes back to the NFL, this football fan will be doing something better with his Sunday afternoons..

    July 28, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  74. Joey McKnight

    I believe he desreves a second chance if he has trully changed and is serious about helping dogs and other animals. As an ex-felon from over 20 years ago I know how hard it is to survive in this world without being given that kind of an opportunity, especially if you have changed your ways and do not want to be sucked back into the viscious cycle of crime as so often is the case with those of us who have made mistakes in our lives. I know I could have used that kind of a chance.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:49 am |
  75. Mimimo

    Yes, I think Michael Vick deserves a second chance. He served his time and is trying to make amends for his poor judgement. If we put ourselves in his place, wouldn't we want a second chance? Yes! No mercy given to others, no mercy will be given to you.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  76. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    Michael Vick is lucky that he did not serve much more time in prison for the horrible crimes against life that he is guilty of so he does not deserve another chance in the NFL. Playing football in the NFL is not a right that Vick is entitled to, it is a privilege that Vick has forfeited by his inhumane behavior!

    If I was able to pass judgment on Michael Vick, then he would think that Guantánamo Bay was a hotel resort in a very short period of time after I got through with him!

    I am very upset with Roger Goodell and the NFL for allowing Michael Vick back in. I hope that no football team is stupid enough to give Vick a contract because I will never watch that team even if they are in the Superbowl and I will definitely boycott any products that Vick’s team advertises along with their sponsors. My decision is absolutely firm and it will never change under any circumstances!

    July 28, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  77. Robert

    Vick should not be allowed to return to the NFL. His disregard towards “Man’s Best Friend” and barbaric actions are despicable. The public visibility the NFL creates is no place for this monster. Forgive him, well he should disappear from public view and find another more suitable job. Shame on the league!

    July 28, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  78. feathers

    Strongly disapprove of allowing Vick back in the NFL. He didn't kill & torture one dog; he did it to and permitted it to be done to thousands of dogs or more. Prison can’t change someone who could to this to animals & I believe his only remorse is that he got caught. It isn’t that he didn’t serve the time for his crime, it’s that the nature of his crime was so heinous. And children should not be exposed to someone so perverted as to torture and slaughter dogs.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  79. Robyn Foss

    There thousands of amazing football players in this country.
    Can't they pick one that doesn't kill animals?

    July 28, 2009 at 6:36 am |