Former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick will be released from home confinement and federal custody on July 20 after completing a 23-month prison sentence for operating a dog-fighting ring. A possible return to the NFL then will rest in the hands of league commissioner Roger Goodell, who said in late June that he had begun to evaluate the situation. Goodell said he has no timetable for a decision. How would you rule?
Jamie Dukes, former Falcons and NFL Network analyst
I believe Michael Vick deserves a second chance to play in the NFL.
Vick has admitted his guilt and served his time, unlike the guys who were actually guilty of performing some of the most heinous acts against those poor, defenseless dogs.
Michael has lost in excess of $250 million in salary and endorsements to go along with his incarceration.
I'm not here to absolve Michael of his crime, but I can say that no athlete in professional sports history has paid a steeper price for an indiscretion.
Dan Shannon, director of campaigns, PETA
The dogs Michael Vick electrocuted, slammed to the ground, drowned and hanged didn't get a "second chance," and neither should Vick until he has proved that he truly understands his crime and is remorseful about having tortured and killed dogs — not just because he got caught. Until we know whether Vick truly feels remorse for his crimes, he has no business being primed to become a role model for children, which is what an NFL star is.
That's why PETA has called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to require that Vick undergo a full psychological evaluation before making any decisions about the future of his football career, as well as to add cruelty to animals to the NFL's Code of Conduct.
Real men and real athletes are kind to animals.