From the moment Michael Vick stepped onto a football field, he has been known for his uncanny athletic talent. He is famous (or infamous) for his ability to create miracles on the gridiron while committing horrors off of it.
Vick was convicted and served 19 months in prison for his part in the operation of a dog-fighting ring in 2007. His return to the NFL in 2009 has seen him rise from a back-up quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles to the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 after leading the Eagles to an eventual playoff loss.
In February, Vick agreed to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show in a segment that would have covered his time in prison, his work with the Humane Society and his return to the NFL. Vick’s spokesman later canceled the appearance on the behalf of Vick citing “personal and private reasons.”
While it’s not my intention to discuss whether Vick deserves redemption (nor do I encourage anyone reading this post to do so either), he had an opportunity to receive it from one of the most powerful women in the world and he declined. I can understand his reluctance to appear on the show considering families who adopted Vick’s dogs were lobbying to appear at the Oprah/Vick interview. Not to mention that Winfrey is a self-proclaimed animal lover and Vick would almost certainly have had to confront his troubled past.
With that said, although Winfrey would have put him on the spot, Vick was given a forum to redeem himself and he missed the opportunity. With that said, I ask you:
• Do you think the decision to cancel the interview was a good move by Vick’s PR team?
• Do you think Vick’s appearance on the show was an opportunity to polish a tarnished image?
• Does the cost of running away from the issue outweigh the benefit of facing it?