Michael Vick vs. Donte Stallworth
I will be hard pressed to accept the fact that Mr. Stallworth is allowed to be reinstated and Mr. Vick has to sit and wait. I have always regard myself as a great legal mind, thanks to my teachers, the attorneys I have worked for and the extra seminars that I have attended.
But I have been following the Stallworth story since day one, and for some reason I think he is being handled with care and Michael Vick, who has completed his sentence, is subjected to a slight case of double jeopardy.
I am just curious to know whether Stallworth proved a certain level of “remorse” when he met with Roger Goodell, after having only served 24 days in jail. I want to know whether his crime is in anyway less than the crime committed by Vick. After all a human being died here.
I am not blaming Stallworth for moving forward with his life, by seeking to prepare for re-entry into the NFL. At this point I have not seen any statement released by the League office regarding the Commissioner’s meeting with Stallworth, no one even bothered to let the inquiring minds know if the level of remorse displayed by Stallworth met the same threshold as Vick’s. Again after all an innocent man lost his life here.
While it remains to be seen where Michael Vick goes, I am still not comfortable about the open-ended reinstatement granted by the NFL, will he be able to go to training camp, play in a pre-season game or sit out six games? Will the concise version of his reinstatement, please stand up?
Stallworth on the other hand, who has had prior infractions with the law, should be allowed to at least complete a year on probation before he seeks reinstatement, as it will give him a chance to be fully complaint with the “good behavior standards” outlined in his probation. Vick on the other hand has completed his sentence and should be given a chance to make a step forward. While I know for a fact that both men mean well, we cannot hold them at different standards.
A crime is a crime, regardless of statutory guidelines; the NFL should provide equal footing for the players to be rehabilitated. How will there be any precedence, if Vick is treated differently from Stallworth, when their crimes are equally repulsive?
Am I to believe that the league is over its head with legal issues facing the players and the benchmarks by which punishment is administered? Maybe it’s a good time for the Players Union to put their feet down and open a dialogue – seeking to educate players on conduct policies and holding the league responsible for making sure that the right and privilege cliché remains in effect with clear and concise precedence.