All Articles Tagged "michael vick"
(New York Times) — Michael Vick will take the field on Sunday wearing the uniform of the Philadelphia Eagles, who took him in after his imprisonment for helping to run a dogfighting ring. But thanks to his personal bankruptcyfiling after he went to jail, he will also be playing for BMW Financial Services, Dodson Pest Control, Summertime Pool and the Monticello Woods Homeowners Association. They are not sponsors. Instead, they and many others have a claim on his future earnings. Bankrupt professional athletes are a sad fixture on the sports scene, and Mr. Vick isn’t even alone among quarterbacks who have hit the financially injured reserve list. The former Cleveland Browns star Bernie Kosar and the current New York Jets backup, Mark Brunell, have had their brushes with bankruptcy, too. Sports stars may or may not mess up more often than the average person who earns a lot of money really fast, but their troubles seem outsize because of their fame and the pathetic schemes they fall for. The stakes are high for football players in particular, since their average professional career lasts just four seasons or so and may leave lingering injuries and the health costs or physical limitations that come with them.
Michael Vick has finally been redeemed after months of struggling to rebuild his life. The beleaguered quarterback signed a six-year, $100 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday making him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL. According to The Washington Post, this is the second time in Vick’s career that he has signed a nine-figure deal, an amazing comeback after being suspended from the NFL in 2007 and serving 19 months in jail for dog fighting.
Coach Andy Reid said in a statement about the deal: “I’m very happy we were able to reach an agreement with Michael on this long-term contract. It’s a product of all the hard work Michael has done to better himself over the last couple of years, both on and off the field.”
Vick’s new deal with the Eagles comes on the heels of receiving a few endorsements, including a top-notch partnership with Nike. Yet, his financial circumstances are still complicated. Much of his sudden increase in income will diverted to creditors as part of his bankruptcy repayment plan. Washington Post writer Cindy Boren explains:
By Jay Anderson
America has a peculiar love/hate relationship with professional athletes. We love them when they’re playing well. We think they’re overpaid, whiny babies when they don’t. We build them up to tear them down, only to then (sometimes) build them back up again. We have watched some of our favorite athletes fall from the heights of sports success, to the depths of injury and incarceration – only to praise their resurrections. Here are 10 such tales of destruction, redemption and in some cases intense struggle back to the pinnacle of athletic achievement.
After spending time in jail for dogfighting, Vick’s climb back to the top has been slow, but steady. After a season as the Eagles’ third string quarterback, a combination of luck of hard work has thrust Vick back into the starting lineup and superstardom. By ringing up 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2010, the once discarded Vick was given the franchise tag by the team in February, and recently signed a new deal with Nike. Vick’s challenges has changed him into an appreciative man that brands want to identify with again.
Nike and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick are back together again. Four years after Nike terminated Vick’s contract due to his arrest and 18 month prison sentence on dog fighting charges, the two have reunited.
“Michael acknowledges his past mistakes,” Nike spokesman Derek Kent expressed. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
These positive changes have not only inked Michael a new deal, he has also returned to the game a star player. Vick was named the starting quarterback for the Eagles over Kevin Kolb early in the 2010 season. Then he went on to dominate in 2010, throwing for 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns.
It looks like Michael is getting the ‘Vicktory” after all. How do you feel about his criminal to celebrity status? Do you think Nike should have given him another chance?
(Philadelphia Inquirer) — The Michael Vick comeback story has come full circle. Nearly four years after he was dumped by Nike, the Eagles quarterback was re-signed for promotional services by the worldwide leader in sports sneakers and apparel, according to the company. “We have re-signed Michael Vick as a Nike athlete,” spokesman Derek Kent said Friday. “Michael acknowledges his past mistakes. We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.” The deal, the exact details of which are unknown, is believed to be the first for a major athlete who was dropped by an endorser only to be re-signed later. Vick did not respond to a text message seeking comment, but he released a statement.
(Wall Street Journal) — With the national media buzzing about sports-related concussions last year, Unequal Technologies figured it would be easy to generate publicity about its impact-absorbing sports equipment. But after pitching media outlets for several frustrating months, executives could hardly grab a headline. Then, in November, the manager of controversial Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick phoned Unequal Chief Executive Rob Vito. Mr. Vick, who had been wearing retrofitted Unequal football pads all season, wanted to be Unequal’s official spokesman.
Mr. Vito—who had been involved in fitting the player with the specially tailored equipment—was intrigued, but his advisory board was skeptical, sparking a heated boardroom discussion. “One of our consultants said we would be committing ‘business suicide’ if we hired Michael Vick,” Mr. Vito recalled. “We’re a small company. We can’t afford that kind of backlash, where a package’s Sporting Goods or a Modell’s says, ‘Hey, because you have Michael Vick, we’re not going to carry you in our stores.’ “Even with Mr. Vick’s brand tarnished from the highly publicized dog-fighting scandal— which landed him in jail for a year and a half and prompted companies, including Nike and Coca-Cola, to drop him—Mr. Vito sensed an opportunity. If the sporting world could be made aware that Unequal’s football pads had helped Mr. Vick’s spectacular comeback from a rib injury, it could help Unequal attract orders from NFL teams and football moms alike. Ultimately, he was able to convince his company to sign Mr. Vick.
(Washington Post) — Two days after Oprah Winfrey won that bet she’d made with new CNN show host Piers Morgan, announcing she’d booked Michael Vick to her syndicated talk show on Thursday, Feb. 24 — Vick pulled the plug. “Mr. Vick’s representatives called last night to cancel his appearance for personal reasons,” Oprah’s Harpo production house acknowledged Wednesday afternoon when called for comment. Dear Mike Vick, sorry to hear about you cancelling Oprah. I’m here if you need me, Kind regards Piers That’s Piers tweet/gloating Wednesday upon hearing the news. It had not been much of a surprise that Oprah had landed Vick, given that Vick himself said about a month ago he’d wager Oprah would win the bet because, he told USA Today, “I know nothing about that other guy.” And, of course, Oprah canceled the bet a few days ago, tweeting, “I’m pulling out of the bet. I don’t know why I let [Piers] talk me into it. I don’t gamble.”
Well, that’s interesting. NFL player Michael Vick, who spent time in prison for dog fighting, will sit on the couch of dog lover Oprah Winfrey later this month for an interview. Oprah is well known for her love of animals. Her furry friends have even shared space with her on the cover of O Magazine.
Find out more about the interview over on AOL Black Voices.
Do you think people should just leave Vick alone since he has completed his prison sentence or do you think he wasn’t punished enough and deserves the criticism?
(AP) — Michael Vick is back pitching products. Vick has signed his first paid endorsement contract since his release from prison. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Pro Bowl quarterback inked a two-year contract with Unequal Technologies, a provider of the football pads Vick wore most of last season. The deal will be announced on Thursday. “We’re real excited about it,” chief executive officer Rob Vito said Tuesday. “Michael is good people. He paid his dues. President Obama reached out to him. He deserves an opportunity. This is what makes America so great. He’s moved forward. He’s a whole other person.”
So Tucker Carlson, Fox News commentator and professional agitator, recently ignited a small controversy over his comments that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick should have been executed three years ago when convicted on dog-fighting and animal cruelty charges.
As a Philadelphian, and needless to say Eagles fan, no one is happier than I (and the millions other Eagles fans around the country) to have a player like Vick leading the helm. But even through his redemptive professional comeback, Vick still can’t escape the calls from animal rights activist and dog owners alike that he should have been stripped of his freedom and barred from the game forever.
This constant barrage of hate towards the quarterback is alarming for some, particularly in the African American community, who find it odd that dogs in America have been elevated to a higher standard than many humans. All this resentment has led some in the black community to raise the pentacle question: Why do White people love dogs much more than they do Black people?
Even the humorous site, Stuff that White People Like, has lightly mocked the peculiar relationship between white people and their dogs, which involves feeding them organic and homemade foods, talking to their dogs; giving them human traits and characteristics, dressing them in cutesy designer outfits and even kissing them on the lips – ewww.
This strange kinship that white folks have with their dogs, some believe, is only contrasted with black folks relative obliviousness to the furry four legged creatures. For some, it’s straight up dislike. Some say its goes all the way back to slavery and the Jim Crow South when dogs were used as weapons to keep us Negros in check. Many black folks seem to not be able to erase those images from their mind of young black men being mauled by a racist dog, egged on by a truck full of angry rednecks.
But all jokes aside, this is not necessarily a black and white issue for me and I think to frame the issue this way does a disservice to our humanity as black people. I know some whites who hate dogs and other domesticated animals as much as anyone else. And yet I have black friends, who not only love their dogs but have birthday parties and even dress them up in little stupid outfits (seriously, stop that). Folks, who love, hate and abuse animals knows no colors or bounds.
As an owner of a 110-pound American Bulldog named Coltrane, it can be safely said that I belong to the group of black folks who too love dogs (and cats too) – although I am not at the point of dressing him up in little fu-fu outfits. However, growing up, I always had a healthy relationship with animals and was taught that God didn’t reserve the ideal of respect for life to just us humans.
Likewise, I didn’t have a problem with Vick’s conviction and subsequent punishment for the crime of dog fighting. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” And to breed dogs for the purpose of fighting and then electrocuting and drowning the losers because they didn’t fight ferociously enough, is not civilized or reflective of humanity.
However, Gandhi also said that, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Vick has served his time and did repent through volunteer work with the Humane Society of America, where he regularly goes to speak to kids. And if the president of the Humane Society feels that one day, Vick could be a loving owner to a dog – one day, than what does any of this have to do with football?
Yes, there are black folks, who love our dogs just as much as any human on the planet. And no, we can’t easily chalk up Vick’s past indiscretions to the notion that “they were just dogs.” However, we do believe that the narration being played out in the media needs to change from Vick, the dog fighter, to Vick, the man who has and continues to pay his debt to society and is now on the amending path.
The reality is that this phony outrage over Vick’s past treatment of dogs has little to do with the crime that he had been convicted of but more likely a reflection of the deep-seeded racial prejudice of black men with money. The same, so-called dog-loving activist Tucker Calson seemingly has no problem with Sarah Palin and her helicopter moose shooting expeditions.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.