My opinion is no, and I’m giving the reasons, purely on the basis that I’m speaking to a person who has fallen down in life, and is still struggling to get up again. I would say this to Vick:
Despite the din from those who hold an opposing view, there are folks who think you have paid your dues, and you get a second chance to rebuild your life. After all, you went from a millionaire to a felon, lost almost everything.
Now it’s time to move on. Some in the media say you are desperate to repair your image, and therefore you see the opportunity to work with the Humane Society, in a role that will deter youngsters from getting involved in dogfighting, as a positive one. I disagree with you.
I believe that coming out of this episode, you need to regain your self dignity and self worth so that you can move forward. Why should you go around parading your mistakes and your past in the public eye? Think what this will do to your self esteem. While you learn from past mistakes, you also need to leave it all behind to make this difficult and huge leap to the next chapter in your life.
The New York Times reported that Wayne Pacelle, Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States, already has doubts about you: “I’m not convinced that Mike is completely turned around,” he said, “and I’m not convinced that he’s going to make the most of this opportunity. But I do think he should have a chance to demonstrate that he is changed and that he can be part of the solution. Call me a participating skeptic.”
That is not a good sign. Do you really want to continue to be humiliated?
You were probably advised by your lawyers and agents that by working or volunteering with an animal rights group, this will facilitate your reentry into NFL if a team wants you. Do you really buy that, Mike? You can contribute to end dogfighting every single day, you can flagellate yourself very day in public. But if a team owner thinks you would be more a liablity than an asset, and that you would affect their income negatively, they would not take you in, no matter what you do to show your remorse.
Think of Isaiah Washington when he was alleged to have used an anti-gay slur on the set of Grey’s Anatomy. He apologized and went for counseling. But the show still dumped him after that.
From your perspective, it is probably very hard to imagine making your livelihood other than through football. You were very good at it, and it’s probably your passion. But you have got to be realistic; you might have to leave your athletic career behind.
There are thousands of things being said about you and to you as you serve your probation. But ultimately, it’s your life. At 29, there is still so much life ahead.
Don’t let others use you for their own agenda. Assess every advice wisely, and rely only on family and friends who were still there for you when you hit bottom. Think of yourself first, and only agree to do whatever is in your best interest, and that which will help, and not hinder you, as you move (as we all must) into the future.