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Despite his crimes, Vick should play

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who was conditionally reinstated by the NFL in July, still holds a strong public light after horribly abusing dogs in a dogfighting operation.

Because of its rarity, Vick’s arrest attracted publicity from all over the nation and hit home with most of the viewers: the owners of the shih tzus, golden retrievers, pugs and Dobermans. It was hard to agree with Vick’s return to football after his actions, and some might wonder why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would allow it.

If the NFL banned Vick, it would be hypocritical because of the numerous players charged with domestic violence and spousal abuse who returned to the field after measly one- to three-game suspensions.

I’m no feminist, but as a woman, it’s hard not to be offended when canine abuse takes stronger precedence than the abuse of wives and mothers.

While what Vick did to these animals is undoubtedly horrible, it is also wrong that players are not punished enough for physically threatening human lives.

Domestic and spousal abuse charges don’t hold a flame to Vick’s 23-month federal sentence – 18 of which he served – and two-season absence.

Michael Pittman, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, only received a three-game suspension and was fined two games’ pay after pleading guilty to ramming his Hummer into a car that contained his wife, 2-year-old child and baby sitter, according to The Associated Press.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes received counseling for dismissed charges of domestic violence and assault in 2006, according to the AP. A domestic violence case against former Cleveland Browns running back Reuben Droughns was also dropped because of a lack of evidence.

It seems like NFL – and possibly the justice system -take a man’s best friend more seriously than the woman in a man’s life.

The question is whether or not one agrees with the NFL’s decision to let Vick play again. The decision was made: Vick stays and Vick plays. My skepticism now reaches out to the public.

Joke phrases like “Vick’s an Eagle, hide your beagle” on fans’ signs show people have their minds on the case. The response is rage and uproar, decorated with witty, popularized slogans.

Sure, Vick deserves to play, but I will never agree with what he did. It’s no secret that professional athletes are the superheroes of the real world and treated differently than the rest of the public.

Vick spent a considerable amount of time in jail and has seemed remorseful. That is more than can be said for the handfuls of athletes charged with domestic violence who only showed remorse through case dismissals.

I do not believe that Vick has been reprimanded for his actions, but in comparison to other professional athletes, it appears he has paid for them more.

Ashley Darby is a senior majoring in creative writing.