President Obama supportive of second chance for Michael Vick
December 27th, 2010
07:43 PM ET
12 years ago

President Obama supportive of second chance for Michael Vick

Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) – President Obama believes in second chances. The president recently called Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and, during the conversation, the two discussed Michael Vick and the fresh start the quarterback has received while at the team, according to the White House.

“He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, “but, as he's said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.”

According to a report from, the president spoke passionately to the Eagles’ Lurie about giving prisoners a “fair second chance” once released.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback spent 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to running a dog fighting ring in 2007. After a suspension by the NFL, Vick was reinstated to the league and picked up by the Eagles.

The White House has not yet responded to a question asking whether Obama would welcome Michael Vick around the first family’s dog, Bo,. According to the terms of Vick’s release, he is not allowed to own a dog until 2012, when his supervised release ends. He has expressed his desire to own one.

Burton said the call was initiated because of Lurie’s plans to convert the stadium.

“The President did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues," Burton said.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Toronto-Roy Singh

    I am very happy that Michael Vick came back and is playing the way he is, he is truly a great Quarterback and I pray and hope that the Eagles get to the Superbowl and they win, in this way Michael will show all of his critics what a truly gifted athlete he is, go for it Michael, Toronto loves you...

    December 27, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. Julie C.

    OK, on this one I disagree w/the President! Vick should never be allowed to own a pet of any kind again.

    December 27, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. angela

    He is supposed to support Michael this man has paid his dues. Let's move on!
    Some people haved murdered someone and got less time than Vick. I like dogs but come on!

    December 27, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. I voted for neither

    Too bad Vick's contribution is getting paid an insane amount to play a game. Not exactly poster child of the year for rehabilitation.

    December 27, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Peter s

    While inspired by the ideal of justice, fairness is not sameness or always following the letter of the law. Fairness makes room for us to generate solutions and compromises based on reason and circumstance. `Said the philosopher`

    December 27, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. VANewsMan

    So...a man who committed a disgusting crime gets a second chance to make millions playing a game while many Americans who committed no crimes can't make ends meet? Perhaps Mr. Obama should spend his time on more important things. People need to stop cooing over Michael Vick already. He's just another celebrity who gets more than he deserves.

    December 27, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. D

    You just lost my vote and my respect Obama.

    December 27, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. rjgar

    What the heck do you mean to tell me that holder did not endorse this also ??

    December 27, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. johnny johnson

    I think everyone deserves chances to get their life right thank you president Obama.

    December 27, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. KD

    I wonder if he would give a second chance to a child abuser. Or someone who wants to find a job.
    My dog is a rescue and i know that Vick would not have the patience like i have had.
    Even the odds and give him a lion or tiger – something that can fight back.

    December 27, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  11. kelly

    I think (and this is a reach) if Vick takes the Eagles to the Super Bowl and they win and get an invite to the White House he should shake paws with Bo before he's allowed to shake the Presidents.
    I was not sure how I'd welcome Vick to my city, my town. As a huge animal lover I hope he's paid for his mistakes.

    December 27, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  12. Matt

    Vick's crimes were not a mistake. A mistake implies that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. No. Vick abused and killed animals for at least five years. This was Vick's mindset, and I find it disturbing whenever he's on television. Forgive – of course. Forget – no way. Obama made a mistake calling Vick and associating the presidency with such vicious, ongoing crimes. Until now Obama could do no wrong. I was mistaken.

    December 27, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. Colleen

    You are kidding, RIGHT?????

    December 27, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Edward C

    Fine then. Pay your time, get a second chance. Let us give NON-VIOLENT felons their voting rights, and rights to bear arms back!

    December 27, 2010 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. BoFo

    There Obama goes again, getting involved in matters that he really shouldn't, and on which many people could give a
    damn less how he feels about it. Remember "the Cambridge police acted stupidly."

    December 27, 2010 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. R Crowder

    The fact that our commander in chief is weighing in on such issues as Michale Vick's reinstatement into the NFL is a disgrace. Fix our country, and stop using your position to hang out with and influence entertainment icons.

    December 27, 2010 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Carroll

    What's with this stuff of Micheal Vick not being around any dogs? The Man has done his time, now leave him alone and get a life!

    December 27, 2010 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. Jonothor Maurice Fields

    I'm asking what kind of programs are avaliable for individuals who have served there sentence in federal prison.

    December 27, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  19. Doug Irving

    Christians forgive and give 2nd chances.Hypocrites don't forgive,justify judging,and embrass God.Stop talking the talk and starting walking the walk.Everyone who is sincere deserves a 2nd chance.

    December 27, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. Chuck

    I DO agree he deserves the second chance that he got (glad to see what he is doing with it SO FAR) but the dog... NO. THAT ONE you passed on forever imho. I wish him nothing but success and progress in moving towards where he should be in life MINUS a pooch. You can't EVER deserve one again and I say that with ZERO malice, it's simply a fact.

    December 27, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. steeve-o

    Vick has served his time, and while some may choose to see him suffer the same fate as some of his dogs, he has the better opportunity to do good things by serving as a positive example of how to overcome a terrible past and make something positive for himself. It's an example that can be learned by kids ans adults alike. Far too many people do bad things and feel there's no going back, no redemption. While Vick cannot bring back what he's taken, he can try to help people not make the same mistake.

    December 27, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. snoop

    Iam not for second chances. What if michael vick was a fireman, cop, teacher or doctor, all which are less lucrative careers; then a second chance would never have been afforded to him.

    December 27, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Beverly De Stefano

    President Obama should try to stick with fixing all the things wrong with the country and Michael Vick should never be allowed to play professional football again. I think that ANY athlete that serves time in prison should never play the sport again, especially for money. Michael Vick has lost the right to have or ever be near a dog some point people have to be responsible for the bad things they have done. We know what kind of person Michael Vick is and now i think we also know what kind of person President Obama is.

    December 27, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Breanna

    If he actually felt sorry for what he did he'd be practicing self-punishment because it's a crime you can never really pay for and a truly repentant person would recognize that fact. Or at the very least he wouldn't be a cocky tool, let alone with the smuggest smile I've ever seen. Not only did he head up a form of organized crime, he led organized crime that amounted to the ritualistic torture murder of helpless animals for fun. That's so evil it doesn't fit inside my head. I'm not saying the guy should be treated like a leper and shunned by society as a whole, but he also shouldn't be backpatted and told a couple months getting special treatment in a jail before being released to make millions again (all the while strutting around acting like he owns the world – yeah, you can really tell he learned a lesson, right?) is "paying his dues."

    December 27, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. Deanna

    I think the President has more important things to comment on than Michael Vick – but kuddos for his compassion I guess.

    December 27, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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