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. William Smith

    Mr. Vick is getting preferential treatment across the board. Yes, he did serve some time for his egregious infractions of the law and moral lapses, but should he be welcomed back into big money opportunities? I say no.....All people should be held fully accountable for their actions and in this case, not so....(e.g., screw up royally, pay some time and make millions afterwards?). This is absolute BS. When will we Americans stop this madness?

    December 27, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. Name walter jaeckle

    absolutely not. he showed no compassion towards animals and never will. eirher you have it or you don't. compassion is not learned. its part of your overall character.

    December 27, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. awwhh come on

    Give the guy a break.he served his let him live.get off his back.

    December 27, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. Lulu

    Vick should NEVER be allowed to live with a companion animal of any kind. No one OWNS dogs, by the way. They are living, autonomous beings. What Vick did was so horrid. Are pedophiles allowed to be around children once they "pay for their crimes?" I think not. Same applies here, Prez.

    December 27, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. John Gower

    Dear Children of America,

    It is OK for you to commit a crime, because you will get a second chance and will become a star. Look at Michael Vick. Look at Cam Newton. Even your President approves. Just don't do anything too crazy to land you in jail forever.

    Up to me, I don't think Vick deserves to be put on a pedestal like this. Then again, I'm not the President.

    December 27, 2010 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  6. Kelly Watson

    I love the last part of this story. Would He let Vick around the first dog... Priceless. The answer is obviously no. When you see the first dog Michael Vick you better stear clear, cross the hallway or street or corridor or whatever or risk being shot...LMAO

    December 27, 2010 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. BlackDynamite

    This is really a non-story the media is creating

    Lurie SHOULD BE CONGRATULATED for giving Vick a second chance
    And Obama DIDN'T do it for publicity
    It was the right thing to do
    His success can inspire thousands to follow his example

    December 27, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. JC

    Nice liberal condemnation calling this "surprising"...

    December 27, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  9. JW

    #1 Why is the President talking with NFL coaches. #2 Why is he concerned with this matter #3 Vick is on track to the end of his matter he created in 2012, let him abide by the courts ruling and be patient!!! Obama, stay out of it!!!!!!!!

    December 27, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. vanzell carr

    Glad the president had a chance to speak out on second chance. For micheal vick and other people who has payed there dues for crimes they did. They do deserve second chances.

    December 27, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  11. QCBumblebee

    As an internationally visible figure in sports Mr. Vick's conduct HAS to be exemplary. It has not been. He has had his 'chances' when he was building his career and lack of common sense and a basic respect for life should have been punished appropriately- by a lifetime ban from the NFL. A message has to be sent that there are consequences for sick and brutal acts, not rewards after a fine and a little jail time.
    Good peoples money goes into paying athletes to entertain them and their children and they deserve to be treated to the HIGHEST quality athletes- people who behave professionally on and off the field, people who respect the fans by not doing sick and brutal things to animals in their care.
    As for the President- really? Doesn't he have something better to do?

    December 27, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. dewlapski

    He has paid his time, and he probably realizes his mistake, give him another chance. There are lots of dogs out there who need a loving owner. If he has really changed, he will be a good friend to a deserving dog. Dogs are man's best friend.

    December 27, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  13. Chip

    Thanks for the insight, Mr. President. Now if you don't mind, how about using your time focusing on more important issues.

    December 27, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. debbie brooks

    No second chances-his dogs didnt get any mercy. things he did to those dogs were inhuman

    December 27, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  15. Krista

    Although Vick's crime thoroughly disgusts me, I do believe in second chances too....

    That being said, I feel the extent of cruelty that Vick and his buddies put those innocent animals through was deplorable to say the least. Because of this, it would be nice to see all of them go above and beyond in helping to put an end to the malicious crime of dog fighting.

    Vick being such an influence to some men and boys, it could have an amazing impact in the attempt to abolish dog fighting altogether. In my opinion, THAT would show more character than anything else or any time served!!!

    I seriously hope he has transformed for the better and left his old ways far behind! Time will tell...

    December 27, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  16. zika

    Even God allows us a second chance

    December 27, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. Tom

    Exactly what has Vick contributed to society? Let me rephrase that. How has Vick contributed anything usefull to society?

    December 27, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  18. JW

    Disgusting and stupid, politically tone-deaf. The man drowned and hanged dogs. Let the punishment fit the crime, I say.

    December 27, 2010 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. GeorgeBos95

    Vick makes a great spokesperson for redemption – he served prison time, has recovered his career, and may actually be making his peace with animals.

    I thought liberals (and "good" Christians 🙂 ) believed in redemption – why would any of them not allow him a second chance?

    Obama continues to demonstrate leadership, in spite of being abandoned by members of his own party. Aren't they the people who should be standing with him when things aren't going well?

    Silly me.

    Maybe they

    December 27, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  20. Colonel Awesome

    This is SURPRISING? How about asking the "White House" if any of Vick's fellow tortures have landed any kind of legitimate jobs that have nothing to do with Vick. Unless Vick has managed to influence any into helping them out, they are working minimum wage without benefits or they have gone back to their criminal enterprise. Vick is a scum who knew exactly what he was doing when he did it and didn't care that he was doing it because he thought he was invincible. We have not heard the last from Mikey........

    December 27, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  21. Renee

    Id like to know what the Presidents opinion is on child molestors since he believes that once you've paid for your crime, you should be given a second chance?! Im APPALLED that Michael Vick will EVER be allowed to own a dog....for us that truly do care about animals, it's like allowing a once convicted child molestor to adopt a child!!! I agree in second chances, but this is not one of them....period. Take a look again at what Michael Vick did to those dogs, then give me you opinion....LOOK at the pictures, then tell me that man ever deserves to own a dog.

    December 27, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  22. melvin

    Vick will clearly reveal to the planet that second chances create champions.

    December 27, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. Jacquellne

    why even take the change of placing such an innocent, helpless and everloving pet in the hands of such a sadistic, self serving individua. Mr. President, with all thedue respect, not one of your best intellectual moments. I am glad you are on vacation for iti is apparent you need one.

    December 27, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  24. Mateo

    This should be on SNL's segment "Really?" President Obama personally called Eagles owner to discuss Michael Vick's job security- Really, Obama? "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" should be on his agenda and the only job he's "saved or created" is one for a granite-headed neanderthal who fancies himself a man- Michael Vick.

    December 27, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. Zero10

    Any person who is able to hurt an animal has no chance at reconciliation. When I look at my pets and imagine hurting them I feel really bad, as if my life isn't worth anything.

    December 27, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
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