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. Bruce

    Vick didn't just "run a dog fighting ring in 2007." He personally comitted crimes of cruelty, which indicates a sickness of character. It's much more difficult to rehabilitate a 'character' than to simply 'pay for a crime'.

    December 27, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. Zaaquir

    I support this decision. Redemption is a very good way to go because we all need redemption for something. Whether you feel what was done is bad or really bad......if you can't support this and want to hold grudges and pass more judgement, then I ask you to look within yourself for all the years you have been on this earth. What you have did is no more worser than what he has and at least he has paid for them. A lot of us have gotten away with what we did.

    December 27, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. AmazinglyDisgusted

    This man went to prison for dog fighting longer than some who are convicted of rape and molestation. Everytime someone mentions his name the dogfighting thing is brought up and it is beyond time to move pass...he has been redeemed! Certainly some of us wouldn't want our sins to be hung over us everytime our name is mentioned.

    December 27, 2010 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. R. M. Lieberman

    I've had enough "second chances" to fill a lifetime. Michael Vick has more than redeemed himself as a man and an athlete. Let him be.

    December 27, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. R. Scott Gimes

    Puhlease. I am all for Vick and his turnaround, but is it national news obama gives a thumb up to it? Maybe if he had at the beginning of the season. But he waited until they are making the playoffs and his major party defeat . In was all animal sleepers pelosi and" Vick is great". what crass

    December 27, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. Common Observations

    This is my biggest problem with this President. He interjects himself into poplular culture. He's not the first politician to do this. (In fact, a lot have done it. Remember when our Congressional leaders gave Brett Favre an award for his football accomplishments). It just seems like Obama interjects himself into popular culture more than any politician (certainly any President) I can remember. I mean, I love sports – football in particular. I would love to discuss sports with the President or anyone else who could carry on an intelligent conversation on the topic. However, I don't think our elected officials need themselves or their staffers spending any time on these issues in any thing other than their personal time. They have more important issues to address.

    December 27, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. msdoss81

    They give sex offenders,drug deals and etc... a second chance so why not give him a chance a lot of people still looks up to him as an idle we love him for his talenet no wat goes on in his personal life people needs to understand we all make mistakes so I say yes

    December 27, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. dwe444

    I think the headline here, characterizing the President's opinion as "surprising" is inappropriate. There is nothing surprising about the President saying that people who have done their time deserve a second chance. In fact, it is stating the obvious.

    December 27, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. Pditty

    he believes in second chances unless your a conservative citizen. He would sooner embrace Vick than a Tea Party citizen. Pretty sad.

    December 27, 2010 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  10. Carl Robinson

    He has served his time and paid for his crime. He has shown that he is following his requirements for his probation. He is entitled to a second chance.

    December 27, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. agalag

    Let's hope Obama doesn't get a second chance in 2012! The POTUS has nothing else to do but to discuss Michael Vick? Two morons! Obama shouldn't even have an opinion regarding Vick.

    December 27, 2010 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. NY

    Every man is capable of something greater, of seeing something greater than himself. Question is, will he rise to the occasion with the second chance. Too often we write off our fellow man, when he is still capable of something more.

    December 27, 2010 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. John

    Michael Vick should be bound, soaked in antelope urine, and dumped from a slow moving Land Rover in front of a pride of lions. This should be filmed and broadcast on Animal Planet.

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

    im so sick of people giving Mike Vick ish. do you know how many dog fights take place everyday? Vick wasnt the first nor will he be the last. and its stupid to say vick shouldnt be around ANY dogs. the only dogs he fought/killed were pitbulls and rotweillers. so everyone with any other dog needs to stop with the "i would never do anything to lil fluffy". and guess what people, there is a reason pits and rotts are considered the most violent dogs. if you disagree with that, then get a rott or a pit and have him around your small children. now, obviously all rotts and pits arent violent, but lets be honest, people that have other dogs dont want pits or rots bc they are scared of them. stop treating Vick like he did something unheard of. if you own any leather clothing, shut up about Vick. if you eat parts of a chicken, cow, or pig, shut up about Vick. you dont need leather clothes or jackets to survive and you dont need to eat meat to survive. the moral of the story is, leave Vick alone and stop acting like he's some kind of devil. and stop acting like killinig dogs is as bad or worse than killing humans. sure, i would never kill an dog or any animal, but i also will never act like killing an animal is in the same world as killing an actual person.

    December 27, 2010 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. Edmond

    God gives a second chance. Why not you? I am 100% against crime, but at the same time I think everybody deserves a second chance!!!

    December 27, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. reatte texas

    What a evil person what vick done to those animals is pure shameful and he needs to be put in a cage with the dogs that they tortured and let the dogs take care of him like he done them. And for this so called prez to come out and support this piece of trash is no surprise to me at all he has no heart. This is pure evil. It's a shame that both of these evil people couldn't get attacked by a pack of dogs and see how it feels to be torn to shreds by a dogs teeth and then come back and say they have learned a lesson. Vick should never be able to ever own a animal again but maybe the good old prez will give him his dog bo and see how vick takes care of that dog

    God Bless American and the People and the poor Animals that vick will own in the future

    December 27, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Why the headline said Obama's support of a second chance for Vick was 'surprising' is really surprising to me! Obama has always taken the high road, why would he not do so in this instance?

    December 27, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. H Kerr

    Yes I agree that Michael Vick is doing a great job, but I truly believe the kudos belong to the hundreds and thousands of people that are cleaning up Mr Vick's mess he created. I read recently that Mr. Vick gave his fiance an $ 85,000 Porsche. I would respect him more for his efforts if he had used that money towards repenting his wrong-doings.

    December 27, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  19. B. A.

    Barack Obama, what is wrong with you? Do not concern yourself with the likes of the conscienceless sociopath, Vick! This subhuman does not deserve your time or energy, don't you get it? There are some decent people on this planet that need your attention so get on it! Are you so naive as to think a brain that can encourage and indulge in animal cruelty, can change? Boy, are we in trouble, if you can't tell the difference between honest mistakes and manipulative psychos.

    December 27, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  20. reiny

    Tell the President to do better things in his life then sports all day! this country is on a down & it`S HIS job to pick it up!!

    December 27, 2010 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. Jason C.N. Smith

    I am a big supporter of the President. I gave him $1,000. I went to a swing state to campaign for him. I think he accomplished a lot and he will go down in history as a great President. But he is wrong to pat an NFL owner on the back for giving a second chance to a professional athlete who had every going for him but chose to kill dogs in a vicious way. I'm all for second chances. If the President wants to highlight second chances, shine a light on a former addict who dedicates her life to helping others overcome addiction. Don't waste the bully pulpit of the Presidency saying anything about this dog killer who plays football. This comment will hurt the President electorally: U.S. pet owners spend over $40 billion on thier pets who many treat as loving family members. Many of these folks, lots who are open to Obama's efforts to help the "underdog", will be turned off by this comment. Now is a time the President should be focusing on rebuilding his coalition, not turning off many Americans by defending someone who doesn't deserve the President's time. Apologize quickly. Condemn Vick's actions and the celebrity culture that is so willing to overlook his vicious deeds because of his talent on the gridiron.

    December 27, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  22. monkey

    Although we all deserve a second chance, Michael Vick is still a jerk for what he did.

    December 27, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  23. Michael Campbell

    This President puts out the true meaning out America.

    December 27, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. WTF

    im so glad obama is using his time wisely. Wow, with everything going on in the world, I guess we now see what he thinks is important. What a joke.

    December 27, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  25. Joe Lindsay

    When some one has caused the brutal death of dogs, or humans, the fact that he can reclaim his wealth and status by pretending to repent should not fool us, Attempts to falsely rehabilitate this brutal monster should fool no one. This whole movement is revolting.

    December 27, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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