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. Randy Walker

    I feel that was a blessing to give Michael Vick a second chance, a lot of times our pass could help others from doing the same thing, if GOD didnt forgive us we would be in bad shape, no one is perfect. I feel it was a blessing for VICK, to go through it and come out of it and to help others.

    December 28, 2010 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  2. Name e. gonzalo

    I think that the President of the United States should not be involving himself in these matters and should use his time to resolve other issues that are virtually destroying our country.

    December 28, 2010 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  3. Chris Middleton

    This is no surprise. The president is completely correct. Vick has done his time, served his sentence... now let him become a contributing member of society again. The bigger problem is that most of our jailed population doesn't get that chance when they finish serving and end up just going back in the slammer.

    December 28, 2010 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  4. David

    Wow... Obama... You really think that Vick deserves a 2nd chance considering he turtored and killed how many dogs.... and only spent a cpl years in prison? I don't think that he has paid his debt in any way or form in full... So honestly a 2nd chance... Sure... but an honest 2nd chance has nothing to do with still being in the NFL...

    December 28, 2010 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  5. Anonymous

    is this really something the president needs to be spending his time on when theres serious matters at hand with this country???!

    December 28, 2010 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  6. cnm

    Michael Vick tortured and killed helpless animals and served 18 months. Wesley Snipes didn't pay federal income tax and will serve twice as long. Someone want to explain the proportionality in that?

    December 28, 2010 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  7. Norma

    Unfortunately for Mr. Vick the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. It would be prudent to wait longer to see if indeed he has changed his perception of how to treat animals. Consistent behavioral changes will be necessary to consider him as a candidate for dog ownership. I am not sure enough time has passed to see if his behavior has truly changed.

    December 28, 2010 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  8. Ted Chang

    Yet another reason to dislike Obama. What has Michael Vick done making him worthy of a second chance? 18 months in jail for what he did is a joke.

    December 28, 2010 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  9. al neuman

    too bad guess you didnt think you would ever get in trouble uh well i dont have a problem with your family having pets its not the pets they have to worry about yes i am m a d

    December 28, 2010 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  10. chow owner

    NO...NO...NO!!! owning a dog & going into dog fighting are two different things...if you think its fun or sporting to fight your dog, you DO NOTneed to have one ever again. you miss a dog then go love on a friend's pet but not one of your own. you are the kind of person who gives humans a really bad name!

    December 28, 2010 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  11. carol101

    Sorry, would not want him around any of my animals.
    Once bitten twice shy, as the saying goes.
    I think it takes a really sick person to do the things that he did to innocent animals. He does not need an animal.

    December 28, 2010 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  12. narissa owens

    I like micheal vick but when i heard about him with the dog fighting situation i was not happy.for one pitbulls already have a bad reputation do to owners treating them to fight.dogs are not to be fought.i personal dont understand why people would give him a second chance.yes he has a good reputation in football but dont think he should be allowed to own another dog.the thing is what make u think he wont do it again.yes he did his time.its just like giving other dog fighters a chance to do it again.hello us people of america need to treat animals the way they want to be treated.animals have feelings to.

    December 28, 2010 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  13. Sonnie

    He does deserve a 2nd chance. Obama is right in this case for sure
    I for one think Michael Vick will be a role model in the future and good for this country

    December 28, 2010 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  14. DOS

    Focus Obama... Focus! Vick is hardly a pressing issue or one that needs to be addressed.

    December 28, 2010 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  15. hal

    Does it surprise you that he supports him?! Come on..really!

    December 28, 2010 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  16. God's-for-Stupids

    Michael Vick is a hardcore, ruthless criminal who has tortured animals sadistically for years. He does not deserve a second chance to anything! The only arena he deserves to be in is with a raging pitbull. This is all about the money! What a shame that we will allow a vermin like him to become an icon for 1000's of kids once again! What a shame!

    December 28, 2010 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  17. Mike

    Seriously? this is what our President spends his time on?

    December 28, 2010 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  18. HokieJeep

    Blah Blah Blah. Where is the popularity bandwagon & is there still room for me to climb aboard?

    December 28, 2010 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  19. lisa

    No way should he have a second look up to these people in sports its not ok to fight dogs to many good people to have them in safe homes

    December 28, 2010 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  20. CB

    While this may be true that people deserve a second chance, the issue here is that 99.99% do not get to come 'back' as million dollar quarterbacks, they get to come back as janitors and short-order cooks!

    December 28, 2010 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  21. Spidey-Man

    wow... pretty stong politcs there... Guess this counts as a plus in the fight against unemployment column with Vick having a quarterback job.

    December 28, 2010 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  22. Dragonfire

    Really!?!?!? Oh yes, this should be a top priority for Obozo!!

    December 28, 2010 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  23. zeke

    Finally, I can sleep tonight.

    December 28, 2010 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  24. dksixonenine

    The ONLY second chance the Eagle's and Lurie were concerned about was that of their team and an aging Donovan McNabb. Vick was a cheap hire at the time, not a stroke of compassion and genius. The NFL and its decisions are about $$...don't forget that. Unfortunately, I think the President was way off base (both in accuracy and moral reasoning) with his comments.

    December 28, 2010 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  25. Anonymous

    everybody deserves a chance to prove themselves,besides,no one is perfect. We all fall short to the glory of God. Even the C.O.'s who watch and make wagers on inmates fight like people at dog and cock fights.

    December 28, 2010 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
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