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. Anonymous

    Great job everone deserves a second chance. once u pay ur debt u should b forgiven.

    December 28, 2010 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Kabaroski

    I see nothing wrong with second chances – once someone has paid for their crimes, they should be allowed to get on with their life. However, their reputation in the public eyes is a different matter all together – people will, understandably, always look at them suspiciously.

    December 28, 2010 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  3. John

    Get the man a lap dog. See how much he wants a dog when it's not capable of fighting or aiding him in perpetuating his own thuggish stereotype.

    December 28, 2010 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  4. b. stevenson

    everyone deserves a second chance.

    December 28, 2010 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  5. mgc florida

    Why not, he has served his sentence and is now educating young people of the evils of dog fighting. I am a long time SPCA volunteer and I believe everyone deserves a second chance.

    December 28, 2010 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  6. Veganman

    Obama is a fool. Vick is still a criminal. This is the WRONG guy to stand up for, Mr President. How could you be so stupid?

    December 28, 2010 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  7. Tom Nguyen

    Obama's act of kindness inspires Vick more than anything else. My bet is on the Eagles – SB Champs or game. You watch!

    December 28, 2010 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  8. Animalrights

    I didn't even need a final nail in the coffin to know how I felt about this person. Before he was even elected, I saw what he was going to do to this country. But now that he's thrown his support behind a vicious slimeball like Vick, I have another nail either way.

    December 28, 2010 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  9. Lee

    Michael Vick may have "served his time" but that "time" was inadequate. We put people in jail and ruin lives over a tiny bit of marijuana, but Vick gets another opportunity to make millions?! No, that's not right. He deserves to lose much more over his indescribably inhumane and horrible actions.

    So many of our laws are stupid. Written by lawyers and congressmen to serve their own purpose, not the greater good. Keep it up... without justice we will have anarchy. The disenfranchised will rise up against their perceived oppressors, just like we already see in so many third world countries. The US is heading that direction at an ever-increasing speed.

    I donated cash and voted for Obama in 2008, but I will not support him any more. He didn't even bother to look into the Bush/Cheney war crimes (too messy, I guess). He continues our wars of lies and the idiotic, ineffective boondoggle called the TSA. He unilaterally cut federal salaries and gave that money to miillionaires without even a fight. He needs to shut up about stuff like this.

    December 28, 2010 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  10. rs1201

    Obama should know better than to get involved in such a sensitive issue as animal cruelty. There's no second chances for someone who did what Vick did...he's a monster and a criminal. Being cruel to animals is analogous to being cruel to toddlers. Animals are innocent and especially dogs and cats...all they want is to be loved and they'll love you back unconditionally. One would have to be a real unfeeling monster to be cruel to animals. As researcher I feel badly about using mice for my experiments even though I know that ultimately it is for the greater good and lives will be saved by what I'm doing. What exactly did the monster Vick get out of what he's disgusting and despicable. Obama's advisors advised him very poorly on this issue.

    December 28, 2010 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  11. Rearview

    Of course he is. I wonder if he knows just how many Americans he just turned against Vick by being on his side?

    December 28, 2010 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  12. I Back Obama

    A Saint is just a sinner, who has fell down, and got up again.

    December 28, 2010 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  13. Name

    I agree second chances should be for all not just the rich/famous.

    December 28, 2010 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  14. mike

    Obama is right if someone is convicted of a crime and does there time then they should be given a second chance but that isn't always true and that is one reason why we continue to pay for it as taxpayers because we have created this revolving door

    December 28, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  15. Pastor Evans

    Forgiveness, Redemption, Restoration!!! What God has given to all of us but what so many people here America don't want to give until they find themselves in a similar position and trust me we will all find ourselves needing all three!!!

    December 28, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  16. Caitlin

    Second chance? Redemption? How is throwing a football around and earning millions redemption? When I see Vick volunteering his time with the ASPCA and campaigning against dog fighting, I might consider it redemption.

    December 28, 2010 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. Ann Frantti

    Read LOST DOGS. These are the fortunate ones that were rescued after Vick had killed and tortured so many others. Let him play football..but never never own a dog..please! He doesn't deserve that redemption.. Such political grandstanding...losing all respect..going...going...

    December 28, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  18. Achilles

    I to believe that once a person has committed a crime and has paid for his crime by incarceration. he should be given a second a chance in society. People make mistakes in life and as the president said everyone deserves a second chance to prove themselves and contribute towards society. They should be able to reenlist in the military as well if need be. There are alot of men and women in prison who once served their time and debt to society could have alot to offer to society.

    December 28, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. Andy

    About the only thing I do agree with Obama on.Vick appears to have learned his lesson,let the man be a productive member of society now.He has done alot to teach others of his mistake and I find him remorseful.

    December 28, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  20. cathy

    One can never "pay" for the crime of so many innocent dogs dying a terrible tortuous death at the hands of Vick. Obama just does not get it. Vick should never own a dog, perhaps he could volunteer at a shelter but I would not trust any pet in the hands of this monster.

    December 28, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Jeff

    Well, there's no worse crimes than those against the helpless, especially children and animals. As far as Mr. Obama goes, I lost a lot of respect for him. Too bad the animals that Vick tortured didn't get a second chance. As far as Vick goes, he's not sorry for what he did, he's only sorry he got caught.

    December 28, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  22. Dion, Charlotte

    This wouldn't be a big deal if Obama would have made this call almost two years ago when Philly first signed Vick. Would B.O. have made this call if Vick's play would have sucked? Doubt it. It's just B.O. looking to capitalize off of Vick's success and claim that 2nd chances work........which is yet to be seen. Just b/c Vick is having success on the field doesn't mean he's changed off the field. In fact, the idiot just voted for himself as NFL MVP. That doesn't show too much humbleness and thankfulness just to be playing the game he loves. He's garbage!

    December 28, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  23. luis vazquez

    i cant wait to see what all the Liberal PETA nut jobs have to say about this?? I for one am glad he is a Philadelphia Eagle. FLY EAGLES FLY!!!

    December 28, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  24. nancy

    who is going to give the precious dogs that were tortured and killed a second chance. Human beings are entrusted with the health and well being of the animals who want nothing but to be loved and love unconditionally. This man has already received a second chance just by being allowed to come and go as he pleases and to play a stupid football game. Where is his consious and the conscious of the others who knew and participated in this cruel activity. Maybe his kids need to know why he is not allowed to have dogs.

    President Obama needs to stay out of this, it does not concern him. The courts made a decision and it should be followed.

    December 28, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. Freddy

    Why does he do this???? What possible reason does the POTUS have to comment on an overpaid sport star who has been convicted of abusing animals? Certainly animal rights supporters will be angered by this comment, and the Grand Old Tea Party is likely to jump on this as an example of "soft on crime.." Not to mention that Vick is an example of the folks who just received an extended tax cut, thanks to Obama's "deal."

    Why does he do this?????

    December 28, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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