|Michael Vick mugshot|
Fresh off a year long stint in prison for his role in a dog fighting ring, former Atlanta Hawks quarter back Michael Vick was given the green light yesterday (July 27) to rejoin the NFL.
The move by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to let Vick back into the league opens the door for Vick to suit up and take the field as early as this fall, if he can find a team willing to take a chance on him. The terms of the “conditional” reinstatement limit Vick’s team participation to preseason practices, workouts and team meetings. He’ll also be allowed to play in the final two preseason games. If all goes well after that the “conditional” part of his reinstatement will be lifted, freeing him to fully participate in the sport by the 6th week of the season, which begins in mid October.
In a letter to Vick, Goodell wrote, “Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited. I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you.”
Through his agent Joel Segal, Vick thanked the commissioner for “allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League,” and acknowledge the wrong deeds that got him tossed out in the first place, “…the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward.
“Again, I want to thank the commissioner for the chance to return to the game I love and the opportunity to become an example of positive change.”
Vick was suspended from the league indefinitely in August 2007 after he admitted to funding a dog fighting operation. He spent nearly two years in Leavenworth prison after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors in the case. He completed his sentence last week after spending the last two months on home detention.