The Hypocrisy Surrounding Michael Vick

I appreciate heroes like Andy Reid who give men who've failed second chances

The Michael Vick saga is a study of the human condition. Those who condemned Vick as unfit for employment, even in the NFL where crimes are routinely ignored, are now rallying behind him. The same people who were ready to storm Lincoln Financial Field with pitch forks and torches, both when the Eagles signed Vick and when there was a shooting incident at his birthday party in late June, are now lining up to buy Vick jerseys.

Morals are a flexible commodity these days, on Wall Street, in government, in the NFL, and in the stands. Core beliefs can bend and shift if there is “something in it for me.”

Eagles fans with a lust for winning are now ready to forgive and cheer for Vick solely because his play has exceeded all expectations and he is now the team’s best chance to get to the playoffs. Good for Michael Vick. Shame on the fans who didn’t support the redemption of the man until they saw the talents of the player … until something was in it for them. [SIGNUP]

Shame on the media types, many of whom I know very well, who have done awful things in their own lives — some still do every weekend — who were quick to condemn Vick and now praise him.

I am not afflicted by the same shameful hypocrisy, as I was on the record praising the Eagles for their decision.

We should all be cheering for Michael Vick. Not just as a football player, but as a person. I am not so cynical as the comment section detractors to believe that the Eagles signed Vick purely as monetary investment in hopes of building a better football team. I believe that the Eagles management also made an investment of compassion in hopes of building a better human being.The Mendte Report, August 2009

Before the anonymous comment section trolls begin their tirade, let me acknowledge that I see Michael Vick’s comeback from a different perspective as I have been forced to take inventory of my own failures. As I wrote in that 2009 posting, I admit that I may not have been as compassionate if life events did not force understanding. Of that, I am both embarrassed and grateful.

If for some reason you do not know what I am talking about, Google me. Many of the same media types with less than stellar reputations were just as unforgiving with me as they were with Vick. It seems those with no moral high ground are the quickest to judge. Their loud indignation at the mistakes of others allows them the self-delusion of the higher ground that they will never truly reach.

But the good news is that those with true moral high ground are the first to show forgiveness. In my situation, I received emails, phone calls and home visits from radiant souls whose only purpose was to save mine. There was no judgment, just their desire to help.

When I anchored the news in Philadelphia, I gave countless speeches to firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers about their hero gene. There is something in the basic DNA of these brave men and women that forces them to go to scenes that others run away from. They are heroes simply because they were born to be. They are there to save our physical being.

I made the wonderful discovery that there are also spiritual heroes that rush to help when others run away. They have the same DNA.

Andy Reid is one of those spiritual heroes as he believed in Michael Vick when others ran away. He publicly defended him when others condemned him. I am proud that a man redeemed is the quarterback of the team I cheer, prouder still that a spiritual hero who cares as much about a man’s soul as his talents is the coach of my team.

I truly believe that Vick has hit new levels as a player because Andy Reid believed in the man. And for those who still condemn Vick and question Reid, look down and see your own sins written in the sand. And as you drop your stones, understand that one day you may need the same forgiveness you have denied Michal Vick.

I will proudly and compassionately continue to cheer for Michael Vick’s comeback, both in the NFL and in life.

LARRY MENDTE writes for The Philly Post every Monday and Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to