A Michael Vick interview with GQ has been released today. In it, he talks mostly about his redemption story but also provides a few choice quotes that is sure to stir up some controversy.
One piece of information may even spark some type of legal investigation and at least seriously anger two NFL franchises. First, here’s the quote from Michael Vick:
“I think I can say this now, because it’s not going to hurt anybody’s feelings, and it’s the truth,” Vick tells me a few weeks after the commencement ceremony. “I didn’t want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options.”
Then GQ writer Will Leitch says:
“Those two teams wanted him and would’ve allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly.”
To which Vick responds:
“And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation.”
It doesn’t bother me at all to hear Vick say he didn’t want to come to Philly. If he was being offered a chance to start from day one with the other teams, of course he’d prefer to go there as opposed to being the third-string guy in Philly.
At the time, Vick just wanted the quickest avenue back to show-casing his talents. How can you do that if you’re sitting behind an all-pro QB and his heir apparent? If you don’t have a chance to show what you can do on the field, you don’t get paid. Plain and simple.
What Vick lacked was forethought. Think about it for a minute, where would he be had he signed with Buffalo or Cincinnati? Both franchises are downright horrible.
In Cincy, a team more known for their players’ legal troubles, Vick would have had bad influences all around him. He may have been exposed to more opportunities to violate his parole and certainly wouldn’t have had a chance at any success on the field.
As for Buffalo, he would have just frozen in the nothingness that defines their football town. He would have had absolutely zero chance at becoming a star again.
Seriously, Buffalo and Cincy would have been just about the two worst teams he could have joined. As Vick correctly realizes, he should be thankful he was apparently steered towards Philadelphia.
The forethought of Roger Goodell and whomever else was involved with how he landed in Philly is what saved Vick’s career. He wouldn’t be in the position he is in, right here and now, if he didn’t end up in the City of Brotherly Love.
However, what is unclear at this time is any legal ramifications for Goodell. It is conceivable that the Bengals and Bills could have a case of collusion to file against him if they deem there was coercion for Vick to sign in Philly.
At the very minimum, those two teams will be upset that the NFL Commissioner basically took a player away from them who could have brought them more revenue. Plus, maybe they would have been able to win one or two more games with Vick at the helm but it would be more about the money angle.
If there are any legalities to be involved, we’ll find out in the coming days.
As for other things Vick was quoted with in the interview, I don’t find anything controversial or worth making a big fuss over. Sure, he addresses the race difference when it comes to how whites and blacks view dog fighting, but really it’s not a big deal.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Vick, well versed in his talking points on this matter, hesitates to make this a race issue. And yet: “Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that’s all there is. Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it’s wrong. But people act like it’s some crazy thing they never heard of. They don’t know.”
I ask Vick if he feels that white people simply don’t understand that aspect of black culture. “I think that’s accurate,” he says
Hopefully this doesn’t stir up a race debate. I mean, it’s mostly true is it not? I would never condone dog fighting and think it’s a disgrace, but I am big enough to understand that it might be acceptable in another culture.
Many cultures have customs I don’t necessarily agree with but it doesn’t mean I’d condemn any one particular race or culture just because I don’t see eye to eye with them.
The rest of the interview was more of the same type of stuff he’s been saying ever since his release from prison. Nothing worth getting in an uproar about.
The real piece of news coming out here is how Vick was guided or “forced” (perhaps) to sign with the Eagles.
Hopefully, this doesn’t create a media firestorm and become a distraction as the Eagles are set to embark on a most promising season. Because in reality, they “made” Vick make the best decision for his career and life.
Should anyone be punished for that?