Should Michael Vick’s Old High School Honor Him?
Seems like Michael Vick sparks controversy even when he isn’t doing anything wrong. The latest snit involving Vick centers around his jersey in Warwick High School. The school had proudly displayed Vick’s jersey right up until the dog fighting incident and conviction. The school decided then (2007) to take it down. No use highlighting a football star when he falls from grace, right?
I remember at the time of his conviction, people said he was done. No team would hire him and he’d never be back in the NFL. Of course, those people were wrong. Now, of course, Vick is back, and stronger than ever. He actually seems to have more respect from fans, coaches, and players than he did before, and how wowed people were with his talent before, that’s saying something.
Back to his jersey. Warwick High School students have come out in droves in support of hanging the jersey once again. The school has thus far said no, claiming that it might “become a distraction — perhaps the subject of theft or vandalism.”
Distraction? I don’t see that. Subject of theft or vandalism? Yeah, I can see that. But there are a lot of things in school that are subject to that.
And of course, what’s a campaign to get something done these days without Facebook? One group has set up a page urging others to join in the fight to get the jersey back on the wall, while another group has started a page against the action. (And since Betty White became a host on Saturday Night Live due to a Facebook campaign, I think we all know just how truly important the social networking site is in matters such as this.)
My two cents (because yes, I might as well throw yet another opinion in there) is that the school simply needs to wait a bit. Not long. Even after this season, perhaps. The Eagles have made a lot of coaching changes in the off-season and will undoubtedly come back next year (if we have a next year) strong. Vick is likely to be a big part of that equation and there might be more people in favor of hanging his jersey.
Another reason to wait is simply that it’s been too soon after his conviction. Yes, he paid his dues. But the public isn’t done grieving the things he did. He has every right to play in the NFL. But to honor him in a high school? I can see why some people balk at this right now. Give it time, another year or two, and they’ll change their mind.