NEW YORK CITY -- The Obama administration confirmed on Monday afternoon that the president, in a call with the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, expressed gratitude for the team's decision to give a second chance to quarterback Michael Vick.
But the nexus of the call, spokesman Bill Burton told The Huffington Post, was on the team's plans to use alternative energy sources at their stadium. And while the president was thankful that Vick was given a career do-over, he still thought that the actions committed by the QB -- the orchestration of an illegal dog-fighting ring, the killing of animals and the deceiving of investigators looking into the matter -- were condemnable.
Here's Burton's statement:
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. He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of 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.
News of Obama's call to Lurie was first reported by Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Vick's comeback has been celebrated by many sports fans, of whom Obama is one, but the notion that the president was seemingly willing to forgive the crimes rubbed a few folks the wrong way. Burton's statement helps to patch that aspect up.