Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick averted a suspension from the NFL following a thorough investigation by Commissioner Roger Goodell. A month ago Vick held a birthday party in Virginia that was open to the public. Quanis Phillips was shot outside the party minutes after Vick departed.
It was proclaimed at the beginning of the investigation Vick was not a "person of interest" in the shooting.
As details began to unravel there were inconsistencies as to when Vick actually left the party. Later it was revealed he was involved in an altercation of some sort. But after the dust settled Vick wasn't charged with any wrong-doing and now Goodell proclaims he won't be punished.
Should Vick have been suspended by Goodell?
Vick issued the following: "I knew the facts. I knew I didn't do anything wrong." But he also added, "I know I'm on thin ice."
Some, like ESPN's Skip Bayless, suggest Goodell should have suspended Vick "for one game." Bayless believes Goodell was "soft" in his handling of Vick.
Vick is under a strict "zero-tolerance" policy. His actions on and off the field have been strictly monitored. Any likely infraction could result in a severe suspension or possible banishment from the NFL.
Vick wasn't charged or convicted of a crime. Both the police investigation and the internal investigation by the NFL revealed Vick wasn't guilty of any wrong-doing.
The only thing Vick did wrong was be a high-profile celebrity athlete with a noted history of holding parties open to the public. The party should have been private with bodyguards.
Even though Vick evaded disciplinary action a negative stage has been set. An atmosphere has been created that ensures if Vick does anything remotely out of line he'll be subject to suspension, being cut, or banned from the NFL.
The media contingent in Philadelphia and otherwise who want Vick to fail are waiting with pens in hand to write aggregate stories clamoring for Vick to be sent packing. They are waiting for anything that can be construed as negative so they can blow it out of proportion and induce discipline in the court of mainstream media.
I'm surprised Vick didn't get disciplined even though he did nothing wrong. History suggests rules are at times altered and manufactured to bring about a particular ruling. In society all one has to do is study the historical development of this country and in the realm of sports study what happened to African-American jockeys in the Kentucky Derby.
Sometimes individuals are held responsible in the future for what they did in the past. Many want to judge Vick for what he did to dogs as a convicted felon instead of viewing what he's doing as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Translation-let the man move on with his life.
Bottom line: Michael Vick needs to play well and monitor what he does on and off the field. Vick should now understand more than ever that there are some in the media and otherwise who want to see him fail. He must be strong enough to focus on doing the right thing and not position himself for potential trouble.
Rest assured, those in the media who want to see him fail will be eagerly waiting with pens in hand to assassinate his character.