Hey, every man deserves a second chance. Especially, I guess, if that man happens to be an MVP-caliber quarterback capable of generating untold millions in revenue for his franchise. On that note, my congratulations to America’s professional boxing associations for giving Mike Tyson a second chance after that rape conviction, and to every record company ever for retaining multiplatinum bands whose members have been busted for drugs. Truly, behavior this selfless deserves a personal phone call from the president of the United States.
Remember, kids: It’s never too late to straighten yourself out, if you happen to be fantastically talented.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was surprised to hear the president’s voice on the phone. Barack Obama had two things to discuss with Lurie: the redemption of Michael Vick and the alternative-energy plans Lurie unveiled this fall for Lincoln Financial Field. I talked about the Vick story on NBC last night.
“The president wanted to talk about two things, but the first was Michael,” Lurie told me. “He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was … passionate about it. He said it’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”
Lurie said Obama and he talked football. “He’s a real football fan,” Lurie said. “He loves his Bears. He really follows it. He knew how Michael was doing. It was really interesting to hear.”
Lurie’s an Obama donor, natch; follow the link up top if you care even remotely about their new green stadium. Meanwhile, here’s the obligatory statement from White House spokesman Bill Burton to reassure the nation that, no, The One does not approve of dogs being forced to tear each other to pieces for the amusement of social deviants:
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.
Exit question: Was there really no celebrity with a more sympathetic offense for Obama to make an example of? How many athletes and entertainers have cleaned up after victimless crimes involving drugs?