Forgiveness. A word we all have to deal with at sometime in our lives. It’s such a simple word to pronounce, yet such a hard one to perform. Through it all, it’s the verb part of the word that means the most to others.
If we could forgive each other, perhaps our society would be a better place. Amnesty was the basis behind a popular television show in the late 60’s. It was “Alias Smith and Jones” about a pair of bank robbers in the old west who had to go crime free for one year and the governor would grant them clemency for their crimes. If only we could do the same for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Vick’s story is a well known one. He was convicted of dog fighting charges in 2007, spent over two years in prison and lost everything in his subsequent bankruptcy. He has tried to make amends during his return to the NFL, yet many are unable to pardon him and realize he has paid for his crimes.
Part of his parole was to do various dog shows and speak on the effects of dog fighting in this country. That he has done, as well as several Public Service Announcements and donations to several animal rights groups. Still, the opinion to those in Henderson, Nevada is Vick is not rehabilitated. They have pronounced themselves his judge and jury.
It’s hard to believe but many there have a lot of time on their hands. So much time they can torment a popular car dealership in town for simply having Vick there to sign autographs and have his picture taken with fans.
The fans, or protesters might be a better term, bombarded the dealerships web site promoting Vick’s appearance. Those protests forced a shutdown of the promotional page. Angry comments started flying in once pictures of Vick hit the website. One commenter described Vick as a “dog killer,” while another threatened to beat him up. One wonders who the President of the Community Welcoming Committee is and how much influence they have.
Several fans stated they would boycott the dealership for sponsoring Vick for promotional and charity events.
“We’re just trying to do something right for the kids and people just forget about that,” said Stephanie Bernas, marketing manager and social media director for the dealership.
Not only that, but these people are forgetting the last time they were forgiven for anything they have done in their life. They are forgetting the last time they forgave their children, brothers, sisters. Forgiveness is a gift we give to others who have wronged us in our minds.
Chances are Vick never hurt these people. Except for the dogs he hurt and killed, Vick didn’t hurt people. He is spending his days making amends for his crimes. He went to jail, served his time and has paid his price to society.
It’s time others start to understand that.