Vick’s crimes were horrible, and yes, the wealth of the modern professional sports is corrupting. But despite all that, Vick has every right to play in the NFL should he find a team to hire him.
I say so because Vick has paid his debt to society. He faced the U.S. justice system and emerged bankrupt after 23 months in jail. Cohen sneers at the notion that Vick’s punishment was enough, but I can’t find the sentence in his column where he criticizes the judge who handed down Vick’s sentence, or the prosecutors who indicted him
What I disagree with first: The wealth is not corrupting, rather it is a magnification of that person effect on everyone else. Vick and his crew were into dog fighting before his rise and fall as an NFL wonderkind and then pariah and PETA wipping boy. Money allowed Vick to make it a bigger operation.
I agree with the rest of Fernholz’s contentions: the NFL are given no powers on behalf of society. He is done serving his sentence. The NFL’s job is to decide whether or not the benefit of having Vick outweighs the cost.