Opinion | Sexuality

Michael Vick's Long Road to Recovery

A Christian animal-welfare activist reflects on the NFL quarterback and dogfighter's restoration.

Two weeks ago, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was named the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Vick is the 12th recipient of the award but the first to "come back" as an ex-con who served time in federal prison.

Even non-football fans are familiar with the meteoric rise of Vick, recruited by the NFL two years into college to become its first African American quarterback chosen in the first-round draft. But by 2007, Vick's early notoriety as a bad boy with a bad attitude blossomed into a full-blown federal case. Charges of dogfighting and gambling ended in conviction, imprisonment, suspension from the NFL, and, finally, bankruptcy. Vick's second chance came in 2009, when the Philadelphia Eagles decided to sign him. That's the road that brought Vick to his recent award.

I don't follow football, but living as I do in Virginia Tech territory, where the Virginian rose to fame, I had little choice but to follow Vick even before his fall. But because his story connects ...

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