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8/14: Let Vick Play, But Not In My Back Yard, Say Football Fans


8/14: Let Vick Play, But Not In My Back Yard, Say Football Fans

The Philadelphia Eagles have made the controversial decision to sign Quarterback Michael Vick to a two-year deal.  But, was it a good idea in the eyes of public opinion?



Although Vick was convicted and served prison time for his role in operating a dogfighting ring, a majority of football fans nationwide — 57% — agree with the NFL commissioner’s decision to allow Vick to return to the league.  36% disagree with that decision.  Younger fans and men are more likely to be in favor of the ruling compared with older ones and women.

However, the tides turn when it gets personal.  When asked if fans would want Vick to join their favorite professional football team, 53% report they would not while just 37% say they would.  In Vick’s new backyard, he will have a hard time winning over pigskin fans.  62% of fans living in the Northeast say they would not want Vick quarterbacking for their beloved team.  In fact, more gridiron diehards in that region maintain this view compared with any other area nationwide.

Table: Vick’s NFL Return
Table: Vick’s Signing With Favorite Team

Time Served…Majority Supports Convicted Athletes to Return to Sports

A majority of Americans — 53% — believe sports players who have been convicted of a crime should be allowed to return to the sport after serving their time in prison.  Approximately three in ten — 31% — think they should be banned from the sport for life.  Even more football fans — 60% — report they should be permitted to play.

There is a large gender difference on this question.  64% of men compared with 42% of women say they should be allowed to show their athletic prowess, again.

Table: Sports Players’ Return After Conviction

Marist Poll Methodology

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  1. George

    January 16, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Perhaps he can serve as an example that a person can get and make the most out of a second chance.

  2. George

    January 16, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    While I find his crime horrible, the man was convicted and served his punishment. Additionally he has expressed some degree of remorse. I wonder if people would have the same issues if he pumped gas for a living. Would they object to him getting another job pumping gas when he got out of prison.

  3. Leapfrog My Pal Scout

    August 24, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    The real issue is why Michael Vick only received a 1 1/2 year sentence. What he did to those dogs should have earned him an easy 20 years. However, we don’t value the lives of animals right now so it just encourages this stuff to continue. As far as him playing in the NFL, why would any team want a broken down QB who was injury prone and a PR nightmare. He should be playing in Canada and the NFL wasted a good opportunity to prove they have had enough. Too bad. The most ironic part is Michael Vick was calling out his brother previous to this incident for shaming their family. I bet ole Marcus Vick had a laugh over that. Sadly, for him it is short lived b/c I heard he has just violated his parole.

  4. laurie

    August 18, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    I firmly believe any athlete playing in major leagues and in any sport, should never be allowed to play professionally again if convicted of a crime which results in a prison term. Why should they be rewarded? Hiring Vick again at his million dollar a year plus salary is a wrong message to be sending to our children and other athletes who keep their noses clean. Vick’s crime was so heinous, he truly has to have something wrong with him to be able to do what he did. Saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. He made his bed, let him lie in it.

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  6. Luke

    August 14, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    Let him play. Alot of people have done alot worse things in this country and have gone unpenilized. Bush started a major war that cost thousands of HUMAN lives under false pretense and didnt serve a day in prison. Vick killed some dogs. Big deal. PETA can rot in hell.

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