Follow me, if you will. Pretend that you are the CEO of a major, high visibility company. One of your top employees starts to get into trouble with the law.
First, he gets caught at an airport with a water bottle that has been tweaked so that it hides things in a secret compartment. In fact, in this case, there was trace evidence that there was an illegal drug in that compartment. Charges were dropped, but still, the company was embarrassed.
Next, the same employee is accused of financing a huge dog fighting ring where dogs are tortured for financial gain and personal entertainment. In fact, this is reported to be one of the largest dog fighting gambling rings in the country!
Okay, it's time to call this employee in and here his side of the story. You call him in and he says everything you want to hear. "I have nothing to do with any of this!" Great, as long as he is telling the truth, all will wash out in the end and we can go about our business as usual.
Oopps!!! A trial happens and your employee is found guilty and sentenced to two years is prison!! Ouch, that does not look good for our company! What an embarrassment! Two years go by and your former employee is released and has paid his debt to society.
He would like to come back and have his old job. True, there are other people in your company that have done terrible crimes as well, and they are playing, so what about this guy? People seem to think that you owe it to him to let him play? Do you?
Is working in your company a right, or a privilage? Don't you have the right to say who represents your company?So, maybe you take him back, maybe you don't. Maybe you tack on a suspension of your own to show that you didn't appreciate how he made your company look. My question isn't should this employee be allowed back, but why is it that the NFL apparently owes employment to Michael Vick when any other company in the world (outside of sports) would be free to say that they are not interested in hiring him?
Just so you know that I'm not going spineless on this one. I think the NFL should take Vick back. However, I would suspend him for another year so that he can prove that he has rehabilitated. People say that he has been an awesome person the last two years. Sure he has! He has been locked up! Most of his decisions are made for him behind bars. Now that he is out on his own, let's see what choices he makes for his life. Then and only then would I give him his "second" chance.
How about you?
What would you do if you were Roger Goodell?