I like football. I’m not a fanatic, but I do enjoy watching games. It was tradition every Thanksgiving to gather around and watch the game while the meal cooked. Granted, there tended to be the traditional “guys watching the game, women in kitchen” aspect. My eldest sister liked watching football. My middle sister (our own Aurora Hylton) really only enjoyed watching live games. The televised ones bored her.
The culture surrounding sports is different now than it was in bygone days. Players used to be held to higher standards as representatives of their organizations. Now they tend to get away with sometimes truly appalling acts and are not punished the way the average citizen would be for the same crime.
Do I think that Aldon Smith should be allowed to return to football? Absolutely. Firing a gun in a crowded room was ill-advised, but he committed the act because he was feeling threatened, not because he was intending to harm anybody. As well, he is battling substance issues, but he is by no means irredeemable. Hopefully he will come out of treatment a stronger person.
Do I think that Michael Vick should have been allowed to return to football?
Never in a million years.
His actions were not simple errors in judgment. He knowingly and callously caused the suffering and death of numerous animals. He should not be allowed to enjoy the high salary and regard that come with being a star player on a major league team.
Sporting leagues have a tendency to gloss over the indiscretions of their players. Athletes should be held to the same standards as regular citizens. The punishment should properly fit the crime for everybody.