Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

FOX defends hiring Michael Vick amid animal rights protests

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Former Atlanta Falcons player Michael Vick walks on the field prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Not everyone is happy that FOX hired Michael Vick as an NFL analyst, but the network is standing by its decision.

Fox Sports president Eric Shanks says he is aware of a petition with nearly 75,000 signatures that is calling on FOX to dump Vick because of his 2007 conviction for operating a dog fighting ring. But Shanks believes Vick deserves the opportunity to work.

“Over the last 10 or 11 years, not only has he paid his debt to society, but he’s done everything a person who has made a terrible mistake like that can do. We felt it was the right person at the right time for us,” Shanks told USA Today.

At the same time, Shanks acknowledged that some inside FOX discussed whether Vick deserves to work there.

“We absolutely and completely understand,” Shanks said. “It’s not a different reaction than what we had prepared ourselves for internally at Fox Sports. We discuss it. We talk about what happened then. What type of person is Mike is now? What debt has he paid to society? We still believe it’s the right thing to do.”

At this point, saying Vick shouldn’t be allowed to get a job is not far off from saying anyone who’s ever committed a crime should be a permanent pariah. Vick got a second chance in the NFL and from all accounts conducted himself well, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t get a chance at a post-playing career as well.