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Why Michael Vick Can Stop Apologizing


The big news came down while I was watching one of the first preseason NFL games of the year – Michael Vick had been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Immediately, it started.

No matter what media outlet I tuned into, all the commentators, interviewers and talking heads were all commenting on, "Was Michael Vick really sorry?  Was he really contrite?  Did he really understand what he did was wrong?  Has he done enough to atone for what he did?"

Then they showed the press conference with Coach Andy "Big Red" Reid, former NFL Coach Tony Dungy and Michael Vick.

The press conference started out smoothly, and then slowly, the energy of the room started to change and the press started going after Vick with tougher and tougher questions, many of them about his level of "sorry-ness", how horrible a thing he did, etc, etc…

Through it all, Vick answered the questions directed at him, re-stated his feelings, kept apologizing and handled himself like a man.

Throughout it all, I got angrier and angrier, more and more disgusted.


Because Michael Vick should STOP apologizing.  And, he should STOP taking all this crapola from the press, PETA, the Humane Society and anyone else.

Before you start sending me nastygrams and think I'm a sicko that likes dogfighting, hear me out:

What Michael Vick did was wrong.  Dead wrong.  I am an animal lover and have had dogs and cats my entire life and right now, next to my wife, my cat Stubby is the longest relationship I have ever had, and he is ahead of my wife by a couple of years.

If Michael Vick had done what he did to humans, he would be considered a sadistic torturer and locked away for life, with the key thrown away for good measure.

But – he didn't do it to humans.  He did it to dogs.

He did it because he was raised with it.  From as early as age eight, he was fighting dogs or around others fighting dogs.  In his world, fighting dogs, and the horrible things that go along with it, were a part of everyday life, like you or I going putting our kids in martial arts classes.

People may say, "That's ridiculous!  How could he not know?  Any human being with a shred of decency would know…"

No, that is where people go wrong.

How you were raised and the environment or culture you come from is everything.  It is no different than a child who was brought up by an abusive parent.

If a child has a parent that slaps him around, it is not unusual for that child to accept it as "normal" and a sign of caring.  The child grows up, and what does he do to the people or things he loves?

Yep – unless he is taught otherwise, by either someone he respects, a book, a new environment or something – he is going to abuse them, too.

It is because of the culture, the environment he was raised in.  Only if he gets new information – and acts on it – can a possible change come.

Michael Vick did what he had done his whole life when he was fighting dogs.  Then he got caught, convicted and sent to jail for it because it is wrong.

He lost eighteen months of his life, missed eighteen months of his family's life, lost hundreds of millions of dollars in income, his career and was publicly flogged all over the country.  On top of that, he got to sit in a prison cell and live with it.

Now everyone keeps asking him to apologize more and more.

What does everyone want?  Do you want him to grovel, cry and whine?  With no pun intended, do you want him to walk around with his tail between his legs?

His life was destroyed by what he did,  turned inside out for all the world to see.  His reputation and his life will never be the same, nor will his family's.  His children will have to live with what their father did forever.

He has paid his debt.  If you take emotions out of the situation, he made a mistake.  A huge, colossal, unforgiveable by some mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

And the best thing you could ever do for yourself when you make a mistake is, acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on as fast as possible.

What you don't do is sit around, flogging yourself for the rest of your life, feeling horrible about yourself and driving your self esteem and self image into the ground, to where you have no self confidence and you are depressed.

That seems to be what many people want Michael Vick to do – and he doesn't have to.  He paid his debt.

If you have made mistakes in your life, don't sit around, kicking your own azz about it day in and day out.  It does nothing but make it worse.

Depending on your mistake and who else it affected, an apology may be in order.  If so, make one – and mean it.

Once you have apologized, move on.  Don't sit around and spend another second on the mistake – move forward.  More importantly, do not let someone else hammer you over and over, constantly demanding more apologies or attempting to make you feel guilt and shame.

Once you have apologized and made amends, move on.  If others can't, that is not your problem.

Focus on what you want, where you want to go and what you can do to get there right now – and watch what happens.

When it comes to Michael Vick, it is time for him – and us – to move on.

To your best,

Sensei Harrison Huff

P.S. – How to protect your self-esteem and that of your child's is covered in the "Bully Proof Kids" course, which you can learn more about at http://www.bullyproofkids.com


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