NFL Commissioner Goodell Orders Falcons' Michael Vick to Skip Training Camp Until League Reviews Dogfighting Charges
It's great that Commissioner Goodell has come to this decision but why should Vick continue to get paid while he cools it at home in his doubtless very expensive swimming pool? How about this, Mr. Goodell? Put Vick's salary in an escrow account. If he's proven guiltless, then he gets the money. If not, the money in the account goes to organizations helping dogs rescued from scumbag dogfighters.
NFL commish orders Vick to stay out of camp
Falcons quarterback must sit while league reviews dogfighting charges
NEW YORK - Michael Vick was ordered by commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday to stay away from the Atlanta Falcons training camp until the league reviews the dogfighting charges against him.
While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football League to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy," Goodell said in a letter to the quarterback.
The NFL said Vick would still get his preseason pay and Goodell told the Falcons to withhold any disciplinary action of their own until the leagues review was completed.
Goodell told Vick the league would complete its review as quickly as possible and that he expected full cooperation. The review is expected to involve conversations with federal law enforcement officials so the NFL can determine the strength of the case against Vick.
The Falcons open camp on Thursday, the same day Vick is scheduled to be arraigned in Richmond, Va., on charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation.
The team declined comment other than to say a news conference was scheduled Tuesday at owner Arthur Blanks office in Atlanta.
Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, last season became the first quarterback ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards.
After his indictment last week, the NFLs position was that it would monitor developments and allow the legal process to determine the facts."
Since then, pressure has been mounting on the league and the Falcons, particularly from animal-rights groups.
PETA People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals demonstrated at Falcons headquarters in Flowery Branch, Ga., on Monday and did the same outside NFL offices in New York last week. At the same time, Goodell was meeting with officials from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The league and the ASPCA are working on a program to educate players about the proper treatment of animals.
Activists also put pressure on companies that have endorsements deals with Vick to sever their ties. Nike said it would not release a fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V, this summer. Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said the four shoe products and three shirts that currently bear Vicks name will remain in stores.
Goodells order came down after lengthy discussions involving the league office, the Falcons and the NFL Players Association. Gene Upshaw, the NFLPAs executive director, was one of the first to side with Goodell when he instituted the strong Personal Conduct Policy after a season of repeated misdeeds by players.
Disciplining players has turned out to be Goodells main focus since taking over last Sept. 1 for the retired Paul Tagliabue.