NFL 

The Backlash of the Pittsburgh Steelers Signing Michael Vick

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most loyal, dedicated, and faithful fan bases in all of sports. No matter what city they travel to, you can be assured to see some yellow “Terrible Towels” being waved in the crowd. On Tuesday night, veteran free agent quarterback, Michael Vick and the Steelers had a meeting to determine if Pittsburgh wants to sign him as a backup after Bruce Gradkowski suffered an injury. It is being reported that the two sides have reached a deal. There will be two sides to the coin in terms of the Steelers reaching a deal with Vick. Those sides will be the support of the signing, or a negative backlash, depending on which fan you ask.

The reason that there will be a negative backlash by some is due to the fact that Vick was involved in a dog-fighting ring back in 2007. For as horrendous an act as what Vick was involved in, he has paid his debt to society. He served time in federal prison and has tried countless amount of times to become a better person. There are players who have done worse than Vick, yet are still playing. Some people have been able to forgive Vick, but there will be people who can and never will forgive Vick for his actions. You don’t have to like or forgive Vick that is you’re choosing. There have been some Steelers’ fans already saying on social media they do not want Vick as a member of the team. Those fans can’t get over the fact that he did what he did. On the flip side of that, the Steelers currently have two players who were involved in their own run-ins with the law. Those players are quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end James Harrison.

In July of 2009, Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in Washoe County, Nevada. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Eight months later in Milledgeville, Georgia, Roethlisberger was once again accused of sexual assault. District attorney Fred Bright said that he would not charge Roethlisberger because he could not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The NFL stepped in and suspended the Steelers’ franchise quarterback for six games due to violating the league’s personal conduct policy. His suspension was reduced to four games.

James Harrison was arrested in April of 2008 and was charged with simple assault and criminal mischief after a domestic altercation with his girlfriend. The charges were later dropped due to Harrison completing anger management counseling. There was an eyebrow raised at the Steelers after this, because they released wide receiver Cedrick Wilson for a similar, yet unrelated incident. The team cited they looked at what had happened on a case-to-case basis. The Steelers did not release Harrison after what happened with him, yet released Wilson.

This is where the Vick signing comes into play. There are some fans that don’t want Vick on their team, yet still cheer and give adulation and praise to players like Roethlisberger and Harrison, despite the legal trouble each faced. Granted, Big Ben wasn’t charged, but a lot of people were not pleased with this occurring two times in the span of eight months. Some of those fans will justify their continued adulation for the two-time Super Bowl champion, and claim to do so because he wasn’t charged with anything. There were a lot of Steeler fans that were outraged by what running back Ray Rice did in a domestic dispute. However, those same fans loved that Harrison was coming back to the Steel City, despite being arrested for similar acts.

The other side of the coin in this situation is what Vick can do for the Steelers this season. He isn’t being signed to compete for a starting position; he is being signed to be a backup to Big Ben. Pittsburgh can even use Vick in some play packages involving the read-option. He is a quarterback who can use his legs or throw the ball if need-be. He won’t be used a whole lot, but he will be able to help in what little role he has. Another reason this is a good signing is due to his veteran presence in the locker room. He can help guide the younger players and give them pointers and advice on how to conduct themselves both on and off the field.

At the end of the day, Steelers fans will either love or hate this signing. If he produces on the field, a lot of fans will be happy and put what he did in the past to the side. For the fans that already put what he has done aside, they will hope he can be a contributor for this team in some way, shape, or form.

At the end of the day, the Steelers needed a backup quarterback and got the best one available that could potentially help the team win football games.

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I am a 2013 graduate of Clarion University with a bachelor's degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. I aspire to be great. I love sports and professional wrestling. Follow me on Twitter @KIngEdward15 and engage in sports talk with me.

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6 Thoughts to “The Backlash of the Pittsburgh Steelers Signing Michael Vick”

  1. Selective forgiveness is an amazing phenomenon. I’m afraid we’re all guilty of this inconsistency at one point or another.djz

  2. Scott

    Sign Charlie Batch, a true Steeler!!!!!

  3. Scott

    sign Charlie Batch,a true Steeler!

  4. Patricia penn

    Examine his history, he tortured numerous dogs, without any remorse. He only “felt remorse” once he was caught. I feel that he is a horrible person. I don’t give. Sh**t if he can play football. Maybe if Hitler was put away for 21,months, he would been enlightened, and had a change of heart….or not. I am all for giving second chances, but evil stays evil. I will not be a Steelers fan this year.

  5. Krickut

    Yes, Scott is right, why didn’t you sign Charlie Batch?
    And yes, Patricia penn you are absolutely right!! If he had not been caught, he would still be torturing dogs. Vick only paid his dues for owning and running the dog fighting ring, not for the torture and murder of the dogs. Why was he even allowed back into the NFL? What other convicted felon gets out of prison and gets to go back to life like it was before and like the bad didn’t ever happen?

    I’m not saying Ben didn’t do what he was accused of, but women have been known to pursue celebrities and sports figures in hopes of getting some money. And, if what the girls allegedly had this happen to them, why didn’t they push to the bitter end?

    Humans have the free will to make choices. Animals do not. The animals were put into the situation merely because they were Pit Bulls and Michael Vick wanted to make money (like he needed it), and be cruel. He can’t use the excuse that he didn’t know it was wrong. Any person with common sense knows it’s wrong. This behavior is the stepping stone to murdering people. This classic psychosis!

    You journalists can color the situation anyway you want, but the facts are the facts. If you were good at your job, you would actually report the real facts, the truth in his prison time.

    Anyone who condones this behavior by believing he served his time, do not have real human qualities about them! I would not want my kids to look up to a man like Vick.

    I’ve been a fan ever since I could walk and talk, and to say I’m not a true fan because I turn by back on the Steelers with this signing is absurd. I’ve stuck through crappy records and lousy players…but this is just the lowest and downright disgusting.

    We the fans are what make your team…where would you be if it weren’t for fans buying your merchandise, buying tickets, spending ungodly amounts of money at the stadium, spending money on gas to follow you? Tell me, Steelers, why do you not care about your fans?

  6. Rover

    I scanned your post and saw some of common misinformation out there. I hope you educate yourself on this monster and realize there is only one right thing to do, and that is to avoid anything steelers at all costs. Please do educate yourself on this monster before you post ignorant drivel.

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