We get a lot of e-mails every day. Often, the message carries a subject line that reflects a gross exaggeration (at best) of the information contained therein.
So when perusing the e-mail box after taking a workout break (and then eating a lunch big enough to more than offset the benefits of the workout), I shrugged when I saw the following message heading: “Mike Vick may have already violated terms of NFL reinstatement.”
Then I opened the message.
It contained a link to an August 16 item in the New York Post. Brian Costello of the Post writes in the first paragraph of the article that, on the evening after Vick’s return to the practice field, he “sat in a corner booth . . . in the Riverbend Bar & Grill,
sipping on a Grey Goose and pineapple juice and talking with two friends.”
Grey Goose, for those of you unfamiliar with Maurice Clarett, is vodka.
The problem? Vick’s conditional reinstatement to the NFL contains an express prohibition against the use of drugs and alcohol.
In the July 27 letter communicating to Vick his conditional reinstatement, Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote that “you are required to abide
by the terms of the supervised release that were imposed on you by the
court, which include not committing any further crime, limits on who
you may associate with, prohibitions regarding drug and alcohol use,
possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, and forbidding you
to own, possess or be involved with the sale of any dog.”
So, basically, wow.
We’re certain that, if this becomes an issue, there will be explanations and clarifications and anything but an admission that Vick was drinking alcohol. Still, the mere fact that Costello wrote that Vick was drinking vodka in public demonstrates the extreme care Vick must exercise not only to stay within his razor-thin margin for error, but also to create a clear perception on the part of others that he hasn’t done anything to violate the terms of his reinstatement or, more importantly, his probation.