Three years ago, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and others accepted Mike Vick’s denials of dogfighting allegations at face value, and Hall and others continued to defend Vick even after he rewarded their blind faith in him by eventually pleading guilty.
So it’s no surprise that Hall has assumed an early leadership role when it comes to making excuses for Vick this time around. After pointing out via his Twitter page that he wasn’t at the party that ended with the shooting of former Vick associate Quanis Phillips, Hall says, “I would also caution people from making statements and accusations
before all the details have come out. I support Mike and everything
positive he is doing in the community. Thank you.”
But this isn’t about whether Vick pulled a Pacman Jones and asked someone else to take a shot at Phillips. The mere fact that Vick and Phillips spent time in the same zip code represents evidence of the kind of recklessness that got Vick into trouble in the first place.
He’s on federal probation, and he’s banned from associating with his former associates in Bad Newz Kennels, including Quanis Phillips.
This isn’t just an issue of federal probation. Upon reinstating Vick last July, Commissioner Roger Goodell specifically informed Vick 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 alcohol and drug 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 the issue isn’t whether Vick arranged for Phillips to be shot. The question is whether Vick violated the plain terms of his probation and/or his reinstatement by: (1) seeing Quanis Phillips; and (2) not immediately sprinting in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to accept Hall’s admonition to refrain from making “statements and accusations” until “all the details have come out.” Already, it appears that the justice-obstructing cultural phenomenon that discourages “snitching” has kicked into high gear, making it virtually impossible for any details to come out.
Regardless, the most important details from Vick perspective relate to compliance, or lack thereof, with the requirement for residing among the free — and for getting paid millions to play a game. Based on the initial media reports, it’s not looking good.