Michael Vick smart for dodging Oprah Winfrey’s couch

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Normally, pulling out of doing an episode of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ is a bad move.

But in Michael Vick’s case, it was smart. The controversial quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles who made an incredible return to the football field after going to prison for his role in a dogfighting ring canceled plans to tape Winfrey’s show this week for an episode that would have aired next week.

Obviously, going on Winfrey’s show would have given Vick a huge platform to express remorse for his past actions. At the same time, though, it would also have given Winfrey an opening to revisit the whole dogfighting fiasco. Winfrey has an hour to fill and credibility at stake, which means it would have been very difficult for her to give Vick the kid-gloves treatment.


This is not to say that Vick deserves kid-gloves treatment. Whenever he does sit in front of the camera, he should be prepared to hear again the findings of the law, see horrific images from his dogfighting days and account for his actions.

So far, Vick has struck mostly the right notes in his comeback. Going on ‘Oprah Winfrey,’ though, to be given some sort of blessing by the queen of talk is too much too soon. Part of what Vick needs to learn and show is humility, and going on a popular TV show to say look at me now is not humble. Furthermore, Winfrey’s primarily female audience both in the studio and at home may not prove to be the most friendly terrain for Vick. He’d be better suited doing an interview without a studio audience present.

Regardless of whether one thinks Vick wasn’t punished enough or should not have been allowed back on the football field, there is little to be gained by him going on Winfrey’s show so soon after his return. Those who loathe him for what he did won’t be persuaded to think otherwise after an hour on Winfrey’s couch. Those who have moved on don’t need to be given a reason to reassess their opinion.

— Joe Flint