With the prospect of Michael Vick reportedly about to sign with a team in the next few days, there have been several media articles and interviews discussing the fact that Roger Goodell has ruled that he will have to miss the first few games of the season, even after spending approximately 20 months in jail.
I find Goodell's ruling to be entirely reasonable and defensible (more about this in a sec) but several commentators have remarked that they believe Goodell's ruling to be unfair given Vick's jail sentence. The argument is that with his debt to society served, he should immediately be eligible to return to playing (presuming he would be given a chance to play immediately). To punish him "again" the argument goes, is therefore unfair. On last week's "sports reporters," one reporter even argued (paraphrasing) "how can Roger Goodell, unilaterally do this? Where is the players union? He should not have the right to decide this without arbitration like they have in Baseball. Who is he, God?" The other two panelists seemed to agree.
Well, I'll tell you who Roger Goodell is: the boss. And the boss decides when you can return to work. You know, the guy or woman who all of us in the real world (except Brian and few lucky others) report to?
Arbitration? Please tell me how many of us, after breaking federal law, company (NFL) rules, and lying to the face of our boss, have the chance to go to arbitration prior to getting our old jobs back?
None of us have the right to work at our chosen profession, we have to A-qualify, and B- stay in the good graces of our bosses, or we lose the chance to do so. Michael is lucky to return, and to his credit is not trying to challenge the ruling.
That's what I think anyway.