Is there that much of a difference between the Michael Vick situation and the Dany Heatley situation? Both are players that are looking to come back the their respective leagues and resume playing their sport. The difference is Vick is trying to come back to a league that needs to embrace him where Heatley may need to come back to a team and a fan base (baring an unlikely trade) that will have to forgive and, well, maybe not forget, but not hold a grudge.
Michael Vick has paid his debt to society, is that enough? Probably it is for fans, it is just the extreme protesters that will be the big hurdle now. Dany will have to pay a debt to merely a city and a fan base. A tough task but a sincere apology or simple admittance that an error was made can go a long way toward the healing process. In all truth what has he done so far that is so bad that we can’t forgive and forget? He is not the first and surely not the last to make a request (we still don’t know if it was a request or a demand to be moved). Fans of teams are, by nature, a very forgiving bunch. Many a flaw can be covered by team colours a helmet and a number. A what have you done for me lately mentality is usually out there.
In both instances it is a player having to go into a locker room that may strongly disagree with the situation and guys that are indifferent to the whole thing. In probably every locker room there are players that don’t like each other, just like any other job place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t co-exist. Players may be dog owners or lovers but when you get right down to it winning football games and getting paid probably are more important than principals or position on the subject. One only has to look as far as the amount of players using performance enhancing drugs. They all know it is wrong but that is a little deterrent.
In Heatley’s case everyone associated with the team of late that has said anything says that he is a great teammate and a good guy and that is why it was so shocking. All would want an explanation but seem willing to take him back. Vick also may be a good guy a good teammate, but a guy that made a major mistake. Most would say he already done enough to be allowed to move on and try to get not only his career but his life turned around.
Vick looks poised to sign on with a team soon and Team Canada will be having its summer camp soon so both, one would think/hope they will have something to say and prove to help start up the healing process among Teams, players and fans alike.