By Ashley Pettaway
Is Forbes magazine's most hated player in the NFL really the most hated player? Or has this hatred turned into a question of his celebrity, or involuntary role as a model citizen?
In August of 2007 when Michael Vick pleaded guilty to charges of dog fighting, or what U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd would referred to as the "cruel, sadistic, cannibalistic business of training innocent, vulnerable creatures to kill." Vick's career was thought to be as good as gone.
While animal lovers and Eagles fans alike were repulsed by Vick's actions, the public granted him another chance, allowing Vick to prove his value as a Philadelphia Eagle's quarterback and ultimately one again become one of the highest paid players in the NFL.
"He had a lot of opportunities to change. Jemelle Hill of ESPN told Hampton University students Wednesday. "You know the saying, you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting."
Determined for a different result, Vick got back on the field working harder than ever before to regain the trust of his fans and the respect of his teammates. "He really impressed everybody by how hard he worked," said ESPN writer Ashley Fox, discussing via SKYPE the reaction of the Eagles fans.
While it's unsure of whether Vick will maintain his image as a model citizen off the field, ultimately, he has demonstrated his worth as an athlete and Pro Bowl quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.