I think Michael Vick should be allowed to play in the NFL. Here's why:
He did not drag the nation through a trial.
Vick pleaded guilty to the charges. Which is a big deal. Famous people like Vick are much more likely to get an acquittal or a hung jury. Vick could have rolled the dice, hoped that there were some V-Tech fans on the jury, and he might have walked out a free man. Plus, think about what the trial would have done: Vick's lawyers might have argued that Vick was being singled out for selective prosecution, played up the racial aspects of the case; in effect putting the system on trial. But Vick did not do that. Vick's guilty plea and jail sentence is almost refreshing in this time of celebrity/athlete idol worship.
He did his time the right way.
When Vick was sentenced, he put his head down, shut his mouth, and went to jail. We never heard from him. No jailhouse interviews with Oprah claiming that he was railroaded. No tough guy adjusting to prison life stories. Nothing. Again, no "woe is me, I'm the victim here" sentiment from Michael Vick, he did his time honorably.
Conclusion: If he can play, let him play.
Vick did 18 months in jail. From the time of his plea, until the day the jail doors opened, I think you could not ask for more from the man. He did his time, forfeited over $20 million dollars by not being able to play, and declared bankruptcy.
I'm not saying you should root for him. And I won't be rooting for him, because I never have before and won't start to now.
But if then man is good enough to still play in the NFL, let him play.