HONOLULU — The White House confirmed Monday that President Obama praised Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie giving a second chance to quarterback Michael Vick, who went to play for the team after serving time in prison for running a dog fighting ring.
"The president did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues," deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton said in a statement. "He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of but, as he's said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again."
On Monday Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that Lurie said Obama told him during a recent phone call that "so many people who serve time never get a fair second chance."
Lurie reportedly described the president as "passionate about it."
"He said it's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail," King said Lurie told him. "And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall."
Obama's outreach raised some eyebrows when it was presented as the purpose of his call to Lurie.
Vick pled guilty in 2007 to running a dog fighting ring out of Georgia. He served nearly two years in prison and spent time on house arrest. (Continues here)