The last few years have been one big reminder for the United States: We need to stop playing dead, and when athletes die, we need to pay attention.
The death of former NFL star Michael Vick, who died at age 42 on Jan. 12, sparked protests over police brutality and police militarization and drew a national discussion about the need to confront the legacy of violence and the need for change.
The former quarterback, who led the Philadelphia Eagles to three Super Bowls and four NFL championships, was shot in the head and killed in 2007.
The first national conversation about Vick’s legacy, however, has been limited to a handful of high-profile incidents, including his 2012 arrest for driving while intoxicated in Virginia.
Vick’s former girlfriend, Amanda Knox, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her role in the killing.
Vick was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Knox’s conviction, however has been overturned by a federal appeals court.
“This is a reminder that there are no quick fixes.
It’s a real issue, and it needs to be addressed,” said John P. Bohn, executive director of the Center for Sports, Media and Public Policy at George Mason University.”
It’s not an easy conversation to have when there’s no resolution,” he added.
“You can make changes in one area and then in another area there’s still going to be resistance.
There’s going to still be problems.”
In 2014, ESPN aired an episode of “Outside the Lines” on the deaths of the two football stars.
ESPN’s Brian Billick was the first to ask Vick’s immediate family about his death, and ESPN’s Mike Tirico and Joe Buck later did the same for Vick’s.
In an interview with “Outside,” the former quarterbacks talked about the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions.
“There’s a lot of people who will say, ‘You’re not responsible,’ ” Vick said.
“Well, I’m not responsible for my actions.
And I’m going to try to move forward, because I’m one of the greatest athletes in the history of the world. “
And I’m going to try to move forward, because I’m one of the greatest athletes in the history of the world.
I know how hard that takes.
I think that’s something that I learned from Michael.
I’ve learned from all of the great athletes in history, and I’ve got to continue to learn from the people I respect.
And if they see the things that I do in my life that aren’t right, they’re going to look at me and they’re not going to do it.
And that’s not going a good thing.”
In the ESPN segment, Vick said he was “not sure” if the actions he took as a rookie were right or wrong.
He said he had been trying to help his teammates during the team’s first two preseason games, and his teammates were showing him love, even when he had an off day.
“My teammates were saying, ‘Coach, I love you.
I love the way you play the game.
You’re a warrior.
You do the right thing.
You play the right way,'” Vick said in the segment.
“They just told me to keep working hard.
They said, ‘Stay in your lane.
We’ll support you.’
I said, I don’t think that that’s the right word, but it’s just how I was feeling.
And it was the right decision.
I didn’t want to take anything away from the guys.
But I think it’s something we need now.
It just took a long time.”
Vick was an unrestricted free agent in the offseason after three seasons with the Eagles.
The Eagles drafted him out of high school in 2007 and drafted him as the No. 2 overall pick in 2008.
In 2013, he was traded to the Detroit Lions for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2018.
He signed a five-year, $55 million contract extension in 2018, the last of which paid him $17 million per season through 2020.
Vick also signed a two-year contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens, which included a $25 million signing bonus.
He has been linked to other teams this offseason, including the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings, and he is currently the only player on the Ravens roster who will earn $9 million in base salary in 2020.
In 2015, ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” aired an investigation into Vick’s use of painkillers in the NFL.
In the show, Vick told host Nancy Armour that he had never used an illegal substance, and in the video interview, he admitted he had taken a “small amount” of pain medication during the 2013 season.
In an interview on “Outside” that aired on Sunday, Vick denied using an illegal