The Michael Vick you read about in the press is not the Michael Vick that teammates, friends and community members know. The media, in its never ending desire to tarnish his image and derail his career, only presents negative occurrences mixed with half truths.
While Mr. Vick is normally not one to hype his community involvement and charitable acts, it is now in his best interest to at least let people know about some of the endeavors in which he has been involved. Unfortunately, although Mr. Vick would clearly prefer to allow his off the field work to remain behind the scenes, the media has forced his hand.
With that in mind, last week Vick launched his most recent effort to help the community.
"Maybe this will offset some of that attention I've been getting, whether positive or negative," Vick said while sitting in a crowded wine-tasting area at The Tasting Room, the restaurant of which he is the main shareholder of three investors. "It's good for people to see that I'm giving back to the community, where people can see me trying to do something that's positive. There's a lot of people speculating about things I do that are not so positive."
This is the type of thing that can exponentially make amends to Vick's image in respect to the community, which took a hit last year when Vick left the field after a loss, and in a fit of frustration thrust his middle fingers randomly in the air. Unfortunately, the media portrayed it as if Vick were intentionally flipping off the fans. Well, now Vick is giving something back.
"Opening this restaurant and an adjoining wine store with business partners Earnest Greer and Frank Jenkins, in an area Vick deemed as "underserved," is part of a plan to establish a better relationship with the local community. Four similar restaurants are planned in different parts of the metro area, as are a handful of more civic enterprises, Vick said."
We read "underserved" to generally mean a low income (and probably high minority) area. For establishing a business venture in such an area, we feel compelled to tip our derbies to Mr. Vick and his associates.
What better way to give back to the community than to establish a high-end restaurant/wine bar and an adjoining wine store in a low income section of town. This is something that the community needs and has clearly been demanding. And Mr. Vick, despite the attempts by the media to ruin him, is the one that came through for the community.
Many other athletes have opened taverns, restaurants and all sorts of businesses in an effort to capitalize on their names and secure revenue streams for after retirement.
Mr. Vick, on the other hand, chooses to create opportunities for lower income communities to partake in gourmet food and wine.
The next time you read the media attempt a character assassination on Mr. Vick remember: He is bringing some wonderful pinot grigios to the hood.
And flipping the bird, bringing secretly compartmented water bottles on planes and herpes can't undo all the good!