I just finished watching Michael Vick’s apology. Many will weigh in. I’m interested in apologies because so high-profile public apologies are “non-apologies”. A non-apology? How about, “I apologize if my actions offended you.”
How did Michael Vick do from a pastor’s perspective … looking for public confession?
Actually, not bad at all. I was surprised.
First, he didn’t use a prepared statement. He knew what he was going to say, but he did not read something prepared by his attorney. That was a good move, scripted or not.
(A small pet peeve: He began his apology by saying “I want to apologize…” That is a statement of intent, not an actual apology. Later he did say the words, “I apologize.”)
He did claim responsibility for his own actions and those of others. (That’s amazing because taking responsibility for the actions of others rarely happens!)
I think that in many ways he was careful with his statements, and they tended to minimize his actions. “I was not honest and forthright” was a statement Michael Vick made, that might have been phrased, “I lied.” He said, “We all make mistakes” which is true, but in an apology it is best to focus on our own failings rather than bringing other’s into the matter. I would have liked to see Michael Vick make a stronger statement about the evil of dog-fighting, but instead, I heard him talk about exercising “bad judgment and bad decisions” and used the term “immature” when talking about his behavior. He alluded to the consequences of his behavior a couple of times, a clear indication of the reality of sentencing ahead of him. Having said this, it was still better than most high-profile public apologies.
As always, it is odd to hear someone speak about themselves in the third person. I don’t know how often Michael Vick did this in other public forums, but at least twice in his apology he used his own name.
Faith was a part of his apology. He said that he found Jesus as a result of all this, and that he has turned his life over to God. He referred to redemption, and there was other “faith language” scattered throughout his apology.
As high-profile public apologies go, I’d give him a C (school starts around here today, so I’m in grading mode.)