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Sunday, July 26, 2009
Owens calls out Goodell on Vick's reinstatement


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- There are only so many times you can ask Terrell Owens a version of "So, big guy, how's it going?" when the Buffalo Bills still haven't put on full pads since they signed him in March.

With NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expected to announce Michael Vick's conditional reinstatement next week -- maybe the league's biggest story along with Brett Favre's looming decision -- I asked one of the most outspoken men in sports for his take on the controversial subject.

Owens provided the news of the day.

He called out the commish, asked the NFL Players Association to get more involved on Vick's behalf and challenged players around the league to be publicly supportive.

Owens was critical of Goodell's handling of Vick's pending return now that the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback recently completed a 23-month federal prison sentence for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.

Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 and is expected to make him sit at the start of the season, perhaps four games.

"I think the way the commissioner is handling it is unfair to Michael Vick," Owens said. "I think he's done the time for what he's done. I don't think it's really fair for him to be suspended four more games. It's almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground.

"A lot of the guys around the league needs to speak up. I think the players' union needs to step in because the guy's already suffered so much, and to add a four-game suspension onto a two-year prison sentence, I mean, that's ridiculous."

Before you get upset at Owens for supporting someone convicted of such abject cruelty to man's best friend, please note that at no point did he endorse or excuse Vick's actions. Owens merely opined Vick has served a sentence handed down by a federal court and that should suffice.

We'll see if Owens' stepping forward will lead other players around the league to do the same.