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Following Chris Brown’s recent rampage in New York, there are fans that still take the side of this singer, typically using three defenses:

  1. Hasn’t everyone made a mistake?!?
  2. His incident with Rihanna is two years old.
  3. The media should stop bringing it up.

The first argument is ridiculous. Brown did not push Rihanna, nor did he strike her just once. Have you seen the photos following the attack? Brown pummeled his then-girlfriend. He gave her a fat lip and a black eye. You can stand atop your high horses all you’d like, but, no, not all “mistakes” are equal.

Would supporters continue to echo this non-judgmental sentiment if he sexually assaulted Rihanna? If she died as a result of his temper?

Chris Brown in 2021
Photo via Getty

Chris Brown could learn a lot from Mike Vick.

But the real crux of my argument centers around the second and third points listed above. If Brown truly wants forgiveness from the public and is legitimately sorry for his actions, he should look to Michael Vick as a role model.

Similar to the singer, this football player broke the law in a violent manner years ago. He actually went to jail for it.

Back in the spotlight as the quarterback of the Eagles, in some shape or form, Vick is asked about his dogfighting ring everywhere he goes. What has he learned? Why should we believe he’s a changed man? What message does he have for others?

Not once has Vick reacted with anger. He’s never complained about the questions, never wondered why it’s still an issue for the media, never responded in any way other than as a man grateful for another opportunity to pursue his dream and make millions. This is someone who didn’t harm another human being and who actually served time for his behavior.

Are you taking notes, Chris?

Like Vick, you are a public figure who has profited significantly from your image. It took a major hit, for a very good reason, only two years ago. Just because you might want everyone to move on from the Rihanna incident doesn’t mean that we have or that we should. Putting out a new album, and insisting that journalists only ask you about it, is clearly not the proper path to atonement.

Vick visited a jail last week and spoke to inmates about how to turn their lives around. Since his incarceration, he has given numerous speeches at schools and on behalf of animal rights organizations. Every Sunday, he walks through PETA protests on the way to his job. Vick cannot go 24 hours without being faced with the fallout of his actions and not once has he thrown a chair through a window overlooking a busy Manhattan street.

Brown followers actually blame Robin Roberts – a veteran, professional reporter on a well-respected news program – for asking questions simply because Brown didn’t want to answer them. Sorry, but that’s the exact opposite of how journalism works. And how it should work. The goal is to get to the bottom of a story, not to cater to the subject of that story.

Chris Brown wants us to forget what happened with Rihanna. But I ask his most ardent, blindly loyal fans to stop for a moment, take this week’s emotional event into consideration and ask yourselves: do you truly believe this is a man incapable of doing such a thing again?