If you were watching CNN a few minutes ago you got to see Michael Vick give his best performance; penitant who says he has “found Jesus” through his indictment for dogfighting. Do I believe he’s sorry? Yup. I believe he’s sorry he got caught. Do I believe he got religion or still really accepts the evil he has done? Not yet. I live in Missouri, Michael. Show me.
I heard Vick apologize to everyone except the beings who have been most betrayed and harmed by his actions — the dogs. Vick apologized to his team members, young children who saw him as a role model, “anyone who has been affected,” and the NFL Commissioner. Great, but what about the dogs? He says he “has rejected” dogfighting. Another great, but what about the dogs?
I never heard an apology to the dogs. I never heard him say he plans on doing something to SHOW this newfound faith. Is he going to willingly support the dogs he abused and tortured that are still alive (costs are to be covered under his plea, however.)? Nope, didn’t hear that. Is he going to work with youth groups or anti-gangbanging groups to teach kids to treat dogs well? Nope, didn’t hear that. Is he going to give a million or two to organizations assisting abused dogs? Didn’t hear that either.
So what is he going to do? He plans on “growing up.” Great idea, Ookie. That’s a very good start.
But a large part of growing up is accepting that your actions have ramifications. That means you don’t get to slide by just because you’ve hung your head, looked sad and mouthed an apology. The dogs you were personally responsible for torturing and murdering are no less in pain or dead. You did that and you must suffer for those crimes. Jail time and permanent NFL suspension are just the beginning. After that, if you want to show your newfound faith, you must find ways to show true repentance. Then we’ll all know you really have grown up.
Thanks to CNN.com for this article.
Vick: ‘I need to grow up’
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) — Shortly after entering a guilty plea Monday to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge, suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick apologized “for all the things that I’ve done and that I’ve allowed to happen.”
In addition to making apologies to Atlanta Falcons teammates, his coach and the National Football League, Vick also said he was sorry “to all the young kids out there for my immature acts.”
“What I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up,” he said.
He said that he was “disappointed in myself” and that “dogfighting is a terrible thing and I … reject it.”
He said, “Through this situation I’ve found Jesus.”
During a hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson asked Vick if he understood the charge. Vick responded, “Yes sir.”
Hudson is considering whether to accept a plea deal that calls for a sentence of 12 to 18 months. Watch Vick arrive in court
The judge set a December 10 sentencing hearing. That’s the same day the Falcons are scheduled to take on rivals the New Orleans Saints on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
Vick was met by cheering supporters as his attorneys and federal marshals escorted him into the U.S. District Court in Richmond. A group of protesters holding signs with pictures of injured fighting dogs also was on hand.
In legal papers filed last week, Vick admitted financing a dogfighting operation and participating in the killing of dogs that did not fight well.
The former NFL No. 1 draft pick from Virginia Tech could face up to five years in a federal prison, but prosecutors have agreed to seek a lesser punishment.
On Friday, the NFL suspended Vick, 27, indefinitely without pay.
“Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team, the NFL, and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to Vick.
Goodell said he would review the status of the suspension after the legal proceedings are over.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Vick’s admissions describe actions that are “incomprehensible and unacceptable.”
The suspension makes “a strong statement that conduct which tarnishes the good reputation of the NFL will not be tolerated,” he said in a statement.
Goodell said the Falcons could “assert any claims or remedies” to recover $22 million of Vick’s signing bonus from the 10-year, $130 million contract he signed in 2004, according to The Associated Press.
Vick pleaded guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture” in a plea agreement filed at U.S. District Court.
In an additional summary of facts, signed by Vick and filed with the agreement, Vick admitted buying pit bulls and the property used for training and fighting the dogs, but the statement said he did not bet on the fights or receive any of the money won.
“Most of the ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ operations and gambling monies were provided by Vick,” the official summary of facts said. Gambling wins were generally split among co-conspirators Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips and sometimes Purnell Peace, it continued.
“Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses that were won by ‘Bad Newz Kennels.’ “
Vick also agreed that “collective efforts” by him and two others caused the deaths of at least six dogs.
Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia; and Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia, have accepted agreements to plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences. See a timeline of the case against Vick
The federal case against Vick focused on the interstate conspiracy, but Vick’s admission that he was involved in the killing of dogs could lead to local charges, Toobin said.
“It sometimes happens — not often — that the state will follow a federal prosecution by charging its own crimes for exactly the same behavior,” Toobin said.
“The risk for Vick is, if he makes admissions in his federal guilty plea, the state of Virginia could say, ‘Hey, look, you admitted violating Virginia state law as well. We’re going to introduce that against you and charge you in our court.’ “
In the plea deal, Vick agreed to cooperate with investigators and provide all information he may have on any criminal activity and to testify if necessary. Vick also agreed to turn over any documents he has and to submit to polygraph tests.
Vick agreed to “make restitution for the full amount of the costs associated” with the dogs that are being held by the government.
“Such costs may include, but are not limited to, all costs associated with the care of the dogs involved in that case, including if necessary, the long-term care and/or the humane euthanasia of some or all of those animals.”