Michael Vick, seven-year veteran of the National Football League and former quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, pleaded guilty to the dog-fighting charges brought against him and fellow friends on Aug. 27.
In a summary of facts accompanying the plea agreement filed, Vick admitted that six to eight dogs killed in April of this year died as a result of the “collective efforts” of himself and two of his three co-defendants, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips according to sportinglife.com.
This summary also stated that Vick bought the house in Surry County, Va., where the dogs were kept in kennels and where the stage was set for the dogs to abuse one another. Even more, those dogs that lost the match were abused to death by methods of hanging, drowning and thrown against pavements and walls.
At the press conference Vick came clean about the incident. “I want to apologize, you know, for all the things that I’ve done and that I have allowed to happen. I was not honest and forthright in our discussions, and, you know, I was ashamed and totally disappointed in myself to say the least. I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts, and what I did was very immature so that means I need to grow-up. I totally ask for forgiveness and understanding as I move forward to bettering Michael Vick the person, not the football player,” he said according to msn.foxsports.com.
With this statement, there were many consequences to follow with such organizations as the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons Football Club and Nike and Reebok.
According to CNN.com, Commissioner Robert Goodell decided to suspend Vick indefinitely without pay from the NFL. In a letter from Commissioner Goodell to Vick, he wrote, “Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions.”
In response, according to atlantafalcons.com, Vick’s ex-team said, “This situation has been troubling to many people, including our fans, during the last few months. With today’s news, our club and team will continue to be tested as Michael works through the legal process toward a conclusion. Our plan is to continue to do everything we can to support our players and coaches.”
Nike suspended Vick’s endorsement deal and the release of the Nike Air Zoom Vick V shoe. Any apparel or Vick-related products were immediately pulled from shelves across the country along with Reebok stopping the selling of his replica jersey.
According to atlantafalcons.com, Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said, “We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore we have not terminated our relationship.”
Acting managing director of the Delaware County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Nicole Wilson agrees with Commissioner Goodell.
“Any animal lover is horrified by the prospect of what Vick has done, but more disconcerting that what Vick did are the excuses that others have attempted to make for the quarterback.”
She went on to tell a story of a public service piece that she participated on with Isaiah “Ike” Reese, a former player of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Falcons. After the filming was completed to shed light on the tens of thousands of homeless animals coming to shelters in this area, he told her of a pet parakeet he owned all though his college career.
“You could hear in his voice the true affection he had for something as small as this bird. These are the players who should be held up as examples of the true nature of southern athletes. People shouldn’t regulate them to some image of limitation presented by the likes of Michael Vick.”
Vick’s sentencing hearing will take place on Dec. 10, 2007.
Vick said, “I will redeem myself. I have to.”