The three-year legal ban that prevented Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick expires this month, and according to Vick, he is ready to bring his rehabilitation full circle and buy a dog for his children.
Vick appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN yesterday to discuss the impact his past transgressions have had on his children. “I still deal with my kids each and every day, and for the last three years not being able to have a dog because of my acts, and I just don’t think that is fair.”
When Morgan asked what breed Vick would purchase, his answer showed that he still feels saddened by his treatment of pit bulls. ”I would let them pick it out, certainly wouldn’t be a pit bull.”
In July of 2007 Vick was indicted by a grand jury on charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation. The Eagles quarterback was charged with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conduction the enterprise across state lines, all felonies. A property in Surry County, Virgina own by Vick served as the headquarters for “Bad Newz Kennels.” Police found 66 dogs on the property, 55 of them pit bulls. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison.
But more than the prison time, the case made Vick a pariah in the court of public opinion—even though Vick has said that he grew up in a Virginia community where he saw dog-fighting going on around him all the time and never realized it was that serious an offense. For a while, many people thought he shouldn’t even be allowed to play football again, even after serving his prison sentence, and they said the Eagles should be boycotted for signing him. But football fans were not quite as radical, and when Vick stepped out onto the field and was his electrifying former self, he began to win over many previous detractors.
In the book Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge by Etan Thomas and Nick Chiles, Tony Dungy said that when he was serving as an advisor and mentor to Vick during his time in prison, it was being away from his children that disturbed the Virginia native the most, not his banishment from football.