Michael Vick’s statement following his guilty plea in U.S. District Court to a dogfighting conspiracy charge:
“For most of my life, I’ve been a football player, not a public speaker, so, you know, I really don’t know, you know, how to say what I really want to say. You know, I understand it’s – it’s important or not important, you know, as far as what you say but how you say things. So, you know, I take this opportunity just to speak from the heart. First, I want to apologize, you know, for all the things that – that I’ve done and that I have allowed to happen. I want to personally apologize to commissioner Goodell, Arthur Blank, coach Bobby Petrino, my Atlanta Falcons teammates, you know, for our – for our previous discussions that we had. And 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, you know, what I did was, 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. I take full responsibility for my actions. For one second will I sit right here – not for one second will I sit right here and point the finger and try to blame anybody else for my actions or what I’ve done. I’m totally responsible, and those things just didn’t have to happen. I feel like we all make mistakes. It’s just I made a mistake in using bad judgment and making bad decisions. And you know, those things, you know, just can’t happen. Dog fighting is a terrible thing, and I did reject it. I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now. Like I said, for this – for this entire situation I never pointed the finger at anybody else, I accepted responsibility for my actions of what I did and now I have to pay the consequences for it. But in a sense, I think it will help, you know, me as a person. I got a lot to think about in the next year or so. I offer my deepest apologies to everybody out in there in the world who was affected by this whole situation. And if I’m more disappointed with myself than anything it’s because of all the young people, young kids that I’ve let down, who look at Michael Vick as a role model. And to have to go through this and put myself in this situation, you know, I hope that every young kid out there in the world watching this interview right now who’s been following the case will use me as an example to using better judgment and making better decisions. Once again, I offer my deepest apologies to everyone. And I will redeem myself. I have to. So I got a lot of down time, a lot of time to think about my actions and what I’ve done and how to make Michael Vick a better person. Thank you.”
Was Michael Vick sincere in his statement and apology? Was he just going through the motions of reading a statement scripted by his lawyers to say what the courts, NFL and public wanted to hear, in an effort to mitigate his sentence, suspension and rehabilitate his image?
There is a lot of speculation and most of what I have heard in the media has been cynical. However, I will give Michael Vick the “benefit of the doubt”…. so to speak. I will believe that he was sincere in taking full responsibility for his choices and actions, and in his plea for forgiveness. I for one will wish him the best and hope that he will be successful in transforming his mind, values and spirit to become a much better Michael Vick.