Vick heads home, may work with HSUS
Michael Vick left prison and is headed home today — and he hopes to team up with the Humane Society of the United States in a program aimed at eradicating dogfighting among urban teens.
HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said Tuesday that he recently met with Vick at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., and that Vick, who requested the meeting, wants to work with the group once he’s out of federal custody, according to Sports Illustrated.
Vick is returning to Hampton, Virginia, where he will serve the final two months of his 23-month prison sentence for dogfighting under home confinement. Vick is expected to be released to supervised probation July 20 after receiving two months off his term for good behavior.
“He indicated that he’s tremendously remorseful about this, and now he wants to be an agent of change, to work to end dogfighting and to specifically get young kids to cease any involvement in these activities,” Pacelle said.
“Sometimes folks who are reformed can be particularly strong advocates,” Pacelle said, adding the Vick would be expected to do more than simply record anti-dogfighting public service announcements. “We agree that he’s got to put boots on the ground and hit the issue hard and do it over a long time.”
Pacelle elaborates on the unlikely alliance today on his blog, Humane Nation.
“I sat with the man, but I still don’t know what’s in his heart. He told me he did terrible things to dogs. He said he grew up with dogfighting as a boy, and that he never sufficiently questioned it as he grew into manhood.”
The HSUS gig could go far in helping Vick prove that he is remorseful and rehabilitated, which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said is what will determine if the suspended quarterback plays professionally in the NFL again.
“Michael’s going to have to demonstrate to myself and the general public and to a lot of people, did he learn anything from this experience? Does he regret what happened? Does he feel that he can be a positive influence going forward? Those are questions that I would like to see when I sit with him,” Goodell said Tuesday.
Pacelle agreed that Vick’s actions — not just his words — will be critical as Vick returns to society and attempts to repair his image.
“He’s got to help himself. We can give him an opportunity to do the right thing, but it’s ultimately going to be his level of intensity and sincerity that is going to convince the American public,” Pacelle said. “He still has to prove himself over time.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advocate, anti-dogfighting, campaign, commissioner, dogfighting, federal prison, football, home confinement, hsus, humane society, image, leavenworth, meeting, michael vick, nfl, prison, quarterback, release, released, remoreseful, remorse, return, roger goodell, sentence, virginia, wayne pacelle