Vick addresses students in Philadelphia
Michael Vick spoke to a group of Philadelphia high school students Tuesday, warning them against the dangers of peer pressure and urging them to make the right choices and resist the temptation to follow the crowd.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback addressed 200 freshmen on their first day at Nueva Esperanza Academy, a North Philadelphia charter school.
“I didn’t choose to go the right way, which led to 18 months in prison, which was the toughest time of my life,” he said. “Being away from my family, being away from my kids who I adore dearly, and being away from the game of football, doing something so foolish, and I wish I could take it all back.
“I was influenced by so many people when I should have been a leader, not a follower.”
The 10-minute talk marked Vick’s first anti-dogfighting public appearance in Philadelphia since he signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal with the Eagles on Aug. 13, the Associated Press reported.
“My future was promising … at some point, I got sidetracked. I started listening to my friends and doing some things that were not ethical and not right.”
Vick visited the school with Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle met with Vick in prison at the quarterback’s request and agreed to allow him help in the organization’s anti-dogfighting campaign.
Once the highest paid player in the NFL, Vick was suspended from the league following his conviction in August 2007 on charges of conspiracy and organizing the dogfighting ring. He was released from federal custody in July and was signed by the Eagles in August.
Vick is suspended for the first two games of the regular season and is eligible to play beginning Sept. 27.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, appearance, cruelty, dogfighting, dogs, federal, first, football, high school, humane society of the united states, michael vick, nfl, nueva esperanza academy, pets, philadelphia, philadelphia eagles, prison, public, sentence, speaks, speech, students, wayne pacelle