Guess who’s out of prison…..
In case you missed it, Vick, 28, pleaded guilty in August 2007 to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia. He must really want to play football again because now he says that he plans to work with the Humane Society of the United States on anti-dogfighting campaigns following his release.
According to reports, Vick will work on programs aimed at preventing youths from getting involved in dogfighting, and also on programs to assist young people who have already been involved in the blood sport. So, why didn’t he do this before?
Last month, a federal bankruptcy judge denied a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan presented by Vick, urging him to offer the court another plan to emerge from bankruptcy. The plan called for Vick to come up with $750,000 to $1 million in cash to be paid to creditors. the judge suggested that the next plan not call for him to keep two houses and three cars.
In testimony, Vick acknowledged committing a “heinous” act and said he should have acted more maturely. He said he has been earning 12 cents an hour as an overnight janitor in prison. Bummer. His Falcons salary, he said, was between $10 million and $12 million.
The former quarterback is expected to be released from federal custody July 20, but he will be on probation for three years. He hopes to persuade NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reinstate him. Vick was once the NFL’s highest-paid player .
“The Humane Society of the United States has heard troubling reports for some time that Michael Vick has been involved in organized dog fighting, and we fear that this investigation may validate that very disturbing allegation,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We urge law enforcement to aggressively investigate this matter, and we further believe that anyone who harbors dogs for the purpose of fighting, deserves to be fully prosecuted their crimes. Dog fighting is a barbaric activity that causes immense animal suffering and fosters violence in our communities. Our nation should have a zero tolerance policy for any form of staged animal fighting.”
NFL Commission Roger Goodell recently announced a new, stricter policy on conduct for NFL players and personnel. For more on the NFL policy, go to http://www.nfl.com/news/story/10119182.
Dog fighting is illegal nationwide and is a felony in 48 states, including both Virginia and Georgia. Additionally, the U.S. Congress has just passed, and President Bush is expected to sign any day, a bill that strengthens the federal law against interstate dog fighting activities.
Other sports figures have been arrested for dog fighting including NBA’s Qyntel Woods, and the NFL’s LeShon Johnson.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and NBA star Latrell Sprewell have had pit bulls who have attacked people.
Boxer Roy Jones Jr. is a known cockfighter.
The U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation this month making the interstate transport of animals for fighting a felony crime. The bill has been sent to President Bush for his signature.
There are reports of animal fighting crimes nearly every week in the United States. In March alone, raids in Ohio and California yielded dozens of arrests, the seizure of 64 dogs, 300 birds, $30,000 dollars in illegal gambling proceeds, guns and an explosive device.
Dog fighting is illegal in all 50 states. Cockfighting is illegal in 49 states, with Governor Bill Richardson signing a bill to ban cockfighting in New Mexico last month. Only Louisiana allows legal cockfighting.