Vick tells prisoners they control their destinies

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On Saturday, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick joined Tony Dungy, Dan Patrick, and Peter King for a trip to Avon Park Correctional Institute in Florida, 94 miles from Dungy’s home in Tampa.  It was Vick’s first time at a prison since leaving Leavenworth nearly two years ago.

King has written about the experience for the newest issue of Sports Illustrated.  The article is available via the vault.

Speaking to roughly 300 inmates, Vick told them that they still are in control of their fate.

“Going into prison was tough,” Vick said.  “You know that.  There were days I wanted to lay down in my bunk, pull the covers over my head and cry.  But I realized I wanted to live the right way.  I wanted to be an instrument of change.  That’s what you have to do at the end of the day.  No matter why you’re in here, own up to your actions.  Hold yourself accountable.  Have a plan, so when you get outside those gates you’re going to have a chance.  This is not the end for you.  This is not it!  You control your destiny.”

He gave them simple, basic advice:  “Use your mind.  Use your brain.  Educate yourself.  No excuses.  It’s about faith.  Believe in yourself.”

Vick later explained to King that the 2010 Comeback Player of the Year benefited from his time behind bars.

“As crazy as this sounds,” Vick said, “if I was standing outside a prison two years ago with what I know now, and you gave me the choice of going in and changing my life or staying out and continuing to live the life I was living, I’d go in.  I’d change some things.  The dogs, obviously.  And maybe six months, not 17.  But I needed to change.  God gave me a timeout.”

At a time when plenty of skeptics wonder whether Vick really has changed, his comments are evidence that, in many ways, he has.

32 responses to “Vick tells prisoners they control their destinies

  1. Right. It was God’s plan. Okay. Glad to see him irrationally placing the honus of what happened on his magical friend in the sky. Looks like he’s evolved tremendously.

  2. I’ll believe it when he apologizes for stealing people’s pets –their dogs and cats– and using them to train his pit bulls to kill.

    I’ll believe it when he actually says… the… words.

    How about it, Vick? If you’re going to man up — MAN UP.

  3. People who have turned their lives around can tell (from their own experience) the difference between a guy who’s just talking the talk and one who’s wallking the walk. It’s not like there is no chance Vick can fall from grace, but at this point in time, he gets it.

  4. As usual, whenever Michael Vick is mentioned on this blog, the losers in life let their ignorance and bitterness come out!

  5. Too bad none of them have God-given athletic ability so they can get a decent second chance.

    After so many rejections because they are ex-cons, they fall back to what they know; the crime they originally got in trouble for. Or they can only get minimum-wage jobs working as short order cooks at IHOP, so to make ends meet they break the law again.

    It’s a vicious cycle.

  6. For the first time since it was known that Vick did what he did, I actually commend him. I have yet to forgive him though.

    Heres the challenge for Vick….Continue to do things like this and backup your words with correct actions. Unlike Mr. Chris Brown…

  7. this is getting more redundant than the labor situation. how many times can a man talk about how he has changed? i dont care anymore.

    im sure hes just as sick of talking about it as we all are of hearing about it.

  8. @Canyonero…

    I appreciate the humanity, but the guy took himself from being the 2nd highest paid athlete in all of sports to the most hated man alive… He’s lost 10’s of millions and did his jail time.

    Now he is working hard to rebuild. Speaking in front of the same activist groups that wanted to crucify him condemning dogfighting. There is actual remorse in his words and actions.

    But hey, “Mrs. Jones, sorry for taking your kitty”….

    All better now? Weak.

  9. Mighty thoughtful of you to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs, jameswestphal. If all things were equal, and the only difference between you and Vick was his belief in a deity and your level of tolerance, I’d say he evolved well past you.

    As for Vick, this is a great thing for him to do. He’s been carrying himself well lately… and this is coming from someone who thought he should never play football again for what he did.

    Congrats, Vick. Keep it up.

  10. When they, Vick and Dungy, bring along two members of the media, Patrick and King, it smacks too much like something a politician would do for votes. It’s like,’ hey, look at me! Look at the good deeds I do!’

    Maybe Vick is sincere and both he and Dungy feel that this is the only way they can get the word out that Vick is a changed man. I don’t know.

    What Vick did is disgusting and vile. I’ll always be repulsed by the sight of him. But it’s none of my concern about his football career; that’s between Vick and the Eagles.

  11. The story is here that he is not turning his back on a class act like Tony Dungy who unlike several other sports retirees is doing something good that he said he would do when he retired. Good for Vick he owes us nothing other than to be a decent representative of the NFL and the Eagles. He paid his dept and I for one am sick of hearing about people thinking he owes them an apology…in case you missed it his apology was spelt leavenworth.

  12. Except for the ones that have no control over their destiny.

    “YOU control your own destiny… after judges, lawyers, maybe a jury, or parole board decide some of your destiny for you.”

    That’s kind of opposite of what you have when you go to jail… “control of your destiny”.

  13. I’ll be convinced if he can go without someone getting shot at his party or him being associated with any other kind of illegal activity for another year.

  14. @joeflaccosunibrow, you don’t need god given athletic talent to get a decent 2nd chance. My cousin was picked up for armed robbery and escaped from jail. Of course he was caught but after serving his debt to society he is now a small business owner running a used and new video game store. He has a family and is doing very well without athletic talent.

    It can be a cycle but with a little guidance and inspiration the ex-con can become a productive member of society. Sure their is a high rate of repeat offenders but that doesn’t mean you turn your back on all of them. What is the point of rehabilitation if you do.

  15. No, his PUNISHMENT was spelled leavenworth. If indeed people’s pets were stolen to train the pits, you bet your ass he owes them an apology. As a dog owner the thought of that makes me sick. That being said, he did do his time and is making the most of his second chance. Good for him – hopefully he is truly remorseful.

    mick730 – good point about bringing media guys. What the hell else would Patrick and King be there for? I seriously doubt they could relate to any of the guys in that audience.

  16. The only thing Vick haters despise more than him is admitting they’re wrong and that he’s getting it turned around. Vick will never win over the PETA goofballs or the racists and shouldn’t even bother to try. All he can do is what he’s doing and stay straight. As an Eagles fan that’s all I’m asking for.

  17. I’m not saying Vick isn’t trying to turn it around and doesn’t mean what he says.

    But can’t we wait until AFTER he gets the monster contract he wants and needs after next season to anoint him a changed man?

    Can’t we wait and see if he is still visiting prisons after he is wealthy and off parole and doesn’t NEED to do these types of things before we take everything he does at face value?

    Yes, there are people who take their Vick hatred to an extreme. But isn’t buying every word he says hook, line, and sinker being a little extreme in the other direction?

  18. The Vickbots were out in force last night!

    All we know right now is he says the right thing so long as cameras are rolling, millions of dollars at are stake and the calm, reassuring Tony Dungy is standing next to him.

    I hope Vick has changed & can inspire people to do better with their lives. Especially prisoners, who have so little to hope for. I’d become a Vick FAN if that happens.

    We have to give it time.

    And yes, Vick’s crew stole pets. It’s in the indictment. Unfortunately, the Feds cared as much about theft & animal cruelty as Vick’s fanboys do: zero days & zero dollars. It was all about the tax evasion.

  19. “Have a plan, so when you get outside those gates you’re going to have a chance. This is not the end for you. This is not it! You control your destiny.”

    I would really like to know how long Vick would have kept his act clean if his options consisted of driving cab and flipping burgers as opposed to being handed a million dollar gig in the NFL on a silver platter. Somehow, I doubt the convicts he spoke to have any options remotely close to that to look forward to upon release.

  20. Where do some of you guys get the info that he stole peoples pets to give his dogs something to tear up? I don’t remember EVER hearing that. Is this some of the “I’m going to make up my own story and call it history” kind of thing?

    Yes, he fought pit bulls…against other people’s pit bulls. He wasn’t taking his dogs to kill every pet in sight as he walked down the street with his dog. If he’d done that I would understand the hate. But he didn’t. He bred his own pit bulls and fought them against other people who bred their pit bulls to fight. If you love your Fluffy, that is fine. But he did not attempt to steal your Fluffy. Hebrought his dog to fight people who brought their own dogs to fight.

    I commend his actions since his time in jail and he is trying hard to get on the right track.

  21. By the way – Peter King was there because he works with Tony Dungy throughout the year…And he’s a reporter…who has to writer articles for this little sports magazine that comes out weekly…and they often need their writers to contribute stories that are compelling and involve the most topical and popular athletes.

    But yes – it was probably arranged simply to improve Vick’s Q rating.

    Because Tony Dungy, Dan Patrick, and Peter King are investors in Vick’s comeback.

    It’s not only ignorant to suggest its a PR move…it’s disrespectful of the other 3 individuals involved.

    One question though – When coaches visit the troops in iraq and Afghanistan and Peter King tags along to write a story about it, does that also “smack” of a PR move?

    Or is that viewed as legit because Mike Vick isn’t included?


  22. Thanks rumorhater, you certainly spoke the truth. I suspect a lot of racisim in many of the negative comments, from usually the same people. The Eagles took a chance a Vick and he produced big time. I thinks he will be fine. What Vick did was terrible and he paid a heavy price. I’m sure he could care less what the morons on this site say every time his name appears. Go the to Linc and see and hear what the Philly fans think.

  23. @godofwine330:

    You’re kidding right? Have you done 5 minutes of research other than reading PFT?

    From the November 22nd, 2008, NY Daily News:

    Vick placed family pet dogs in the fighting ring with trained pit bulls and “caused major injuries” to the pets, according to a 17-page Department of Agriculture report released Friday.

    The Aug. 28, 2008 report describes how Vick and two associates, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips, “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”

    You said- “If he’d done that I would understand the hate”.

    So, do you?

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