October 12, 2012
In what may end up being one of the most ironic and controversial reversals of fate seen coming out of professional sports in quite some time, the Boston Globe reports Friday morning that four-time Pro Bowl quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick, has confirmed the purchase of a family dog.
Vick, readers are sure to recall, served 18 months in federal prison on dogfighting charges stemming from an April 2007 raid on a property owned in the state of Virginia which found upwards of 50 dogs – all pit bulls – badly malnourished, scarred or injured.
Banned from owning a dog for three years as part of a probationary period which began after Vick was released from jail in 2009, Vick took to the air with CNN’s Piers Morgan this past July after the ban ended and in discussing the release of his book, “Michael Vick: Finally Free, An Autobiography,” expressed interest in fulfilling his children’s wishes to have a dog of their own.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” Vick told Morgan during the interview. “That’s selfish on my behalf. You know, so, gotta find a way to make it right and, you know, I put everything in God’s hands to make it right.”
Vick, notes the Globe, has refused to answer questions directly regarding his family’s decision to purchase a dog, but in a statement released to the media Thursday afternoon, commented, “I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for, and loved as a member of our family.”
“This is an opportunity to break the cycle,” Vick continued. “To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”
The Humane Society, who Vick has worked closely with speaking out against animal cruelty since his release from prison, has declined to comment on the situation.
Vick’s statement come in the wake of a photograph having made its round on social media last week showing Vick and his daughter seated a table presumably at their home with an open box of Milk-Bone dog biscuits to their right.
The tweet was at some point deleted and replaced by a similar photo absent of the Milk-Bone Box, the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
Asked about the photo several days later, Vick would only reply, “I’m here to strictly talk about football. What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”
No word on type of dog Vick’s family purchased. Vick did say in the Morgan interview, however, that he would let his children decide on the breed, but that “it certainly won’t be a pit bull.”