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Is Michael Vick a Changed Man?

Written by PETA | August 13, 2009

Thanks to Richard Cohen for his Washington Post piece in which he asks if some sports reporters have a special key on their typewriters for “He’s served his time.”

Michael Vick has indeed served his time, and that entitles him to walk free in our society. And as he walks, he can remember how lucky he is to have been able to afford an army of high-priced attorneys who got him a plea bargain so that he wouldn’t be charged with all the many abuses and crimes that took place when he purposely built a major gambling operation and the grounds on which to house it. He can remember how lucky he is to have been charged only with maiming and killing some dogs, although his carefully designed fighting operation went back at least 8 years. Serving his time entitles him to live in one of his big houses, but it doesn’t mean he’s sorry.

Did you see this video of Vick’s homecoming? Did you see any remorse in his eyes? As the champagne flows, does he look ashamed about the deeds he’s done? Vick shows as much remorse for the dogs he abused as he did his first night out of prison, when he went to a strip club. Perhaps that’s why the video, in which his eyes are blurred and his speech is slurred, has been pulled from YouTube by its poster, and the original version can no longer be found on the Web.

Michael Vick Sentencing
This is me holding the “Dogs Deserve Justice” sign outside the courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, during Vick’s sentencing.

So, Vick can no longer just blame a lack of parental guidance or bad influences in his youth. And the last USDA report blew out of the water his protest that he has always loved his “pets,” but didn’t see that the “pits” were also deserving of respect. That report reveals that Vick enjoyed throwing those “pets” into the ring with the fighting dogs and laughed as they were torn apart.

We gave the man the benefit of the doubt, but he tested positive for marijuana on the day he was taking an empathy course. Then, weeks before he was set to go to jail, he went into a pet shop in Newport News, Virginia, and bought a bulldog. Frankly, nothing sat right. We worried that “I’m sorry” might just be words in the wind. We didn’t want his empty words or his money (offered and rejected). We wanted him to take the latest neurological test that’s now being given to violent offenders—a test that can tell if the part of one’s brain that registers empathy is active. He wouldn’t do it. That’s when we said, “So long.”

Michael Vick may deserve to walk free, but he doesn’t deserve to be a football star or a hero to children, and no group has any business helping him do so. We thank Richard Cohen for remembering the dogs Vick personally electrocuted, held underwater in a swimming pool, strung up like hammocks, and slammed into the ground until their backs broke.

Written by Joel Bartlett

Commenting is closed.
  • Rocco Sirico says:

    I can’t stand Michael Vick and even hearing his name makes me sick. I can’t forgive him for what torture he put those dogs throught.

  • Elleng says:

    Once a criminal always a criminal. Do the dogs he killed have a second chance at life like Vic is getting?

  • emma says:

    HMN meg HAS got a life and its a lot more of a compationate one than you have all of us on here are saying and doing the right things for those who carnt help themselves ie animals. i think shes right i think we should boycott and protest vicks games hes a low life who deserves nothing less. without people like meg and many others on here also peta those poor animals would still suffer. so before u tell someone to get a life think about what they actually stand for. And jenni dont make me laugh ‘let the man move on’.. the man doesnt deserve to move on he didnt steal a penny sweet from a shop or set fire to a dustbin he MURDERED countless innocent dogs and he’ll continue to do so no dog deserved what he did to them and he did it when they would’nt or could’nt fight each other. would u really say that if he stole your family dog and then killed it? doubtfull. All i can say to you lot who say leave him be and he’s paid his dues is why are you on here? this is a site for kind compationate caring people who love animals and hate animal cruelty of any form so if you can read the horror storys one day and forgive the next you are on the wrong site im afraid.

  • wave says:

    Notice how all the post are from women. Please boycott the NFL your not our fan base. No matter what you say or what you do he will always play football. I do not agree with what he did I have dogs myself but he deserves a second chance. Fool me once shame on you Fool me twice shame on me

  • P Hench says:

    Anyone capable of this treatment to animals is not able to feel that their suffering means anything I do not think a person like this changes maybe the law will keep him doing it again but only if he can’t get away with it. You either have compassion or don’t.

  • flowrgoddes says:

    the bottom line is this… If a physician abused his patient he would lose his license. If a teacher did something wrongful to a student she would lose her job. If a lawyer grossly broke the law he would be debarred. Now someone is saying in their head those dogs don’t have anything to do with football and you’re right. But he used the money earned from playing it and the status gained from being known for it to fuel the fighting. He is a “professional” and as any professional would should lose that status as part of the punishment. For those who think he has “served his time” most psychopathic behavior starts with torturing animals. My bet is we’ll hear about M Vick again but this time he will have tortured a young female fan. We’ll see if you feel the same about time served.

  • Annie says:

    How could he be allowed to buy another animal the bulldog? He should not be allowed to own ANY animal pets for the rest of his life. Isnt that obvious?

  • Gina says:

    Absolutely not! If you ask me he didn’t recieve any punishment at all. He’s a loser and what he did will never be forgiven or forgotten. Atleast not by me.

  • Johna Jones says:

    I am a huge football fan and I hope the owners of the NFL teams are paying attention the the huge amount of people like myself who will never forgive or endorse michael Vick or any team that supports him in any way. We will never forgot the poor innocent dogs that suffered at that murders hands

  • June Marie says:


  • Miss Ellen says:

    Last I heard the Baltimore Ravens were thinking about signing him on. I’d happily protest the stadium if they stupidly hired him. Shame on the Ravens for even THINKING about interviewing him. Michael Vick has NOT paid his debt in my eyes. He never can make up for what he’s done.

  • :D says:

    I can’t believe anyone would even consider forgiving him! He is gonna have to do a heck of a lot more to prove he regrets what he did!

  • Lisa Dennis says:

    What Micheal Vick has done to God’s beautiful innocent creates a gift given to us here on earth is down right dispicable. His behavior is inexcusalbe. I pray for these dogs and all other dogs subjected to this cruelty. UNACCEPTABLE!!!

  • suzanne says:

    Whatever happened to fired is fired? Remember what his father said. He was doing this as a child back in Newport News VA. Don’t believe his lies of remorse. He is only sorry of his own embarrasment and personal loss. The NFL says it’s a privilege to play well why should he be allowed to play?? Yes he should be allowed to earn a living but not at something of privileged. How he was raised has nothing to do with what he feels in the pit of his own stomach. It doesn’t sicken him to hurt or kill. He is evil and no one can teach or rehabilitate that out of him.

  • Amanda Fitzgerald says:

    Yes he served his time BUT does that mean he should be given another chance to play in the elite teams of the NFL and earn millions of dollars? Do you want your children looking up to him? The NFL is all about winning and making money and Vick can do that his past doesn’t matter. The NFL “code of conduct” is a joke. Both Jackson and Tony Dungy should be ashamed of themselves. Vick should rot in jail as far as I am concerned. Why arent people remembering the innocent victims… the dogs.

  • Jenni says:

    it was horrible what he did but we are a nation of laws and he did serve more time than anyone else would have for any degree of animal cruelty in this country. Laws should be stricter but we still view animals as a disposable in many ways. 2 years 100 Million dollars let the man move on the example was made.

  • Craig Petersen says:

    You have GOT to be kidding! I think Michael Vic is just going through the motions so he can be released. Michael Vic is going to have to do more to prove that he ACTUALLY regrets what he did in his past. Just take a good look at most football basketball and baseball “athletes”. Most use performance enhancing drugs beat their girlfriends wives children and pets etc etc etc.

  • brandi says:

    when he is on the field whatever team he is playing against they players should break his back. thats all i have to say.

  • Kelley says:

    He found someone stupidgreedy enough to sell him a dog??? Don’t tell me it was a Petland franchise right???

  • jtwaldie says:

    Wasn’t PETA going to use him as a poster child for animal abuse? Was not PETA remorseful for even thinking he would change? Why was he even allowed to own a companion animal? We are going to see this happen again and this time I hope he gets sent away for life with no hope of parole. He has claims of rehabilitation but the “proof is in the pudding” so they say. Let’s talk about recidivism here!!!!!!!

  • susan says:

    The name Michael Vick turns my stomach. He is a monster and should be treated as one. Sorry for what he did to those poor innocent dogs? I’m afraid he’s not. Served enough jail time? NEVER!!! And sorry Harvey but he should never be able to play football again. I wrote a letter to Goddell who didnt even have the balls to answer me! To all of you who think he has paid his dues you are all crazy! And to Vick may you rot in hell!

  • Meme says:

    I don’t understand how he got away with such a short sentence when he was abusing and torturing animals. When people rescue animals from labs they get so much more time and are called “terrorists”. And for everyone saying “He served his time let it go” shut up and go make comments on a site that supports him and call us crazy. Do you actually think that when he was in prison he was treated like a prisoner? I’m sure he was treated MUCH better only because of who he is so it’s not like he’s “suffered” any or “paid his dues”.

  • D says:

    Micheal Vick will be remembered as a sick and twisted individual. The more time passes the more things will pop up in his life like this… He thinks he is a gangster! The NFL will always have problems with Micheal Vick.

  • HMN says:

    Meg needs to get a life…

  • vegancoin says:

    good grief people the “system” doesn’t work. period. just learn to accept it truth is that michael vick is just a symptom of the problem. there is alot of apathy greed and corruption underneath. you should give michael vick the benefit of the doubt maybe he has changed. tough call.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    How can a person so devoid of compassion feel remorse? He tortured dogs for at least 8 years and apparently never once stopped to comprehend the wrongness of his deeds. A normal person would be revulsed the very first time they witnessed a dogfight. The fact Vick wasn’t demonstrates his inherent evilness. Greed trumps morality though. He’ll be back playing football again.

  • Jenn says:

    I hope we can all make Michael Vick a horrible choice for whatever team signs him on. Never let people forget what terrible atrocities he committed and how arrogant he is. What a jerk.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thinking about that monster makes me want vomit. I don’t care if he served his time he deserves more. He took LIFE away in violent methods. No one has a right to do that. I don’t even want that thug in jail. I want him at the bottom of the same swimming pool he violently murdered dogs in. He deserves the exact same treatment and death that he executed on those poor animals.

  • emma says:

    harvey..for 1 peta has recieved no money from that sicko. for 2 that disgusting man has in no way paid his debt to society just because he was in prison for a while does not make up for the fact he is one sick disturbed little man and 3 we dont really care if you have lost respect for this organization because you obviously dont take it as serious as us anyway so your no loss really are you. nothing this man can do will make what he out animals through forgotten he has proved what a freak he is and always will be i just hope no animal is unlucky enough to have him as an owner ever again.vick is a pathetic little man.

  • Tracey says:

    Maybe if he had been made to suffer the same agony anxietyhumiliation confusion trauma that those dogs went through already then he would have on some level been given a sentence that could count as making him feel remorse as stands he will do it again.

  • Sonia says:

    I just want to say that Michael Vick will always be nothing but a LOSER. I think he is actually being rewarded for what he did by the NFL. I am boycotting the NFL too. I thought their players represented good will and morals…obviously not.

  • Charlese says:

    I am ready to join with other people to protest in South Florida. I am SICK of hearing from people that Vick was innocent. That Vick never did anything wrong. That Vick served his time this should just be forgotten. I will never forget the evil torture he did to so many innocent dogs will you? NEVER FORGET! If anyone wants to join me in South Florida when his team comes down to play please let me know!

  • Kelly McGhee says:

    I am sick to my tummy every time I hear his name. Those poor animals. the NFL disappoints me by giving Vick another cahnce. he doesn’t deserve it.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hey Peta God Bless you and thank you for all you do! and for telling everyone the truth! I believe this man needs help and should get some help from someone to insure he does not do what he has done in the past. I think we should all try and get a law passed so animal laws are tough and so no one gets away with anything!

  • AAG says:

    Vick is a thug and a coward and was only sorry he got caught. If he could he would do the same thing again with dogs. He is no role model for children but is a demented violent sociopath.

  • Alicia says:

    Race has nothing to do with it. If it was a white football player Peta would be all over that guy as well. It comes down to the treatment of animals period. The problem comes in of if he has learned his lessonrehabiliated or not. He needs to prove that he understands what he did was wrong which he will never do since he has done nothing yet to show he has changed. And not just because he lost some money. HE IS NOT BROKE. He was just featered not to long ago on cnn or fox or something when he was on house arrest in front of his home that was right off the ocean. And he can get a job. He already has the construction job what is wrong with that? Welcome to the real world and the paychecks that the majority of Americans get. If he didn’t want to be downgraded and knocked down a peg he should have thought of that BEFORE he started his dog fighting operation. The only thing you are right about is that if he was an average joe his finesjailtime would not have been what he has since he is a professionalwhich I think all animal crime punishiment are not severe enough. But why shouldn’t a professinal athlete have a higher standard? Make an example of him then maybe the average joe will think twice for their own stupidity. And you really need to be corrected on one thing Vickconvicted and found guilty Ben R.innocent until proven guilty And if he were to be found guilty he should be out of the NFL as well.

  • Tracy Faraoni says:

    Roger Goodell should be fired for allowing Mike Vick to play again and make millions. There are many more guys who deserve the chance to play in the NFL. No one should ever support the NFL again all they do is allow criminals to make millions while good people all over the world are losing everything because of the economy and don’t get back there jobs. For Mike Vick to play again is sickening to the world and to boys who looks up to these heros. Say No to NFL!!!

  • Tasha says:

    Vick is clearly disturbed.He should NEVER be allowed to play again. I find it somewhat amusing that all themaleVick supporters can’t wait to come on the peta blog and wahhhhhhhhhh Mike should play again blah blah blah.

  • ralpho says:

    Harvey Vick’s attorneys offered PETA money several times and they made it clear they didn’t want and wouldn’t take a dime from him. PETA gave him stuff books videos a training course even fed the man in the hope that they could spot remorse. They gave up that’s what the post says why do you just blindly defend some violent man who hasn’t shown the world anything other than words? Examine your soul man!

  • Matt Petrasek says:

    Great well written article! While several valid points have been raised in the previous comments the bottom line is that the American public consistently allows athletes to get away with murder literally. Michael Vick is not sorry about the horrific atrocities he put so many defenseless animals through. He is only “sorry” he screwed up his lucrative contracts and endorsements. I personally am not a football fan but I have many friends and colleagues who have vowed not to attend or even watch a televised game Michael Vick is involved with…

  • Susie says:

    I too hate what M. Vick did however he has paid his debt to society. He does deserve a second chance and to earn a living doing what he does best. My problem whim is as a dogpet owner not a football player.

  • 4blue20eyes says:

    Vick is still the same horrid animal abuser as before. He’s probably setting up more dog fighting rings at this very moment. A pathetic abusive individual forever!

  • Aneliese says:

    Well written blog. Personally I don’t think he deserves to go back into the NFL. Shame on the team who is foolish and desperate enough to sign him.

  • jessica says:

    I am absolutely DISGUSTED at this man and that he is being allowed back in the NFL. God forbid this happened to one human and he’d be the scum of the earth. I sure hope I live to see the day when the punishment of cruelty to animals is equal to the punishment of cruelty to humans.

  • Melissa Beavers says:

    This man makes me sick to my stomach and I could not believe when the NFL allowed him to play again. It is sickening that our society would celebrate such an inhumane cruel twisted sociopathic sick individual. He’s a hero just because he can run after and catch a ball? My that is quite impressive. Not as appalling however as his behavior was quickly forgotten the moment upon his return. If he really cared he would devote his spare time and cause to an animal shelter or volunteer on a weekly basis at an animal farm even AFTER his sentence was up.

  • harvey graham says:

    Why can’t you all let M. Vick live his life. He has admitted his sorrow served his time and paid your organization lots of money. He’s good enough for you to receive the money but not good enough to resume his life. I have lost respect for your organization.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Whatever team Michael Vick ends up playing for even if it’s just a farm team which he richly deserves wherever he plays PETA members need to put on a massive protest both in the parking lot as near to the entrance and ticket booths as we can get and inside the stadium with posters such as the protesters are carrying holding them high!! Get a Lettuce Lady or two out there to attract the cameras and the Jumbotron and the moment they focus on these lovely ladies have them hold up those protest signs!!

  • NT says:

    What an amazing article. It is up to us to make sure Vick never plays football again and that the suffering of the dogs is NEVER forgotten.

  • Charlotte Stanton says:

    I had a horrible feeling the NFL would take him back I didn’t believe for a second he was sorry for what he had done. He was only sorry he was caught. As long as we keep this story alive…eventually he will be seen as the monster he is. Hopefully not at the expense of another animals demise.

  • Jason Sanborn says:

    The NFL and Goodell needs to be sent a message whatever team decides to hire Vick needs to be aware that protesters are coming. Every game should have as many protesters as possible every practice should have protesters Goodell’s office should have protesters. The NFL wants to ignore what happened but it should not be ignored. Vick should not get rewarded for what he did just because he is back on the streets.