Controversial sportsman Michael Vick has vowed to help end dog fighting after serving prison time for killing, maiming and forcing animals to battle each other.
Im going to let my actions continue to speak louder than my words. And Im going to still be involved in the community, because I still -- regardless of football -- would have a voice that can have an impact on kids, Vick said in an interview with "60 Minutes," because Ive been a living example of what not to do.
On a rural Virgina farm, Vick owned and operated a dog-fighting operation called Bad Newz Kennels and authorities found 66 dogs and found eight others that were already deceased. To make amends, Vick has been working closely with Wayne Pacelle, president of The Humane Society of the United States, and former Super Bowl-winning NFL coach Tony Dungy.
At a recent speaking engagement, Vick further denounced his actions.
I encourage you to love your animals. -- whatever animals you have, whether its a dog, a cat, a reptile, if its a horse. I encourage you to love that animal dearly and with all your heart, he said to an audience of inner city citizens.
Vick told reporter James Brown that he realized the grave nature of his actions once he was in a jail cell.
It's wrong, man I feel, you know, some tremendous hurt behind what happened. And, you know, I should of took the initiative to stop it all I didn't - I didn't step up. I wasn't a leader.
The football star also said that he relied on his faith in God to help him survive his two years incarcerated.
Vick said that he deserved to lose his $135 million contract for acting so foolishly.
I mean, football don't even matter, he said.
Vick recently signed a 2-year contract with The Philadelphia Eagles.