Vick Agrees to Plea Deal in Dog Fighting Case
In 1983, New Edition released their smash hit “Is This The End,” lamenting the end of a once prosperous relationship that had so much promise but was destroyed before it fully blossomed into something special.
In 2007, NFL fans are now pondering whether this is the end of Michael Vick’s promising career after he agreed to accept a plea deal in the dog fighting case that has rocked the sports world and put his future on the football field in serious jeopardy.
“Michael is prepared to take full responsibility for allowing any of this to happen,” said his attorney Billy Martin. “He needs to put all of this behind him. He’s 27 years old and he has a full life ahead of him. He wants to get back to the life he had before.”
However, the life he enjoyed before may be all but over as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank ponder Vick’s future.
The NFL released a statement following reports of Vick’s plea deal. In it, the league said that they are aware of Vick’s decision “to accept responsibility for his conduct. We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons.”
The Falcons released a statement that mentioned their disappointment in Vick, but would not comment further pending the NFL’s investigation.
Vick will appear in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va. on August 27 and is expected to enter a guilty plea for a single count of conspiracy, which could put him behind bars for 12 to 18 months, according to people familiar with the case.
Furthermore, Goodell could suspend him indefinitely or ban him for life for gambling and violating the league’s conduct policy.
Regardless, Vick’s career and legacy are in doubt. One can only wonder what might have been for an athlete so gifted that he rushed for over 1,000 yards in the 2006 season from the quarterback position—a first in the NFL.
All athletic careers must end one day. The NFL has been nicknamed “not for long” by many of its players. However, no athlete’s career has been threatened in its prime as Vick’s, and only time will tell if this is indeed the end.
Ricky Bell of New Edition sang, “Mama told one day it was gonna happen but she never told me when. She told me it would happen when I got much older, I wish it would’ve happened then.”
Maybe for Vick it will end when he is much older, and not at age 27 and in the prime of his career.
James is a writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine.