The Philadelphia sports blog Crossing Broad received a tip that NFL quarterback and convicted felon Michael Vick has been attending dog-training classes at a PetSmart store in New Jersey.
Crossing Broad posted these pictures showing Vick in a store embracing the attendant who conducts a training class with Vick and the dog.
It was just last October that Vick accidentally revealed the fact that he was a dog owner. He did so in a tweet which included a picture of a box of dog treats on his kitchen table.
Vick hurriedly deleted the picture and replaced it with another picture without the treats. Unfortunately for Vic, Crossing Broad copied and then published the original.
Vick confirmed that, yes, he is a dog owner.
In an e-mail to theGrio, PetSmart Public Relations also confirmed that Michael Vick has his “pet enrolled in PetSmart Training classes.”
The statement continues:
“Our goal is to support pet parents and their pets to live happy and healthy lives. Services like dog training strengthen the bond between pet parents and their pets and contribute to accomplishing this goal through educating the pet parent and providing positive reinforcement training for the dog.”
In case you have forgotten, Michael Dwayne Vick, now 32, played for the Atlanta Falcons for six seasons before serving time in prison for his involvement in an illegal dog-fighting ring.
His latest team was the Philadelphia Eagles. In his six seasons with the Falcons, he led the team to the playoffs twice. While with Atlanta, Vick was selected to three Pro Bowls.
In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring. In August of that year, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison and two months of house arrest.
Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2008. The Falcons owner Arthur Blank refused to help Vick and, in fact, cut him from the team when he could not attract any trade offers for Vick.
After signing with the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick was fully reinstated in the NFL in week 3 of the 2009 season.
The next season, 2010, Vick was the Eagles' starting quarterback and rallied them into the 2011 NFL Playoffs as NFC East Champions.
In just 12 games, Vick set career highs in passing yards, passing percentage, QB rating, passing touchdowns, and rushing touchdowns. He was named the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year and was named to his fourth Pro Bowl. Vick is first among quarterbacks in career rushing yards.
Does Vick prove the old adage that everybody deserves a second chance?
I have to say yes, and not because of his obvious football prowess. But because the man has sense enough to seek professional help in training and otherwise dealing with dogs, whereas before his conviction and prison time, he would not have done so.
Isn’t that what prison is supposed to be about? Rehabilitation? “Corrections?"
Give the man a chance. He’s gotta know the world is watching both him and his new pet.