Michael Vick condemns dog fighting at Chicago school

Michael Vick is along with seen Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid during a news conference in Philadelphia, Friday, Aug. 14, 2009. Vick is back in the NFL, landing a job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Looking to add a new dimension to their offense, the Philadelphia Eagles gave Vick a one-year deal with an option for a second year. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

March 26, 2010 5:03:13 PM PDT
NFL quarterback Michael Vick made a visit to a Chicago high school Friday.

Vick served prison time for a dog fighting conviction. Friday he spoke out against dog fighting at John Marshall high School.

Vick went from one of the best paid and most admired athletes in the country to a criminal in almost a blink of an eye as investigators uncovered evidence of his involvement in a huge dog fighting operation. He emerged from 19 months in prison with his wealth and good public image gone. Now when he talks to kids about dogfighting they listen.

"He spoke to a few of us about all the mistakes and stuff that we shouldn't make about the dog fighting," said Kione Ford, former dog fighter.

"He was telling us that, regardless, you have to stop and think the crime is you're doing. You could get caught and pay a real big price for it and your life could just go away with a snap of a finger,' said Douglas Jackson, former dog fighter As parole, Vick was required to do public service and after much debate the Humane Society decided to use him in their campaign against dog fighting.

"We could continue to crucify him or we could use him to turn this tide against dog fighting," said Laurie Maxwell, Humane Society.

Many of Vick's former fighting dogs have been rehabilitated and have new owners.

While Vick avoided the media, he did speak to a roomful of students at Marshall High School, a place where most everyone has been exposed or knows someone involved in dog fighting.

The media were not invited inside the school to listen to Vick's speech but some of the students who were say Vick told them he grew up in an atmosphere, like many of them, where dog fighting was common. He said he never knew any different. The Humane Society is hoping that now the students at Marshall will know different.