Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is doing his best to right some past wrongs.
On Tuesday, Vick arrived to Capitol Hill in his ongoing effort to support legislation which would criminalize watching and organizing the illegal sport of animal fighting. The main purpose of the legislation is making it easier to prosecute individuals whom opt to finance, set up and provide a means for gambling on any form of this brutal animal abuse.
Vick was released from prison in 2009 after serving 20 months for a sentence relating to dogfighting charges. He was famously accused of participating in, and bankrolling nefarious acts like torturing dogs before and after their fights, mistreating and abusing various animals and a myriad of other charges.
Now, having turned his life around after a bid in prison, the talented Eagles quarterback is doing his part to spread the message regarding the destructive nature of animal fighting rings.
"I deeply regret my previous involvement in dogfighting, I'm sorry for what I did to the animals," Vick told a news conference. "During my time in prison, I told myself I wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem."
Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States accompanied Vick throughout.
"The biggest growth area for dogfighting was urban-based dogfighting," Pacelle said. "Michael's own story starting as a young boy getting involved in dogfighting I thought was a very powerful testimonial.
"We both agreed that the best thing he could do was speak to these kids because of the platform that he has as an NFL star and to warn them away from this conduct."
Over the course of the proceedings, Vick noted that his main motivation for getting involved was keeping kids from making the same mistakes that he made.
"To see the young kid walking with the cock, you know, was astonishing," Vick said. "It was taking place in a similar setting of what I've been around before.
"This is what our kids are being taught," he said, "and it's inhumane and it's pointless.
"That child could be doing so much more with his life, instead of walking around with a cock in his hand, waiting to fight, even if he's not involved, being there, his presence speaks volumes as to what goes on when people's heads are turned."