Michael Vick Pleads Guilty – 8/27/2007

US History |

On August 27th of 2007 a shameful, shameful thing was proven to be true. Michael Vick was a prized football star and helped the Atlanta Falcons win countless games in the NFL. His celebrity actually helped him avoid conviction of a disgusting act known as dog fighting. Where he’d pit two dogs against each other and watch them fight to the death for his own satisfaction and profit. Michael Vick appeared before a court in Richmond Virginia on August 27th of 2007 and pled guilty to being the proprietor of a dogfighting ring. The following December he was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, and rightly so. 

Michael Vick was once the highest paid athlete in the NFL and was 27 years old when he went in for his nearly two-year sentence in prison. In April of 2007 law enforcement officials raided a 15 acre property that Vick owned in rural Surry County, Virginia. He discovered dozens of pit bull dogs and puppies who had been neglected and beaten. There was evidence of illegal dogfighting at the property there too. Vick along with three others, Purnell Peace, Tony Taylor and Wuanis Phillips, associates of Vick were all charged with engaging in competitive dogfighting while obtaining and training pit bull dogs for the fights. They were also charged with carrying out a criminal enterprise across state lines. All of the people who had been charged including Vick himself pled not guilty to the charges. Vick’s accomplices changed their pleas to guilty after they struck a deal with the district attorney to testify against Vick.

They confessed that Vick was involved in the execution of several dogs and even bankrolled the gambling operations for their “Bad Newz Kennel”. The operation had been raking in money and killing dogs for nearly 5 years before someone caught wind of the barbaric and excessively violent dog fighting operation.

On August 27th Michael Vick who had been the starting quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons since 2002, pled guilty to only one count of “conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. He had to suspend his 10 year 130-million-dollar contract with the Atlanta Falcons football team and was immediately convicted of the crimes. 

He lost his reputation, his contract, his dignity and an incredible amount of money from endorsement deals. In December of 2007 a judge sentenced Michael Vick to 23 months in federal prison. The judge believed that Vick didn’t ever assume full responsibility for his actions and treated the whole court preceding like a joke. He served the sentence and failed a lie detector test, drug test and more, ultimately serving 18 months in a federal prison. While there, he had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Let’s just say, the chickens came home to roost. Although people still think he’s a terrible person, he ended up signing a 2-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

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Mike Sexton

Chief Editor

I have always had a passion for writing since a young age and can still remember the first time a teacher assigned us to create our own newspaper it was my favorite project. In high school I wrote for the school newspaper and loved learning about new topics. I knew I found my new passion and as soon as I stepped foot on UCLA my mind was made up. Since getting my degree I have done all types of writing and love the freedom it gives me to work from anywhere. I hope you all love my writing as I am excited to produce quality articles each day for you!