NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Nov. 30 (UPI) — Michael Vick told children at his old school in Virginia about dogfighting Monday, and a Humane Society official said the NFL player “can reach these kids.”
Vick, who served time in prison for his role in a dogfighting operation, addressed about 400 seventh- and eighth-graders at Huntington Middle School in Newport News, which he once attended, WVEC-TV reported.
“Before, I knew dogfighting was bad and didn’t like it at all, and now I know it’s even worse,” one youth said afterward.
The pro quarterback’s appearance, which was not open to the public, was part of a Humane Society program called “End Dogfighting.”
“Michael Vick can reach these kids,” Dale Bartlett of the Humane Society said. “They look up to him. They still respect him. They scream wildly like he’s a rock star when he’s talking to them. We think anyone who wants to help people stay on the right track and do the right thing can become a hero regardless of what they’ve done in the past.”
Vick, who played for the Atlanta Falcons before he went to prison and is now with the Philadelphia Eagles, has also spoken to children in Atlanta, Philadelphia and other cities.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International