Dogfighting convict and NFL star Michael Vick wants kids to know it’s not OK to go to dogfights and the adults who bring them there to go to jail, says the Philadelphia Daily News. Apologizing for “what I did to the animals,” the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback appeared at a news conference yesterday to support proposed legislation that would make it a federal felony to bring a child to a dogfight. “During my time in prison, I told myself I wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem,” he said.
Vick spoke with Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, and Democratic U.S. Reps. Betty Sutton and Jim Moran, of Ohio and Virginia, respectively. Sutton co-sponsored the measure, along with Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania. Dogfighting and cockfighting are illegal in all 50 states, but punishments for taking part vary. The proposed legislation would make attending an animal fight a misdemeanor. Spectators to animal fights often pay fees to attend and place side bets while there. The news conference is the latest step in Vick’s effort to rehabilitate his image since he spent 18 months in prison on a dogfighting conviction.