Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who served time in federal prison on dog fighting charges from December 2007 through July 2009 appeared on the CNN show “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Tuesday to promote his new book, “Michael Vick: Finally Free, An Autobiography”.
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The football star was very candid when talking about what he learned about himself in prison. “I learned that I wasn’t always as forthright as I wanted to be, and thought I could be,” Vick said. ”Being in a prison cell, you have a lot of time to sit back and think about the things you didn’t do so [well]. Knowing myself, I know I was supposed to do these things correctly, so I was a liar in a sense. I wanted to change, but it was too late. I was off in the dark in a prison cell — no opportunity to explain, or even ask for forgiveness.”
“He just broke down crying,” he recalled. “It shocked me, because I didn’t think he would be able to understand the prison concept, and what it meant. But I think he had seen it so much, and it became so repetitive, that … being a young kid, they’re a lot smarter these days than we were. He picked up on it, and he just knew it wasn’t good. It wasn’t pictures of me smiling and pictures of gratitude; it was me walking into a courthouse and people saying derogatory things.”
Explaining to his son what he had done was even harder.
“The situation came about when his mom told me that he had been getting teased by some of his friends at school. Which was solely my fault, and a situation that was out of my control. I really didn’t have to sit him down and explain — he came to me. And what can you tell a kid who’s four-and-a-half years old, who doesn’t understand exactly what dogfighting means? Who doesn’t understand why his dad’s going to jail? He really couldn’t understand the explanation in detail, and how deep it was.
“The only thing I could tell him was that daddy was leaving. It was the toughest moment of my life.”
ESPN Contributed to this report.
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Check out some footage from an interview in 2011 courtesy of MichaelVick.com.