What they're saying: Michael Vick agrees to plea deal

Updated: August 21, 2007, 1:57 AM ET
Associated Press

Reaction to Michael Vick agreeing to plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges:

"Things happen. This just happened to be something major. It's affecting our city and our franchise right now." _

"You've got a lot of people that look up to you. You've got to watch every step, every move you make every time you step out in public. It's a risk for quarterbacks every day because a lot of people are watching."

"You know, when you take a plea and you're saying you did it, what else is there to say about it?"

    -- Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, drafted by San Diego with the pick San Diego received after trading the first choice to Atlanta

"I don't have a lot of comment about it, but I wish him the best."

"I don't know all the facts, I don't know what is going on there, but I know it has overshadowed a lot of great work that 99 percent of the guys in our league are doing."

    -- Colts coach Tony Dungy

"I think that was the right decision because he's admitting he did something wrong and standing up to it. The consequences won't be as severe now. From a life standpoint, I just wish him the best. I told him, 'Put football behind you, just concentrate on your life, and concentrate on things that are at the forefront and most important right now, which is your family and your faith.'"

"It's another one of those cases where you hope the young guys are paying attention. There are a lot of people out there that can make you feel real guilty about not getting into a bad situation. You have to learn early on who to say no to because it's a very slippery slope. It can lead a lot of people down the wrong fork in the road early in their NFL careers."

"We believe the criminal conduct to which Mr. Vick has pled guilty today cannot be condoned under any circumstances. Speaking personally, as I have previously stated, the practice of dogfighting is offensive and completely unacceptable. I can only hope that Mr. Vick, who is a young man, will learn from this awful experience."

    -- Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association

"I, like all people who know and care about Michael Vick, was very disappointed and saddened by the news. Although all the details are not known at this time, I am greatly concerned that Michael has put himself in this position."

    -- Frank Beamer, Vick's coach at Virginia Tech

"Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made."

    -- Vick's lead defense attorney, Billy Martin

"He's in one of those situations where he's in the process of starting to put his life back together. These are tremendously rough times personally and professionally. He's doing the best he can to stop the bleeding and move forward."

    -- Defense attorney James D. "Butch" Williams Jr.

"This country doesn't like dogfighting, and dogfighters had better hear that message and get out of the business. Since the Vick case ripped the lid off dogfighting, law enforcement and PETA are getting tips and leads on other cases across the country. PETA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting, and we are working with law enforcement in a number of different jurisdictions."

    -- David Perle, senior communications coordinator, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

"This case has opened America's eyes and jolted its conscience. The resolution of this federal case is no cause for celebration -- many dogs suffered terribly and a gifted athlete and his bright career have been perhaps irreparably damaged. The only good that can come from this case is that the American people dedicate themselves to the task of rooting out dogfighting in every infected area where it thrives."

    -- Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States

"While we are pleased to hear that the Vick case is being settled through the criminal justice system, we remain concerned that the punishment will be inadequate considering the heinous nature of the crimes."

    -- Ron Menaker, Chairman of the Board of the American Kennel Club

"As an organization that supports law enforcement efforts against animal cruelty in several ways -- from having our own Humane Law Enforcement department in New York, to contributing to the education and training of law enforcement and judicial officers around the country in prosecuting animal cruelty -- we salute the U.S. Attorney's office and the USDA in their dedication to pursuing this case. It sends a clear message to those engaged in animal cruelty -- that these acts are barbaric and unacceptable in a humane community.''

    -- Ed Sayres, president and CEO of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

"The practice of dogfighting is not sport, ever -- it's cruel barbarism and must be stopped. We are hopeful that some good can come out of this horrific crime as public awareness of dogfighting increases and more of these operations around the world are shut down."

    -- Stephanie Scroggs, director of communications for SPCA international

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press