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

8/21/2007 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

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