The beginning of the end has come for Michael Vick's career. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback was suspended from the National Football League (NFL) Friday August 24th, just hours after he filed a plea agreement, acknowledging that he did involve in dogfighting.
In the court papers it is stated that "Vick agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions. All of those dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning." Vick, who acknowledged bankrolling gambling on the dogfights, in fact denied placing bets himself or taking any of the winnings.
And instead of waiting until Monday August 27th, when U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson will formally accept the plea and set a sentencing date likely to land Vick in prison for one to five years, Goodell immediately suspended Vick indefinitely without pay from the NFL Friday, called his behavior "not only illegal but also cruel and reprehensible."
"Your plea agreement and the plea agreements of your co-defendants also demonstrate your significant involvement in illegal gambling," Goodell said in a statement. "Even if you personally did not place bets, as you contend, your actions in funding the betting and your association with illegal gambling both violate the terms of your NFL Player Contract and expose you to corrupting influences in derogation of one of the most fundamental responsibilities of an NFL player. You have engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL and have violated the league's Personal Conduct Policy."
In another dose of bad news, sportswear giant Nike also, on the same day, cut its ties with Vick, issued a statement confirming "Nike has terminated our contract with Michael Vick following todays release of details of his plea. As we have said in previous statements, we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane, abhorrent and unacceptable."