The NFL has indefinitely suspended Michael Vick without pay after he filed and signed court documents that admitted that he financed the dog fighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels, and that he helped kill some dogs that did not perform well in the testing session.
But Vick said he did not place bets of his own or take any of the winnings from the dog fights.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured here) said Vick’s admitted conduct was “not only illegal but also cruel and reprehensible”. Goodell also said that regardless whether he personally placed bets, “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.”
Goodell allowed the Falcons to “assert any claims or remedies” to recover $22 million of Vick’s signing bonus from the 10-year, $130 million contract he signed in 2004.
Goodell didn’t speak to Vick but based his decision on the court documents. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Goodell may meet with Vick in the future. He would review Vick’s suspension after all of the legal proceedings.
“You have engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL and have violated the league’s personal conduct policy. You are now justifiably facing consequences for the decisions you made and the conduct in which you engaged. Your career, freedom and public standing are now in the most serious jeopardy. I hope that you will be able to learn from this difficult experience and emerge from it better prepared to act responsibly and to make the kinds of choices that are expected of a conscientious and law abiding citizen,” Goodell wrote in a letter to Vick.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank supported Goodell’s decision and said:
“We hope that Michael will use this time, not only to further address his legal matters, but to take positive steps to improve his personal life.”
Also, Nike said it has terminated its contract with Vick. In a statement, Nike cited the “abhorrent” dog-fighting enterprise known as “Bad Newz Kennels,” which Vick helped finance and operate from 2001 through April 2007.