Parents Speak Out After Vick’s Dog Fighting Guilty Plea; Hank Aaron: Vick “A Very Good Guy”

Vick and his Father

After Michael Vick’s public statement and apology on Monday, Vick’s parents both spoke out about their son.

Vick’s estranged father, Michael Boddie, said he thought his son’s apology was heartfelt and he meant every word that he said.

“Right now our family really does need God to step in,” Boddie said. “The devil came to our family and destroyed our family. Hopefully we can mend and move on. Maybe me and my son can have a relationship. Maybe not.”

Vick has not spoken to his father in two and half months, and Brenda Vick, Vick’s mother, has not lived with her husband for the past five years.

Boddie said his cell phone service, which is paid for by Vick, was cut off last week when he spoke to the media about Vick’s past experiences with dog fighting.

Brenda Boddie came to her son’s support. She denied allegations that Michael Boddie made that said Vick participated in dog fighting as early as 2001.

“I don’t know what kind of a father would do that to his child,” she said of Boddie. “There was no dogfighting [at our home]. There were no cages. I know he is angry and mad because of his son — because of his drug habit.”

Brenda Boddie said Michael Boddie has a history of drug abuse and is angry that Vick has not shared more of his money with his father. She said Michael Boddie is mad at the attention and gifts that Vick lavishes on her.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” she said. “Everybody deserves a second chance. He has given his life over to God. He is not a criminal . . . He’s a good person. He has a big heart, and it just hurts.”

Other sports figures continue to comment about Vick.

Hank Aaron, a retired Major League baseball player, called Vick “a very good guy” and blamed Vick’s problems on the “bad apples” he hangs out with.

“Your association is what brings on a lot of these things,” Aaron said. “You can be as good as you want to be, but if you associate yourself with bad apples, you’re eventually going to be bad yourself.

Golfer Tiger Woods said this after Vick’s apology: “If you made that big a mistake, you’ve got to come out and just be contrite, be honest and just tell … the public that ‘I was wrong.’ And I think waiting a long time … got a lot of people polarized. … I just think if he would have come out earlier he would’ve diffused a little more of it.”

Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and ESPN is one of the most influential sports commentators in the country, and he thinks Vick definitely deserves punishment for his crime.

“Personally, I’d like to see Vick locked in a cage with six to eight of those pit bulls and nothing but his hands to use in his own defense. Goodness, yes, an eye for an eye is sometimes the only just punishment.”

Source: Sports.aol.com, USA Today

(Thanks menusux)

42 Responses to “Parents Speak Out After Vick’s Dog Fighting Guilty Plea; Hank Aaron: Vick “A Very Good Guy””

  1. nora says:

    More lies and excuses. Talk to the hand. Over and out.

  2. ellie says:

    I am extremely disappointed in Hank Aaron.

    Vick a “very good guy”? Please; it’s one thing to say, perhaps, that he’s not evil incarnate, but it’s quite another to call him a “very good guy.” And Vick was brought down by his association with “bad apples”? On what basis is he any different from his buddies? Seems to me he just had more money than they did, and therefore more control–he’s the one who bankrolled the torture of animals for fun and profit. Yet we keep getting this nonsense about the people around him–like he was some naif lured into corruption.

    Why is it okay to trash the people around Vick and make excuses for Vick? Because Vick can throw a stupid football and they can’t?

  3. CGP says:

    If Vick wasn’t worth megabucks he’d just be considered another thug. People with $$$ shouldn’t be given a pass on their behavior. This was something he chose to do - who forced him to participate? He’s a liar with a pattern of bad behavior on and off the football field. Time to say enough to these celebrities who break the law (in his case heinous crimes) and then expect forgiveness and a pat on the back.

  4. 2CatMom says:

    Oh Hank, how could you! Vick is an absolute nothing compared t you! I hope other retired black sports stars resist the pressure to come out and defend Vick.

    If Earnie Banks says anything to support Vick, I really will cry. He’s my all time sports’ hero!

  5. janet says:

    the whole family is nuts. The devil my ass. Maybe it was the boogie man that made him do it. I agree with Ellie, just because he can throw a football doesn’t excuse him from his rotten deeds

  6. bengals says:

    oh wahhhh… cry me a river… am so sick of the lies and deceipt. Good guy?…yeah, right…maybe to those who benefited from his $$$, to the rest, he’s a lying con-artist thug who cares about nothing but his football career.

  7. Bridgett says:

    Well, there goes my good impression of Tiger Woods and Hank Aaron.

    Vick isn’t a good guy. Just because he said he is sorry doesn’t mean what he did should be just glossed over. He needs to feel the bad consequences of what he has done. He needs to be punished.

    Hooray for Michael Wilbon!

  8. Moonbeams says:

    Love is blind and more blind is “mama’s” love for her never hurt anything little boy! Waaaaa……….

  9. Moonbeams says:

    Michael Vick should be shunned……….never spoken to again and never shall have his face grace the TV set etc. etc. etc.

  10. Kevin says:

    “Vick’s estranged father, Michael Boddie, said he thought his son’s apology was heartfelt and he meant every word that he said.”

    Well, he’s the only one that feels that way.

    Vick is a liar and a thug. Also, he’s a bad actor.

  11. Judy says:

    Well daddy wants his cell phone turned back on.

    At the very least I hope he is put in a jail cell with a dog lover who beats the crap out of him. This loser is still getting way too much news time the only news I want to hear about this scum is that he is put in a jail cell.

    This is the only part I agree with:
    Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and ESPN is one of the most influential sports commentators in the country, and he thinks Vick definitely deserves punishment for his crime.

    “Personally, I’d like to see Vick locked in a cage with six to eight of those pit bulls and nothing but his hands to use in his own defense. Goodness, yes, an eye for an eye is sometimes the only just punishment.”

  12. Moonbeams says:

    What bothers me with the “famous” sports types supporting Vick:

    1. I assume they realize the brutality he inflicted on these poor animals.
    2. I assume they just don’t care.
    3. They love his macho attitude so much that they are willing to downplay and discount the horror he inflicted on these pits.
    4. Be famous and play major league sports and get away with the cruelest of behavior.
    5. We admire you so much, that we will let you get away with murdering and torturing dogs.

    And just maybe those that support Vick would like to do the same thing or wish they could go to dog fights or fight dogs - the envy factor.

    Human Nature becomes distorted with envy and macho admiration - remember the Gladiators in the Roman days and what those enlightened people did to each other and to the animals. Gives an entire new meaning to the term “Blood Sports” and has no place in a civilized society.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all the animal lovers and especially dog owners turned off the TV and shunned the NFL until they make their high-paid “killers” accountable for their bad behavior and not just with a suspension but with banishment forever from being a part of any sporting activities.

  13. Moonbeams says:

    And no book deals. All profits from future book, tv, or maginzes, or MOVIES need to be in a fund to help protect pits from being abused by these so called fine upstanding sports figures.

  14. 2CatMom says:

    Moonbeams: I think these other athletes are to some extent put on the spot. I don’t think Tiger Woods called the press to praise Vick. I think he got asked the question, and was afraid to ‘dis a brother.’ Yet if you read his words, I wouldn’t call that an endorsement of Vick. In fact, I think he’s saying that Vick didn’t do the right things.

    On many non-animal blogs, the entire Vick discussion has degraded into ‘you only feel that way because he’s black’ rant. The support for someone of the same color no matter what he/she has done is something I don’t understand.

    Actually, I do understand. I’m of a minority religion and my parents rush to the defense of anyone of the same religion. I think this is a reaction to how they and certainly their parents were treated by others. Personally, when I see someone from my culture do something bad, I don’t defend it - after all we all have good and bad people in our ‘families.’ Moreover, I’m ashamed because it reflects badly on the whole group and sometimes reinforces the negative stereotypes we have often been labelled with.

  15. Moonbeams says:

    2CatMom:

    Well you have a very good point. But I believe this is not the time to be wishy washy or downplay the horror of what Vick did - and if other famous “sports” types would state they are shocked and dismayed and suggest harsh punishment - this might go a long way in helping those poor pits - and even the plight of all pits bred to be “fighters” across America. After all this is not so much about Vick as it is about the horror inflicted on these poor dogs.

    I’d like Vick to beg for mercy, something those poor dogs could not do, and I’d like him to beg to play football again and have him set up a trust fund to help stop dog fighting and contribute 50% of his income for 10 years to the cause - now this just might make me a believer.

    Even polite sound bytes from other famous sports types have the effect of supporting Vick and a light sentence and could have a snowball effect where the entire sports community may rally to his defense - perish the thought -

    These famous sport types should be shaming Vick and calling for justice for those poor dogs and for all dogs used in fighting. Otherwise, it appears (to me) that they are condoning his actions.

    By the way, I love pits!

  16. Moonbeams says:

    P.S. (I tried to edit and add this - edit didn’t work?)

    Talk is cheap - put your wallet where your mouth is - and also from the Bible “Faith without Works is dead.”

    So Vick, if you are indeed so remorseful and have found Jesus where’s the trust fund to help these poor fighting dogs?

    And 2Catmom, you are so right about he is getting support because they see him as a brother in trouble, as he is, but they are also at the same time downplaying the horror of his actions and making a conscious choice - a choice I believe is misplaced.

    And I think that was what happened with OJ too - the attitude of a “brother” needs our support.

    I just feel sorry for the dogs and I guess that tells you where my heart is.

  17. EmilyS says:

    I really really wish that people who think they are DEFENDING the dogs wouldn’t say things like

    ““Personally, I’d like to see Vick locked in a cage with six to eight of those pit bulls and nothing but his hands to use in his own defense. Goodness, yes, an eye for an eye is sometimes the only just punishment.””

    This is just one of the problems with the coverage of this case.. it just furthers the image of pit bulls as monsters.

    In fact, even the law officers that confiscated the dogs were quoted as saying they were friendly to people (as pit bulls are supposed to be)

  18. Susan says:

    I feel so sorry for pits being abused in our society that I’d like a federal law passed to protect pits - and anyone who wants to own a pit has to be approved to have one - by having a safe sane environment.

    I regret if this infringes on anyone’s freedom but pits are being tortued and brutalized and it isn’t right. They need protection from thugs.

  19. Debbie4747 says:

    I’m sure there are those that truly do feel Vick is a nice guy…just as there were those that may have felt Jeffrey Dahmer was a “nice guy”, until ya got to know him. Nice guys don’t do what either one did. I’m sure football will survive very well without him.

  20. Stefani says:

    It strikes me as interesting that his family is defending him when — didn’t he originally claim that he didn’t know what his “family” had been doing on his property? They were the first people he pointed a finger at, weren’t they?

    As for Tiger and Hank, I agree that newspeople are probably calling them - polling the black athletes. Perhaps in a desperate attempt to find one who will come out strong against this behavior rather than minimize it.

    It has been very disillusioning to me to hear so many in the african american community express support for Vick or at least indicate that they don’t think this is all that big of a problem or crime. I am disappointed, shocked, and well, being forced to reconsider some previous held perspectives on cultural values.

    Stefani

  21. straybaby says:

    EmilyS says:
    August 30th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    bothers me also since it doesn’t help the dogs and is against their nature. seems to me, these dogs would have already fought back if they were so inclined . . .

  22. Lynn says:

    Sports writer Michael Wilbon:
    Thank you for your courage in honestly writing what you believe. You share the beliefs of so many of us. You said it best.

    Tiger Woods:
    Thank you for expressing your views but I think you need to revisit them. I doubt that Vick would have earned more supporters had he been honest from the get-go.

    Hank Aaron:
    You managed to totally destroy my image of you as a real sports hero today. I am totally embarrassed for you. You’d better go back to the drawing board. It’s one thing for a child to hang around bad apples and blame it on them. It’s altogether something different for an adult to excuse his behavior because he hung with the wrong crowd. Big difference and you should know this: Adults make choices and adults are responsible for their own actions. Though kids may make some choices they usually are only be partly responsible; their parents are responsible for them until they are of legal age.

    Mrs. Brenda Vick:
    Regardless that you receive a lot of gifts from your son, you are in denial. What are you crying about? That you’re afraid the gifts will stop? You are only hurting him. Come out of denial and be a REAL mother. And get out of this “my son is a wonderful boy” mode - your son is a killer.

    Mr. Michael Boddie:
    Run, don’t walk, to the nearest rehab. If there’s one good thing you son did was to cut your cell phone. Let’s hope he cuts you out of everything else.

    To Every Sports Celebrity Who May Be Called Upon to Issue a Statement:
    Before you open your mouth just think: Would I want my child looking up to a man who kills dogs? Have the courage to help make your team one everyone can be proud of, on and off the field. Set an example. It will go a long way towards being a solid frame of reference for young people today.

  23. bengals says:

    I really hope they are able to rehabilitate the dogs…if not, may they haunt Vick & his pals forever…

  24. 2CatMom says:

    Moonbeams: I agree with you completely. It would be nice if more black celebrities came out against Vick. Sports figures, actors, politicians - this would set a good example for the young people who idolize these figures (OK maybe not politicians). It is possible to condemn the act without condemning the person (kind of on the love the sinner, hate the sin). It could be as simple as “dogfighing is a cruel and inhumane activity and it is against the law. Vick must pay his for his crime. I hope once this is done that he will see the errors of his ways and be able to reclaim his life.”

    I’ve said this repeatedly on threads here and on other blogs: apologies must be followed with acts of contrition. A smart guy (or his smart advisors) would have had him say the following at the press conference: What I did was horrible and wrong. 100% wrong. I can not bring the dogs I harmed directly or indirectly back to life, but I pledge $1 million to the care of the remaining dogs and $5million to build a facility that will be a rehabilitation center for fighting dogs and a home for those dogs that cannot be rehabilitated. The greatest form of charity is giving without being asked.

    But anything he says now would be suspicious to me. Like that line he added at the end about giving his life up to G-d. Ok Vick, just let’s not catch you looking for G-d at the strip joint, hanging out with your buddies, or like one Senator, in a mens washroom stall.

  25. mzcelie says:

    I agree with Michael Wilborn…Put him in a cage with some of the dogs he used. Let the punishment fit the crime.. it is what he deserves. I have NO sympathy for anyone who has been so cruel to an animal.There really is no excuse for this behavior, I don’t care who you are.

  26. Moonbeams says:

    Please leave the poor pits out of this - they would only lick Vick. The officers said they were friendly to people - they have been taught to fight dogs not their handlers/owners.

    I do believe it is time for the black community to come out against the treatment of these dogs - maybe they have but our “media” is not reporting it! Some of this is Media spin!

  27. Lynn says:

    And while I am thinking about it:

    Every single major sports figure should give back to the community. Go into the ghettos on a regular basis - get the kids excited about sports and learning and making something good of themselves. Show them that dog fighting is not the way. These kids have no solid frame of reference in their families for the most part, no good role models; they need you. This is one of the things that needs to happen in order for dog-fighting to stop. So be a REAL man and give up a little of your time and make this happen. It works, you know.

  28. Moonbeams says:

    I so agree with you Lynn and 2CatMom!

  29. Carol Johnson says:

    What Vick did to the dogs was not a “mistake”. Mistakes are things we do such as as isolatred and separate events. They may be wrong and cause horrible harm…example…the good guy or gal who goes to a party….drives drunk and kills someone. Is that wrong? Yes! Should they be held accountantable? YES! But good people can make a bad choice.

    Vick actions were not isolated events….they were his life style. He consisitently took the path of abusing animals.

    He is a socipath who got caught…and the only football field he should be on is the one in prison.

  30. Moonbeams says:

    Oh Carol Johnson - I so agree with you.

  31. ellie says:

    I don’t have a problem with what Tiger Woods said (except for the use of the word “mistake”)–it would definitely have been better for Vick to come out earlier and apologize. He only admitted guilt after his coconspirators rolled over on him, when he effectively had no choice. Certainly an apology would have been more believable if it came earlier. Not that that would excuse him from punishment, but I don’t see where Tiger Woods is saying that it should.

    2CatMom, I am always baffled by the way groups circle the wagons whenever one of their supposed “community” is in trouble. My reaction is to want to toss out and disavow the offender (if the facts are clear-cut) as an exception that is not representative of the group as a whole. Not to embrace the offender or make excuses for bad behavior. But it happens again and again.

    I don’t understand why outsiders who are asked about Vick don’t simply say something innocuous, if they need to comment at all.

  32. Anonymous says:

    this is not about black/white, neanderfootballthal, or stinkin overpaid celebrity shportskopfs

    it’s about amoral brutality and conscienceless inhumanity

    imo

  33. Lynn says:

    To Anonymous:

    Actually it IS about black and white, football, and overpaid celebrities, though indirectly. I don’t believe ANY of us on this website EVER lost sight of the fact that the real issue is torture, brutality, and killing.

    But you have to look at the source. The source, for the large part, comes from children and adults who are/were raised in low class projects, where cheap entertainment and making a buck on the sly comes from dog fighting. Sports figures and celebrities can make all the difference by coming off their high horses and redirecting these kids’ moral compass, because certainly the kids don’t get it at home. THIS is one of the ways in which brutality to animals will be extinguished to some degree. You cannot get rid of the problem solely by waiting for arrests to occur. You have to get out there and retrain the kids’ thinking and respect for ALL living things when they are young.

    Dog-fighting is not directly tied to race, BUT those races that are highly populated in large, low class neighborhoods often are tied to dog-fighting. That doesn’t mean it’s a Black thing only. Not by a long shot.

    It doesn’t mean it’s strictly a poverty issue either, though I have to wonder if any studies of those arrested at dog fights ever examined this aspect. [My guess is that 99% of the people in attendance were, as children, brought up in low class housing.]

    So while we’re discussing issues on the periphery of dog-fighting, none of us has ever lost site of the real problem.

    In fact, maybe until Dec 10th our postings would be better spent and more productive looking for solutions to the dog-fighting problem as opposed to blasting Vick. We can blast Vick again later.

  34. straybaby says:

    “Sports figures and celebrities can make all the difference by coming off their high horses and redirecting these kids’ moral compass, because certainly the kids don’t get it at home.”

    um, a majority of sports figures are actively involved in charity and their communities. it’s NOT a sports figure’s job to parent others children and change the lower economic ‘hoods. it’s a community’s job along with schools and parents. they are not the most visible when it comes to pushing the tough image that includes fighting dogs. i’d toss that one into the rapper’s court for the urban dog fighting presently, and before them, it goes to old school good ol’ boys and quite frankly, history. this has been going on forever. many highly regarded sports figures are NOT on a high horse. that seems to be a problem cropping up more and more with the newer entitled generation and by no means is that limited to sports and entertainment. Goodell has already set a zero tolerance and recognized there was a problem before all this came down and had started enforcing it. tells ya something right there.

    and i find it hard to believe that dog fighting would be more prevalent in poor communities. after all, someone needs to bankroll it ;) . . . although it is on the rise in urban areas, but i have to wonder how much of that is due to economics or street cred. basically dog/cock fighting seems to stem from testosterone more than anything else.

  35. Barb says:

    Pt Bull School Still Has Chance at Operating - Los Angeles

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/new.....15541.html

  36. Lynn says:

    Straybaby,

    No, no one said it was a celebrity or sports figure’s job to parent other kids. It is a parent’s job. The school shouldn’t have to do it, but for lack of parental cooperation, they do. Let me be clear on my views: No individual should ever take on the role of parent unless he can provide for that child, and teach him a strong set of ethical values.

    And let’s be clear that I am NOT saying that all celebrities and sports figures are well suited to mentoring. But many are. Many can and do make a difference. And not ALL sports figures are on a high horse. However, far too many do nothing to promote good will and cultivate a better world.

    But the point is that no one is parenting these kids. This produces kids who affiliate with gangs who are more inclined to commit crimes. There’s a very heavy connection documented between gangs, domestic violence, and dog fighting.

    Long-term data indicates that an intact family may be one of the most powerful factors in contributing to a positive outcome for children diagnosed with conduct disorder.

    Yes, dog fighting has indeed been going on for decades, maybe centuries. But’s it’s magnified now, as attested by the radical increase of fighting dogs in animal shelters. So while it is not anything new, it’s exploding.

    Goodell setting a zero tolerance is all well and good. But the sad reality is that Vick has not been banned from pro-ball. Twenty years ago that would not have been the case. That someone recognizes there is a problem and tries to “right” it within the constraints of the profit picture is a positive step, but does not go a long way in getting rid of dog fighting. You have to get to the source.

    The source is that point at which an individual says to himself that it’s ok to let an animal die for the sake of winning some money, whether it’s a dollar or thousands. The moment someone justifies a killing or maiming in his own mind may be too late. You need to train them BEFORE they reach this point. And judging from the stats, they start pretty young in life.

    As far as kids bankrolling dog-fights in lower class neighborhoods. There are different kinds of dogfights, and not all require a bankroll. Young kids with a dog in the ghetto have a couple bucks and challenge the kid across the street who has a dog. That’s where it often starts.

    In city neighborhoods dominated by gangs and drug crime, people use pitbulls to intimidate residents and gangs steal dogs — even sometimes cats — for fights. The fights take place in abandoned buildings, basement, garages, warehouses, even in apartments where they used the doors to block a doorway and build a pit.

    Does dog fighting stem from testosterone? Hell, no. While those that commit intentional cruelty are indeed predominantly male, they do not do it BECAUSE of testosterone.

    More stats:

    Distribution of intentional cruelty to animals by age group:

    01% Child (7-12)*
    22% Teen (13-19)
    77% Adult (20 and up)

    Intentional animal cruelty committed by age and gender.

    Male Female Age Group

    100% 0% Child (7-12)* 95% 5% Teen (13-19) 91% 9% Adult (20 and over)

    *I suspect that the percentage is a bit higher for the kids 7-12, but that adults are inclined to not report it and give the kid another chance.

    Read more at

    http://files.hsus.org/web-file.....tyRprt.pdf

    A study by Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society said 40 percent of primary school children in the Chicago area have seen animal fights or know about them. That should be good enough reason to provide mentoring at an early age, don’t you think?

  37. Lynn says:

    Re Barb says: Pt Bull School Still Has Chance at Operating - Los Angeles

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/new…..15541.html

    I don’t know all the insider details as to why this got canceled before, but I DO know there was a huge furor by the LA public over the fact that the humans “re-habbing” the pit bulls were paroled convicts. One of the public’s concerns was that former inmates might have gang affiliations and would recycle the dogs back into fighting.

    Again, I don’t know the inside details as to why they decided to use former convicts to train the dogs……I suspect that there might have been subsidized funding from the feds for providing employment to these individuals.

    Does anyone have inside info on this? It would be enlightening.

  38. jds says:

    VICK IS AN EVIL PERSON WHO NEEDS TO PAY FOR WHAT HE DID. HE AND ANYONE ELSE THAT IS ABUSING ANIMALS. THEY ARE SICK PEOPLE. JUST IMAGINE WHAT THEY MIGHT BEING DOING TO THEIR WIFES AND CHILDREN?

  39. Cathy says:

    Vick has given his life over to God? Funny how criminals always all of a sudden find God. Give me a freaking break!

  40. Anonymous says:

    To Lynn: So while we’re discussing issues on the periphery of dog-fighting, none of us has ever lost site of the real problem.

    Good discussion. I meant to imply that

    *what the legal consequences are and to what degree Vick should pay them*

    has nothing to do with his race, occupation, income or celebrity status.

  41. Lynn says:

    Anonymous:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve maintained all along that if it was a white convent nun who did what Vick did I’d be all over her just like I am Vick.

    Thanks for letting me take part of your posting and expanding on it. A lot of times we all express our anger based on instinct and love of animals. Nothing wrong with that, though it is useful for all of us to know some facts in order to back up our position in the matter.

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